The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is undisputed as one of the world’s most important natural assets. It is the largest natural feature on earth stretching more than 2,300km along the northeast coast of Australia from the northern tip of Queensland to just north of Bundaberg.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) is a series of over 2900 individual reefs, stretching from the tip of Cape York in the north to Lady Elliott Island in the south. Covering over 348 000 km^2, it comprises fringing and barrier reefs, continental islands, coral cays and 70 different bio-regions, making it the most ecologically diverse system in the world.
Although coral reefs have been around for over 500 million years, the GBR is relatively young at 500 000 years, and this most modern form is only 8000 years old, having developed after the last ice age. The GBR supports over 1500 species of fish, 400 species of coral, 4000 species of mollusc and many more.