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Waters with alluring hues of turquoise and aquamarine and an undersea world of colours that artists only dream about.

Washed by the warm waters of the South-West Pacific Ocean the perfect environment is created for the world's largest system of coral reefs. The Great Barrier Reef is of such pristine condition that it was listed by the World Heritage Trust as a protected site and is therefore managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority to ensure that its beauty is maintained for many generations to come. Visitors in their thousands come to marvel at the spectacular sight seeing opportunities that is unique to our area. The Wet Tropics World Heritage listed Rainforest on one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other. No other place in the world offers such ecological diversity so close to each other.

Off the Cairns coastline are outer edge ribbon reefs which may be up to 25 kilometres long. This is the outer limits of the continental shoreline of prehistoric times. The ribbon reefs can be seen by taking one of the daily outer reef cruises offered by local operators. One of the best ways to view the reef is to take a low flying scenic flight over it, especially at low tide where you'll see the breadth and diversity of this great living wonder.

The waters of the great barrier reef provide the world's busiest and most varied marine habitats. Marine life is in abundance. From the many species of coral to the sought after Black Marlin and all sizes and species of fish in-between. The varied colours of the reef's fish and other marine life will astound the visitor with colour combinations that artists haven't even dreamed of. It is the largest of the world’s 552 World Heritage Areas, covering 347,000 km There are more than 2800 catalogued reefs in the area.

Although the reef stretches more than 2000 kilometres offshore from Queensland, it is only at Cape Tribulation, just north of Port Douglas that the reef comes right to the shore and meets the tropical rainforests of the Wet Tropics. The Reef has over 1000 islands which are easily accessible from North Queensland and coastal cities like Cairns and Port Douglas. The coral islands are very popular tourist attractions. Some even have varied vegetation including rainforest and are encircled by the coral reefs.

You can enjoy year round activities on the great barrier reef. With the absence of the dreaded box jelly fish (the reef is free of this menace) and the mild winter temperatures, the scene is set for a perfect outing to the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef