Great Barrier Reef Facts

"You can even see it from space!"

There really is an array of Great Barrier Reef facts to explore. It's probably one of the most visited Australian attractions by overseas and local tourists alike. Did you know that is has been named as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World by CNN?

This page aims to take you through some of the key highlights as to why the Reef here in Australia is so special and spectacular!

Great Barrier Reef Facts

  • It is the largest reef system in the entire world stretching over 2600km
  • A barrier reef, such as the Great Barrier reef, grows some distance from the shore before it grows close to the surface. A lagoon separates the barrier reef from the shore
  • The top of the reef sits about two to three feet below sea level.
  • There are few waves near the Barrier Reef - It actually forms a natural break water between the strong waves of the Pacific and Australia
  • Captain Cook and his ship Endeavour actually got grounded on the Great Barrier Reef in 1770, causing extensive damage to his ship
  • There are over 350 different types of coral living in the Great Barrier Reef
  • The Great Barrier Reef is actually a series of small reefs.
  • There are lots of islands on the reef which are made of coral sand. This Coral sand is made when waves constantly wash over the dead coral, breaking it in to sand.
  • Coral grows very slowly - about 5cms a year and can easily be damaged by standing on it
  • It has been voted by CNN as one of the seven natural wonders of the world
  • It is home to over 1500 different fish species and after the recent Nemo film, the Clown fish is probably one of the most well known.
  • It is also home to over 6 species of sea turtles
  • Some of the species that live on the reef are near extinction and are only found on the Great Barrier Reef
  • The Reef has particular spiritual significance for the many aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders who have been living in these areas for thousands of years
  • It is estimated that the Reef as a tourist attraction generates over $4bn per year
  • Climate change, pollution, tourism and fishing all threaten the Great Barrier Reef

  • Top of Great Barrier Reef facts

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