November 21, 2019

The truth about the Great Barrier Reef

It’s no secret that seeing the Great Barrier Reef is at the top of everyone’s bucket list when visiting Cairns. However, lately there seems to be a bit more confusion about the state of the reef than usual. One of the main questions our tour desk gets asked is, “Is the Great Barrier Reef dying?”

We’re here to assure you that NO, our iconic Great Barrier Reef is not dying. While there are certainly some parts of the reef that have been impacted by changes in climate, cyclones, coral bleaching, crown of thorns outbreaks and illegal fishing, there are hundreds of kilometres of healthy, prospering reef, alive with colour and marine life. The Great Barrier Reef is a living reef where parts are indeed thriving today which were not a decade ago and vice versa. The reef experiences a natural ebb and flow of changes and it is our privilege to witness it and our responsibility to continue to protect it.

 

Check out some of these amazing underwater shots of the vibrant reef and its many quirky residents!

 

 

(1)  You’ll be sure to find Nemo back home among the bright blue anemones.

Photo credit: @franklandislands

 

 

(2)  The Great Barrier is home to an incredible 1,500 species of fish.

Photo credit: @lorenzo_underwater

 

 

(3)  It also boasts 600 different types of colourful coral.

Photo credit: @taraprenzlau

 

 

(4)  Sea turtles can often be seen gracefully gliding around the reef. If you’re lucky, these curious creatures might even come up to say hello!

Photo credit: @mitchellpettigrew

 

(5)  The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, stretching 2,300 kilometres along the Queensland coastline and covering a staggering 344,400 square-kilometres.

Photo credit: @lorenzo_underwater

 

 

(6)  Although coral reefs only cover less than 1% of the ocean floor, they are home to over 25% of our oceans’ marine life – That’s why it’s so important that we protect them.

Photo credit: @tomsunderwatephotography

 

 

(7)  The Great Barrier Reef’s fish have very distinctive colour patterns. While we may think their bright colours help them to stand out, they actually use them as form of camouflage to blend in with the coral and reef plants.

Photo credit: @lorenzo_underwater

 

 

(8)  Around 35 species of rays call the Great Barrier Reef home – just like this majestic Spotted Eagle Ray.

Photo credit: @mstepinksa67

 

 

The Great Barrier Reef has shown an impressive ability to regenerate and recover from certain detrimental impacts, but it also faces many challenges and needs our help.

One of the most important aspects of going on a Great Barrier Reef tour is not only visiting this stunning natural wonder, but learning about the conservation efforts we must make to help protect and preserve it.

We all have a huge responsibility to protect our amazing reef and ensure its resilience so future generations can enjoy its awe-inspiring beauty just as we have.