Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system that consists of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres? Great sounds like a bit of an understatement all of a sudden! Covering an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres, you can find this World Heritage Site in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. So, where the bloody hell are ya!? The Great Barrier Reef waits for no-one. Oh wait, that’s not true, it’s just sitting there. But really, if you haven’t been here are a few reasons why you should!
The Great Barrier Reef is so massive that it can actually be seen from outer space. It’s one of two structures that can be seen from space, alongside the Great Wall of China, but that one’s man-made, so way less cool. The world’s largest single structure is actually made by living organisms: billions of tiny coral polyps. There are literally hundreds of different types of coral here in the reef, in all different colours and textures.
Labelled as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland as well. This Reef is getting all the titles and it deserves it.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park protects the reef by helping to limit the impact of human use, like fishing and scuba diving. But the reef has bigger problems than just tourism: with climate change and other environmental pressures, the reef has lost over half its coral in the last 20 years. While tourism is a minor problem, it also helps support the area by generating over $3 billion per year. The Whitsunday Islands is a very popular destination for tourists and locals but the reef is also important to Aboriginal Australians as well.
With over thirty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, the Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 1,500 different types of fish including the clownfish, red bass, and red-throat emperor. Keep an eye out for forty-nine of the species’ mass spawn! Want another fun-fact? Seventeen different types of sea snake live here! The reef has more than fish and sea snakes: be ready to get wet and wild with 6 different breeds of sea turtles and even some saltwater crocodiles! Add some sharks, stingrays, and 5000 types of mollusc and you’ve got an underwater dance party that’ll have you singing that Disney classic Under the Sea!
But it’s not all sea creatures on the reef. Over 215 different species of birds make nests on the islands and over 1 million of them use the nesting sites to breed. It’s like a veritable Hitchcock movie out here. This incredible natural gift has such breath-taking beauty that people come to see the 3000+ individual reef systems and coral cays and hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with the most beautiful golden beaches.
Known as one of the 7 Wonders of the World, as a visitor to the Great Barrier Reef you can enjoy various experiences including snorkelling, scuba diving, helicopter tours, boating, and countless other cruises and tours. Fearless? Then you can swim with the whales and sharks if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush. Whatever it is you’re looking for, the Great Barrier Reef can cater to any type of adventurer.
At Transfercar we’ve got the cars to get to all the good spots near the reef. Here are some of the most popular locations on Great Barrier Reef that we think are worth your time…
Haggerstone Island: This incredible Robinson-Crusoe-feel retreat offers a whole new level of exclusivity, intimacy and privacy. Rent out one of the incredible bungalows and take all the time that you need for rest and relaxation. Why not beach yourself with a loved one on this island and spend some time playing Blue Lagoon if you know what I mean, wink wink!
Heron Island: World famous for its incredible scuba diving snorkelling, Heron Island is the place to be if you want to spot the Green and Loggerhead Turtles. If you haven’t snorkelled before there are plenty of businesses on this island and others that have courses to get you get your snorkel on! You’ll see the most amazing array of sea-life with your own eyes and you’ll never need to go back to an aquarium ever again!
Brampton Island: This picturesque island is a beach lover’s dream, offering 12 different golden sand beaches for you to lie back on if you’re over all the adventuring and just want to relax. If you find a beach and you don’t like, just keep walking on to the other 11 beaches! With so many spots you can guarantee you’ll find a place to kick back without be crowded by too many other tourists.
Bedarra Island: Hey moneybags, if you’ve got the cash to spare (after saving money on rental cars by using Transfercar) then now’s the chance to splurge on this luxury retreat. Spas, hotels, shops, you name it, if you’ve got the moolah, here’s the place to spend it.
Lizard Island: Contrary to the popular belief, Lizard Island IS actually covered wall-to-wall in lizards. Don’t go here. I’m just kidding! This place is a tropical paradise. Seriously, there’s only like a few lizards, and none of them bite (maybe). You’ll be too busy frolicking in the water, catching rays with sting rays to worry about these cold blooded critters anyway!
Now, how do you get to this National Treasure?! That’s easy! You can just pick up your free Transfercar rental car from any major Australian city and start driving! The marine park is almost parallel to the Queensland Coast, from Bundaberg, where you can score some great rum, before heading up to Cape York. Just picture yourself, the wind in your hair as you drive along to one of the world’s greatest wonders. So don’t wait any longer. Book now, you won’t believe your eyes.