The reef itself is the largest living thing that able to be seen from outer space! Considering it is underwater, that makes it truly quite special. While the reef is a living organism, it is also home to other marine life. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular natural wonders of the world.
The Great Barrier Reef is located off the east coast of Queensland mainland, in Australia between Cape York and Bundaberg. This remarkable coral reef system brings in many guests to Australia due to the Tropical fish, sea turtles, and many other marine creatures that enjoy minding among the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is an astounding natural ecosystem with all of this marine life and the coral reef itself. In fact, the reef is made up of tiny organisms known as coral polyps.
These billions of coral polyps bound together have constructed this intricate coral reef system. It stretches an impressive 2,300km along the eastern coast with a little over 3,000 coral reef systems.
Moreover, it’s incredible size reaches a little over 347,000 square kilometres and encompasses around 900 islands as well. It’s easy to see with its massive size why it is incredibly popular with residents and tourists alike.
It is simply one of the most beautiful places on Earth!
Exploring the Great Barrier Reef is quite an adventure. There are many ways to explore the reef including snorkelling and glass-bottom boat tours. Both of these methods offer up some spectacular views of the reef.
The coral reefs are a vibrant mixture of colours. However, it is important to note that the colourings of the reef are heavily dependant on how much natural white light it is exposed to.
From the surface, the reef may seem brighter in colour, however, the deeper someone goes, that light is filtered creating a more blue and green effect on the reef. Even still, the colours are remarkable to see.
The reef and its size, colour, and various marine life inhabitants make it an exclusive visit for someone. But where is the Great Barrier Reef location exactly?
The location is off the eastern coast of Queensland mainland, in Australia, This only gives a simple glimpse to its more direct location.
Location Of The Great Barrier Reef
When diving into the Great Barrier Reef Location, it is discovered that it is heavily associated with the Australian state of Queensland.
This is the eastern coast of Australia and once again this massive reef ecosystem reaches over 900 islands that speckle the eastern coast.
This is due to its elaborate square kilometre size (remember, a little over 347,000!). Its incredible size makes exploring it such a treat. Moreover, the Great Barrier Reef location is exclusively in the Coral Sea.
The Great Barrier Reef gave the Coral Sea its namesake. This is because of the multitude of coral reef systems that make up the Great Barrier Reef within these waters.
While the Great Barrier Reef isn’t the only reason to visit the Queensland area, it is definitely one of the greatest reasons! The islands around the eastern coast of Australia are the most immersive way to indulge in the exploration of the reef.
Many of them offer snorkelling among the reef from their beautiful beach lines.
Even more exclusively, the glass-bottom boat tours are an awesome way to see the colourings emerge from the reef through the natural white light. Certain resorts and some of the islands will offer these tours.
Usually, the tours include a small lunch or snack while out on the waters to witness this natural wonder. The boat tour option is great for those who aren’t strong swimmers or may not be comfortable snorkelling.
Because of the Great Barrier Reef location, it has truly become a hub and hot spot for those wanting to see the natural reef. This is particularly true for anyone’s preference of how they wish to experience the reef!
Great Barrier Reef Location On A Map
Geographically speaking, the Great Barrier Reef is located in the Queensland waters of the Coral Sea, off the eastern coast of Australia. More specifically, this encompasses certain islands and bays along the eastern coast.
It is important to know these specific locations so that planning a trip to see this naturalistic area is well planned. There may be certain places that residents or tourists want to explore while also seeing the reef.
Below is a list of the areas in the Coral Sea and off the eastern coast that the Great Barrier Reef lies within!
Google Map Of The Great Barrier Reef
List Of Specific Locations On A Map To See The Great Barrier Reef
This includes specific locations such as Cape York in the peninsula expanding a little north towards New Guinea. It also includes northern islands such as Lizard Island and Haggerston Island.
Central Eastern Coastline
This includes areas like Townsville coast which is exclusive to Townsville, the largest tropical city on the coast. Moreover, this portion of the coast also includes various islands off the shore that offer views of the reef.
This mostly includes the Whitsunday Islands which have over 74 islands within the central portion of the reef.
This specifically includes the Capricorn coast which is said to encompass central Queensland expanding south towards Rockhampton. Specifically, this area is the “Tropic of Capricorn area“. This includes areas like Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, and the Gladstone area.
All of these areas offer some spectacular view of the Great Barrier Reef. With so many locations that the Great Barrier Reef reaches, it truly makes the experience quite memorable!
This is because these areas also offer their activities and natural landscapes to explore aside from just the reef.
How Far Out Is The Great Barrier Reef From Land?
The Great Barrier Reef location is much more than just what areas on the map it is comprised. It is important to know how far out from land the reef is located as well.
The reef is said to be approximately 16 to 160 kilometres offshore. This is a pretty significant range of distances. Some areas will have the reef closer to the shore, while others will be a little way out there.
This is what makes the various ways to experience the reef so crucial.
For areas closer to shore, snorkelling is a great option. For reef areas further out, the glass-bottom boat tours the best option. As expressed before, the boat tours are also a great choice for those not quite comfortable with putting on snorkelling gear.
It is great to know why certain methods of seeing the reef are important and how far it is from shore. But just how deep under the water is the reef?
The Great Barrier Reef is said to be about 35 metres down for areas near the shores. The areas further out from shore are said to reach over 2000 metres in depth, where the seafloor may slope.
Obviously, this area is not practical by boat or snorkelling. The offshore glass-boat tours will obviously still encompass areas visible from the boat. But, it is quite stunning how deep the reef extends!
What Kind Of Marine Life Calls The Great Barrier Reef Home?
Considering its enormous size, it is hard to exactly pinpoint the marine life nestling down in the coral reefs. However, there are some marine creatures that have been identified as being apart of the Great Barrier Reef and its overall beauty!
This especially includes certain types of tropical fish, since part of the reef does lie within tropical waters, which are generally warmer. Below is a list outlining some of the marine life that has been associated with living near or being near this wonderful natural wonder!
Great Barrier Reef Marine Life
- Over 1500 species of fish, including tropical fish. From larger to smaller, there are some interesting to see in terms of fish.
- Box Jellyfish. Beware, these stings can be dangerous! Always be alert and aware if snorkelling the reef.
- Reef sharks. Although these aren’t common visitors to the reef (despite their name!), they do make appearances.
- About 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
- Roughly 6 species of sea turtles, specifically to breed.
- Around 17 species of sea snakes
- Over 300 species of ascidians (feeders or sea squirts)
These species, combined with the reef as a living organism, are a huge part as to why the conservation of the area is important. This ecosystem is so extraordinary and should be protected as much as possible.
While the reef has undergone some issues throughout the millions of years it has been around (crazy to think of for sure!), there are continuous efforts to preserve the reefs.
The Great Barrier Reef location is one of Australia’s biggest attractions. This should come as no surprise to anyone due to how special and idyllic it truly is.
It also provides ample opportunity to explore marine life, seaside towns, beautiful islands, and crystal clear blue waters.
Overall, the exploration of the reef is a great experience for anyone. The reef’s prime location will continue to bring guests such a wonderful memorable life experience!
Whether someone is a snorkelling pro or novice or rather enjoy the boat tours, there is something for everyone to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef! For more FAQ on the reef keep reading here.
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