Since it’s the midst of summer here in Australia, I can’t help but think about beaches and tropical destinations.
Australia has heaps of beautiful destinations to visit, but one of the most tropical places we’ve visited so far is the Great Barrier Reef. The reef covers a whopping 344,400 km2 and includes more than 3,000 coral reefs in Northern Tropical Queensland.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park contains about 600 different types of coral – which come in an underwater rainbow of colors and different shapes and sizes. When I was snorkeling over this coral, I was in awe! And I also was concerned about not kicking my flippers into the nearby coral.
|Luckily, we even saw the Great Barrier Reef at low tide when the tops of the coral reefs are exposed to the air. What a sight!|
Coral forms the backbone of the reef and is where many fish and sealife call home. There are two main types of corals — hard and soft. I don’t know much about the biology of coral, but from what I understand the softer corals are the ones that are often more visually striking than the hard variety. Soft corals are especially important as they serve as home to marine algae, which is one of the reef’s most essential food sources for the small fish, and then bigger fish eat the small fish. Such is the circle of life!
|Sea anemones are related to soft corals and is therefore actually a living animal - not a plant.|
Do you see the lil Clown Fish?
Looking back through my photos, it appears that we saw quite a bit variety of both hard and soft corals on our snorkeling trip. I only hope that this stunning underwater world maintains this beauty as it’s threatened by global warming, illegal fishing and the Crown of Thorns.
If you visit Australia, definitely make sure to explore the Great Barrier Reef! (Oh, and maybe rent an underwater camera like we did too.)