The Great Barrier Reef

The UNESCO World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is Australia’s largest and most valuable natural asset with one of the world’s most unique collections of biodiversity. It is recognised internationally as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, offering outstanding natural beauty and memorable visitor experiences. 

Stretching 2,300 kilometres along the Queensland coastline from Bundaberg in the south to Cape York in the north, the Great Barrier Reef is approximately 348,000km2 in size with over 2,900 coral reefs and 1,050 islands and coral cays. It has an incredibly diverse ecosystem, home to 1,500 species of fish, over 30 species of whales and dolphins, 6 of the 7 species of marine turtles and 22 species of seabirds.

Queensland’s tourism operators share the Great Barrier Reef with almost three million visitors each year. Around 80% of all tourism activity occurs within 7% of the marine park, with High Standard Operators who play an important role in preserving and presenting the Reef’s story to visitors and adhering to best practice environmental and interpretation standards. For decades our tourism industry has been proudly protecting and advocating for the Reef through a range of significant environmental, educational and research-related initiatives. 

Tourism and Events Queensland collaborates with a range of Reef stakeholders to communicate the visitor experiences and outstanding value of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and the important contribution tourism makes to its sustainability.

The official government source of management and reef health is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). The National Education Centre for the GBRMPA is the Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium in Townsville and is open to visitors daily.

Got questions? Check out the Great Barrier Reef FAQs document.

To experience the wonder of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and to plan a Queensland holiday visit