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There's just something calming about watching undersea life go about its business. This is why so many offices and private homes have fish tanks with understate aquarium lighting and exotic or tropical fish flitting through the living reef system that was created for them in the tank. If you love your fish, then you should take your next vacation at Australia's famous Great Barrier Reef. We'll tell you all about it here and help you plan your trip.
The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stretches over 2,600 kilometers of the Coral Sea off the coast of the Australian state of Queensland. The reef is so large that it can be seen from space and is the biggest single structure built by living organisms. Since it can easily be damaged by boats and chemicals, it is a protected marine park area, but it still manages to generate over $1 billion in tourism dollars each year.
A visit to the reef will offer you a chance to see many types of sea life, including sea turtles, whales, porpoises, dugongs, clownfish, sea snakes, brain coral, sharks, stingrays, saltwater crocodiles, giant clams, seahorses, and sea eagles. If you were able to take a SCUBA course you can put your skills to use on the reef, though there are many tour operators that will teach you the basics. You can also see the reef in glass bottomed boats, go snorkeling, or take a helicopter ride.
There are many different ecosystems contained within the Great Barrier Reef along with many different types and structures of reef, so whether you want to see an example of fringing reefs or lagoonal reefs will determine which area of the reef you should visit. You should decide this before, as the various towns and cities that have access to the reef are hundreds or even thousands of kilometers apart and difficult to get to.
Popular areas visited by tourists who wish to see the Great Barrier Reef include Cairns, the Whitsunday Islands, and Lady Elliot Island, which will make your luxury condo look like the inside of a cardboard box. Plan your trip for May to October for the most tolerable humidity levels and avoid the period between November to April, when the seas are rife with deadly box jellyfish.