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Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef | Port Douglas Travel

The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's most iconic and recognisable popular natural landmark that continues to draw thousands of visitors each year to marvel its beauty. Consisting of over 2800 smaller reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system and stretches up the north-east coast of Australia towards Papua New Guinea covering an area of roughly 344,400 square kilometres. The Great Barrier Reef is so large in fact, that it can be viewed from outer space. Made up from billions of different organisms, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure of its kind in the world. Book a tour to see this amazing natural wonder with The Tour Specialists who will be happy to cater for all your requests while visiting the Great Barrier Reef.

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School of Fish on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is an important site for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Indigenous Australians are said to have inhabited the area for some 40,000 years and Torres Straight Islanders for some 10,000 years. For both groups of people the Great Barrier Reef plays an important role for them culturally and spiritually. For marine animals and plants, the Great Barrier Reef helps sustain many endangered species. It is not hard to see why CNN listed the Great Barrier Reef as one of their seven wonders of the natural world in 2006. The warm turquoise water of the Coral Sea is home to some exquisite animal and plant life and the sheer size of gigantic coral reef gardens is an amazing sight to behold. Simply put, the Great Barrier Reef's beauty is one that simply must be seen to be believed.

Great Barrier Reef Conservation

The Great Barrier Reef's marine plants and animals marine plants and animals have been subject to some man made and natural occurrences that have had devastating effects on the reefs. Since people settled in nearby towns there has been an increased flow of nutrients and sediments from land into the reef and in the past 40 years, the reef has seen an influx of thousands of Crown of Thorns Starfish. Once they inhabit the reef, the Crown of Thorns Starfish feasts on coral and leaves in its wake decimated homes and food sources of many marine animals. The Great Barrier Reef is also been prone to the phenomenon known as coral bleaching. This is occurs when the water temperature increases between 1.5 - 2 degrees Celsius for a prolonged period of six to eight weeks. Coral does not fare well with temperature, salinity, sedimentation, or pollutant changes to the water. These factors can also cause coral bleaching to occur.

Added to the World Heritage List almost 30 years ago, the Australian Government and the Australian people take great pride in protecting the Great Barrier Reef to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the natural wonder for many years to come. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is a government run agency that oversees the conservation and preservation of the reef. Their objective is to maintain all human use of the marine park is ecologically sustainable and that the ecosystem's functions are maintained. The government enforces strict legislation regarding commercial and domestic fishing on the reef as well as rules for the 3500 ships carrying coal, iron ore, timber, oil, and live cattle that charter through the Great Barrier Reef waters each year.

Great Barrier Reef Animals

The Great Barrier Reef is home to some of the most unique and amazing marine animals in the world. Over 1500 species of fish inhabit the warm waters of the Coral Sea including Clown Fish, Titan Triggerfish, Dog Tooth Tuna, Wrasse, Parrotfish, and Angelfish. As well as some stunning fish the reef is also home to thousands of species of Molluscs, Nudibranchs, Seahorses, Giant Clams, and Sea Cucumbers. While there is an abundance of some forms of marine animals, unfortunately, some species that call the reef home are on the endangered species list. Dugongs, Loggerhead Turtles, and Green Sea Turtles are amongst those that live on the Great Barrier Reef and whose numbers are declining. The Dugong is under particular threat because of its long reproduction cycle and abundance of predators including sharks, whales, crocodiles Indigenous tribes and of course high speed boats.

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Great Barrier Reef Plant Life

The marine plant life on the Great Barrier Reef is diverse, interesting, and unique. Home to over 400 different species of coral, the reef also boasts around 46,000 square kilometres of lush sea grass, and over 500 species of seaweed. Like all plant life on the Great Barrier Reef, Seagrass plays a very important ecological role in sustaining numerous marine animals. Seagrass is the Dugongs main source of food and provides a premium nursery area for young prawns, Spanish Mackerel, and King Salmon.

Port Douglas is the closest departure point to reach the famed Agincourt Ribbon Reef area. Agincourt is located on the edge of the Continental shelf and divers come from all over the world to visit these parts due to the brilliance of the coral and abundance of the variety of marine life that are attracted to this location. The water here is crystal clear and there are a number of boats that leave Port Douglas Marina each morning in search of amazing locations for the day's snorkelling and . There is also a permanent super structure or floating pontoon sitting out at Agincourt Ribbon Reef that you can either fly to in a helicopter or take a high speed Wave Piercer. A trip to the amazing Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas will be the biggest highlight of your holiday. Hotels, Resorts and self contained apartments are dotted all over Port Douglas and are either walking distance to Marina Mirage or the boat companies will have a coach come to your holiday accommodation to collect you for your Great Barrier Reef adventure