What’s the Great Barrier Reef?
Do you know that the Great Barrier Reef is the only living structure can be seen from outer space? As on the of seven natural wonders of the world, it supports a wide diversity of life, including over 400 different kinds of coral, more than 1500 species of tropical fish, over 200 types of birds, and around 20 types of reptiles. In 1981, UNESCO listed the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage Site.
Because of its unique natural beauty and species, Australia has been a must visit on the bucket list. You can not miss the Great Barrier Reef if you have the chance to visit Australia. From the southern coastal town of Bundaberg to the northern tip of Cape York, you can always find your favorite destination.
A marine adventure of the Great Barrier Reef would give you an unforgettable memory. Would you like to try snorkeling? Snorkeling can be one of the best options to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkeling is safe and easy.
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is parallel with the Queensland shoreline, and it’s also the most accessible reefs on earth. Queensland (QLD) is the second largest state in Australia. You are able to get almost everything you need here. It’s quite easy to find local diving stores to offer snorkeling tours. You can purchase or rent snorkeling gear at local. However, it’s better to prepare all you need before you go snorkeling.
The most popular and famous snorkeling destinations in the Great Barrier Reef are located in Cairns, Port Douglas and more. It’s so easy to find a fabulous snorkeling destination in this spectacular region. In the southeastern coast, you can find Fraser Island. If you are in Port Douglas, you can take a short trip to Low Isles. If you are wondering about observing a coral cay, you can visit Green Island. Check the best snorkeling destinations in Australia.
Threats to the Great Barrier Reef
- Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. The directest effect is coral bleaching, due to the increased ocean temperatures. Besides corals, temperature changes affect some fishes to move to new habitats and thus leading predatory seabirds’ death. Everything in the ecosphere can impact each other. The whole ecosphere is quite vulnerable now.
- Water pollution is another threat to the Great Barrier Reef is facing. Because of overgrazing, farm runoff is worse. Agricultural sediments, nutrients, and chemicals are a great risk for the coral and reefs’ biodiversity.
- Overfishing has disrupted food chains vital to reef life.
General Travel Tips for Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
Located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons of Australia are reversed from the northern hemisphere. The summer of Australia starts from December to March. The best time to visit Sydney can be November to April. However, this period for the Great Barrier Reef and the Top End is extremely soggy and wet. It rains a lot. Bring an umbrella.
As the 6th largest country in the world, and the weather is quite diverse. If you are flexible, it’s best to visit Australia during the shoulder season: October-November or April-May. It’s warm and sunny, and rains less.
Of course, it’s English. However, Australian English has slight differences in pronouncing and idioms. Australians call everyone mate. It’s a world of “mate”.
Here are some examples you may need to know:
- Thongs = flip flops
- Bum bag – fanny pack
- Togs/swimmers – bathing suit
- Capsicums = peppers
- Ketchup = tomato sauce
- Chips = fries
- Lollies = candy
- Bushwalking = hiking/trekking
- Boot = trunk
- Bonnet = hood of a car
- Gas = petrol
- Ute =pick up truck
- Fortnightly = every 2 weeks.
- CBD (Central Business District)=downtown
- arvo – afternoon
- barbie = bbq
- bickies = biscuits or cookies
- breaky = breakfast
Australian dollars (AUD) is Australia’s national currency. The note denominations have $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins are in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and one and two dollar denominations.
It’s convenient to exchange currency at banks, hotels and international airports. You can pay with a credit card. There will be a transaction or withdrawing fee. ATMs are widespread. No worries at all.
Electricity- Plug Sockets
Australia has its own plug sockets. They look like American ones, but actually, they are different from American, British, or European ones.
Tip & Tax
Tipping is not common practice in Australia. You don’t need to tip in restaurants, bars, or taxis. But you will be charged for a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 percent. Wait a moment, you are able to claim a refund if you spent over $300 AUD with a single business, not over 60 days before leaving Australia.
Time Zones/Jet Lag
Australia has three separate time zones:
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) – equal to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) + 10 hours;
Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) – equal to UTC + 9½;
Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) – equal to UTC + 8.
Australia is a huge and expensive country, and transportation would be one of the hugest expenses. If you plan a road trip across, you may need to consider your available visiting time. Even you take a flight from the East Coast to the West Coast, it will take you 5.5 hours. Most Australians are living along the coast. There is nothingness out of the cities. Considering all elements, the best option is the budget airline.
Health – Strong Sun
You definitely need to bring the sunblock anytime and anywhere, or you will get burned. South Eastern Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. An SPF (Sun Protect Factor) 50+ sunscreen is never too much. Don’t forget to select an ocean-friendly brand. Drink water always to avoid heat stroke, keeping hydrated.