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(Australia) – Welcome to The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-east coast of Australia. It the world's most extensive stretch of coral reef and is probably the richest area in terms of faunal diversity in the world. Its great diversity reflects the maturity of an ecosystem which has evolved over millions of years on the north-east continental shelf of Australia.

(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef
(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.

A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish.

(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef
(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups' cultures and spirituality. The reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions. Tourism is an important economic activity for the region, generating $1 billion per year.

(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef
(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Attractions
Atherton Tablelands

- Birdworld Kuranda: Home of the giant cassowary (2mt. tall). Largest collection of free flying birds. Handfeeding and photo opportunities.

- Mareeba: near the town is the spectacular Granite Gorge.

(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef
(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef

- Mareeba Heritage Museum: provides a fascinating glimpse into northern pioneering life with its many unique displays.

- Australian Butterfly Sanctuary: at Kuranda; a spectacular, live butterfly exhibition, with hundreds of colourful tropical butterflies flying through an all-weather rainforest environment.

(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef
(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef
- Kuranda Heritage Markets: Wander through the beautiful rainforest setting and watch artists at work. Ninety stalls provide an innovative range of handmade local crafts plus Australian opals, gemstones, crocodile and kangaroo leather goods.

- Kuranda Original Markets & Shops: original Kuranda Markets behind the Honey House. Art/Craft, food, clothing stalls etc, operating Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday.

(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef
(Australia) – The Great Barrier Reef

- Tolga: has a railway museum and features a woodcraft museum.

- Atherton: in the centre of the Tablelands - Atherton has a historic steam train journey, restored chinese temple and one of the bestmineralogical museums in Australia, the Crystal Caves.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
- Yungaburra: the heritage listed village is famous for its fine restaurants, heritage buildings, festivals, arts & crafts and monthly markets. Nearby is Curtain Fig Tree, and platypus viewing platform.

- Malanda: the environmental centre features a volcanic display and is near Malanda Falls a natural swimming pool with waterfall and environmental walk.

Daintree River
Daintree River
- Millaa Millaa: is famous for the Waterfall Circuit, three waterfalls feature on the circuit with others not far away Herberton - is the historical 'Village in the Hills' and is the terminus for Atherton's steam train journey, and has an excellent museum. Enjoy a self guided walk through the streets.


- Night Markets: nightly on the Esplanade, discover an incredible world of arts, craft and true blue Australian souvenirs.

- Flecker Botanic Gardens: afternoon tea at the Gardens with freshly baked scones and lashings of cream will linger in your memory.

- Cairns Civic Centre: located on Sheridan Street regularly hosts visiting entertainers, theatre and dance groups.

- Reef Hotel Casino: the spectacular conservatory atrium presents international class entertainment nightly.

- Cominos House: the arts and environment centre.

- The Pier Marketplace: a leisure retail centre that features Undersea World, a reef aquarium and the Marlin Marina. The Pier is home to the weekend 'Mud Markets'.

- Rusty's Markets: located on Sheridan Street is the place to buy local fruits and goodies.

Cairns Northern Beaches

- Paradise Palms Golf Course: opposite Kewarra Beach, its a world renowned championship course with one of the most striking clubhouses anywhere.

- Wild World: The Tropical Zoo, cuddle a koala, pat a wombat, feed a kangaroo, stoke a snake or watch an incomparable cane toad race.

- Outback Opal Mine: see how dazzling opals are first uncovered deep underground in a mining documentary then walk through an opal mine replica.

Port Douglas

- Sunday Market: at Anzac Park, these colour seaside markets are on every Sunday.

- Art Gallery: redecorate your home with works by local artists.

- Four Mile Beach: here firm white sand provides a playground for families, a base for beach carnivals, festivals and photo opportunities.

- Mossman Sugar Mill: the mill hums its way through the sugar cane harvesting season when it is possible to take a guided tour of the entire process inside the mill.

- Flagstaff Hill: is the best place to capture the striking views of the town and its superb Four Mile Beach.

- Marina Mirage: enjoy a tropical drink as the sun goes down over Dickson's Inlet and watch the tour boats return.

Daintree & Cape Tribulation

- Horse riding: on the only place in Australia where the rainforest meets the beach.

- Daintree River Environmental Centre: an excellent introduction to the rainforest with a 23, touch tower, twin theatres, touch screen displays and boardwalk.

- loraVilla Art Gallery: see the superb arts and crafts produced by the rainforest dwelling locals.

- Dragonfly Gallery: located at Cape Tribulation with quality arts and crafts.

Daintree River
Daintree River
 Gulf Savannah & Outback

- O'Briens Creek Gemfields: located at Mount Surprise; dig your won topaz stone and have it faceted Search for gold near Forsayth and Georgetown Picnic at Lawn Hill Gorge and see what a real oasis looks like.

- Croydon: features the Working Mine Museum with its restored gold milling stamper, and for train buffs an original A10 Steam Engine.

- Karumba: visit the Barramundi Farm where you can see feed and even touch a 'barra'.

- Undara Experience: voted best unique Accommodation in Australia for 2003. Visit the Undara Lava Tubes or relax and enjoy genuine outback hospitality. Full lodge facilities and a variety of accommodation.

Cooktown & Cape York

- Black Mountain: named by the local indigenous people 'Place of Spears', the mysterious pyramid of stones is a natural geological formation thought to be 150 million years old.

- Lakeland Downs Coffee House: pause to sample some of the excellent locally grown coffees.

- Cooktown Cemetery & Chinese Shrine: reflect early pioneering history

- James Cook Museum: featuring the original anchor and a cannon from the'Endeavour'.

- Bicentennial Park: home to the re-enactment of Captain cook's landing which takes place during the Discovery Festival held each Queen's Birthday weekend in June.

- Grassy Hill: one of the most popular walking trails because of its 360 degree views.

- Aboriginal Rock: located in the Laura River Valley explore the 32,000 year old Quinkan Aboriginal Rock Art sites.

- Lion's Den outback pub: a tenacious survivor of the frontier days of the late 1880's

(Wiki, Great Barrier Reef)

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