Great Barrier Reef Facts
Fun facts and interesting information about the Great Barrier Reef.

Map of the Great Barrier Reef

Here are some interesting facts and statistics about the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is a popular tourist destination with over two million visitors each year.
  • Fact: Tourism to the reef generates approximately AU$5-6 billion per year.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is a great holiday destination for families and kids.

How big is the Great Barrier Reef?

  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2,900 individual reef.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef has over 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is greater in size than Tasmania and Victoria combined.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is greater in size than the United Kingdom, Holland and Switzerland combined.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is approximately the same area as Italy, Germany, Malaysia or Japan.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is roughly half the size of Texas.

How many species live on the Great Barrier Reef?

  • Fact: Thirty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises have been recorded in the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Fact: Six species of sea turtles come to the reef to breed.
  • Fact: 215 species of birds (including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds) visit the reef or nest or roost on the islands.
  • Fact: Seventeen species of sea snake live on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Fact: More than 1,500 fish species live on the reef.
  • Fact: Around 10 percent of the world’s total fish species can be found just within the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Fact: There are at least 330 species of ascidians on the reef system.

Learn more about the Great Barrier Reef.

How old is the Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is an extremely ancient, enormous host of living things, composed of living coral growing on dead coral dating back perhaps as much as twenty million years. Learn more about the History of the Great Barrier Reef.

What threatens the Great Barrier Reef?

  • Fact: Climate change is perhaps the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Fact: Warmer ocean temperatures put stress on coral and lead to coral bleaching.
  • Fact: The Great Barrier Reef has experienced two mass coral bleaching events in 1998 and 2002. Bleaching was more severe in 2002, when aerial surveys showed that over 50% of reefs experienced some coral bleaching.
  • Fact: Sediment, nutrient and agriculture pesticide pollution from river catchment run-off is also affecting the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Fact: Too much or poorly managed tourism could be a risk to the reef, fortunately tourism on the reef is very well managed at the moment.

Where should I stay?

There are many great places to stay on the Great Barrier Reef, with a variety of experiences waiting for you. You could stay on an island, be it a resort like Hamilton Island, or something more isolated and remote such as Haggerstone Island.

There is also a multitude of resorts and hotels in the cities and towns along the coast of the Great Barrier reef, catering to all types of visitors.

When is the best time to go?

The Great Barrier Reef is beautiful all year round. The stinger season is from around November to May. During this time you need to swim inside the stinger enclosures at the beaches or wear a stinger suit.

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About 'greatbarrierreef.org'

greatbarrierreef.org is a 'Web Magazine' website that is dedicated to all things related to the Great Barrier Reef. We are passionate about Australia's great natural wonder, its vast marine life, its golden sun-kissed beaches, its warm turquiose waters and the unforgetable experiences that are waiting for all who visit. Our aim is to discuss the Great Barrier Reef, its history, its environment, its marine life and its spectacular destinations. We hope that this website will inspire all who visit, just as much as the Great Barrier reef has inspired us.

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