The Great Barrier Reef in Australia
As a setting that supports hugely diverse forms of sea life and spectacular views off the shores of its many islands, the region of the Great Barrier Reef boasts a very successful tourism industry with resorts on 27 of its islands.
In addition to tourism, the scenic area is a great attraction for scuba divers as well.
The entire Great Barrier reef extends for a total of 1,190 mi (1,915 km).
There is a sizable community of island dwellers, as both the Aboriginal Australians and the Torres Straits islanders lived there.
The Great Barrier Reef is famed for its huge variety of corals with evidence of some reef structures in existence for 10 million years or more.
There are also thousands of species of sea turtles whales, dolphins and fish. Plus, there are 215 species of birds, of both land and sea which add to the beauty of this scenic region.
Help Protect the Great Barrier Reef!
Environmental threats are attracting many to this well-known vacation spot due to numerous endangered sea life species. This destruction is attributable to climate change, which is warming the waters to inhospitable temperatures, and pollution of the waters from the neighboring onshore communities particularly in the mining and farming industries.
There are ecological concerns about the effects of tourism on the surrounding sealife of this spot, not the least of which is over-fishing. The tourists are rendering reduced food sources for the varied species of sea life there. Hence, there is a public outcry among the general population to protect the environment from the degree of tourism that currently exists.
Note: glass bottom and platform boats, are a pleasant and somewhat simple way to see the incredible sights of the Great Barrier Reef. The platform boats actually house the travelers as a kind of on-water dwelling to conduct the activities of snorkeling and scuba diving.
Nearby on the mainland is the Queensland Museum that can be an entertaining source of information of the findings of historic archeological digs of the reefs, particularly related to famed shipwrecks. The most well-known of these is the HMS Pandora.
Despite the ecological controversies of the picturesque sea paradise, The Great Barrier Reef is still a very popular destination, drawing as much as $6.4 Billion from the tourism, and promises to be a breathtakingly beautiful experience for anyone considering this oceanic paradise for their next vacation.