Great Barrier Reef Research

The Great Barrier Reef is Queensland’s greatest natural tourism advantage attracting almost three million visitors per year. Tourism to the Great Barrier Reef is a major economic driver for all of the coastal communities along the reef. The tourism industry contributes $5.7 billion to the Australian economy and supports 59,000 full time jobs.

For more information about tourism research and insights in Queensland visit our Research & Insights page.


Tourism Australia – Coastal & Aquatics

Tourism Australia’s consumer research conducted across 11 of Australia’s key tourism markets shows that aquatic and coastal experiences are among the greatest drivers of international visitor demand, specifically to Australia. 


Deloitte Access Economics – At What Price? The economic, social and icon value of the Great Barrier Reef (2017) 

Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to analyse the economic contribution and, for the first time, the total asset value of the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Science


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) 

Scientific information is one major source of knowledge that is contributed by a wide range of research institutions, government agencies, universities, commercial companies and consultants, stakeholders, Traditional Owners and community members. GBRMPA engages with research providers and major research programs through a number of long-standing formal relationships, including participation in relevant boards and committees, and formal membership in research teams, as well as through one-on-one communication between individual staff members and the scientific community. 


Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

The Australian Institute of Marine Science is Australia’s premiere tropical marine research agency. They play a pivotal role in providing large-scale, long-term and world-class research that helps governments, industry and the wider community to make informed decisions about the management of Australia’s marine estate. 


Great Barrier Reef Foundation

The primary role of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation is to fund vital research to protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef. Working closely with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, they fund priority projects that help protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef and build its resilience in the face of major threats.

Heron Island Research Station

The University of Queensland owned and operated HIRS is internationally renowned for coral reef research and student training in marine. It’s enviable position on the Southern Great Barrier Reef make HIRS the ideal location for marine and climate change research. Guests of Heron Island Resort can access a daily tour of the station, which provides an insight into how the station operates, and the research undertaken there.

Lizard Island

270km north of Cairns, Lizard Island Resort is the only resort on this 1,013 hectare National Park, and with just 40 luxurious rooms it offers seclusion and natural privacy right on the Great Barrier Reef.  The Lizard Island Research Station is a coral reef research facility owned and operated by the Australian Museum - the oldest natural history museum in the country and widely regarded as among the best in the world. 

Orpheus Island

Orpheus Island is 120 kilometres north of Townsville with Orpheus Island Lodge being an all-inclusive private island experience. The James Cook University Research Station is homes to integral research on climate change, sea level rise and their potential impacts on the local reef and ecosystems. Educational eco-tours are available for guests to explore the facilities, including the wet and dry laboratories and live reef touch-tanks.