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The Great Barrier Reef - Need We Say More?

As the largest coral reef system on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef is easily Australia's most famous natural attraction. At over 133,000 square miles, the reef is located off the Queensland Coast in the Coral Sea and is the only organism on the planet visible from space! Home to roughly 900 islands and nearly 3,000 individual reefs, the expanse is simply majestic, incredible, inspiring, breathtaking - mere words can scarcely do it justice! There are many tours available of the reef and many visitors also enjoy diving and SCUBA excursions, or simply kick back on a boat trip and try to catch a glimpse of reef marine life like whales, dugongs, dolphins, sea turtles, and a wide array of tropical fish. If you're visiting Cairns, a trip to the reef is already topping your list - so get out there and explore!

Utrip Tips

* The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is from June to November, when the local weather is the clearest, allowing for maximum visibility (though daily weather changes can, of course, still affect visibility).

* As the Great Barrier Reef is a living organism, take extra caution when in the area and always listen to guides and instructors. Take care not to stand or touch the living coral, and hire a wetsuit instead of slathering on sunscreen (the chemicals in the sunscreen can be harmful to the reef).

* There are a variety of ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef, ranging from day tours and multi-day live aboard experiences to aerial tours and SCUBA dive lessons.

* There is, of course, no food available on the reef itself - most tour companies provide meals as part of the tour. Check with the tour company or boat charter to see if meals are provided.

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