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The Great Barrier Reef

The world’s largest living structure and the only one visible from outer space, the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The Whitsundays region benefits from being located as the closest point off the Queensland coast to the Great Barrier Reef.

Stretching over 2000 kilometres in length, the Great Barrier Reef protects the Whitsunday Coast and Islands from huge ocean swells providing the region with some of the safest sailing and cruising waters in the world.

The magical, naturally formed Heart Reef is located in the Whitsundays and is the Whitsundays number one photo opportunity from the air.

The Great Barrier Reef is home to a stunning array of animals, from microscopic plankton to whales weighing more than 100 tonnes. The Great Barrier Reef supports the following and more: 


  • 1625 species of fish, including 1400 coral reef species 
  • More than 3000 species of molluscs (shells) 
  • 630 species of echinoderm (starfish, sea urchins) 
  • 14 breeding species of sea snakes 
  • 215 species of birds including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds 
  • Six of the world's seven species of marine turtle 
  • 30 species of whales and dolphins 
  • One of the world's most important dugong populations 
  • 133 species of sharks and rays 

(Ref: GRMPA 2012)

The different types of animals found along the Great Barrier Reef help make it one of the richest and most complex natural systems on earth. 


Check out tour operators that visit the Great Barrier Reef.