Escaping to the Great Barrier Reef

Routine. So many things in life follow one. Whether it be working from eight to five, taking the kids to piano lessons after school, or simply the same old formula of watching the game on the weekend with a beer and a bowl of chips, routines punctuate each day in their entirety. While they can be comforting, routines shouldn’t be allowed to take over your life. If you’re unsure how to break out of yours, consider an escape to Queensland, Australia. Located on the North coast of the continent, Queensland is where cities like Cairns are located. Known for the numerous Cairns reef tours, this gem down under is the perfect place for adventure traveling or family fun.

A Once in a Lifetime Trip

No matter where you’re coming from, a trip down under is sure to be a once in a lifetime trip. Travelers coming from the U.S. or Europe get to first enjoy one of the longest nonstop flights in travel, with a flight time that usually breaks the twenty hour mark. The long flight is worth it though. Located on the Cape York Peninsula, Cairns is beautifully nestled between the Coral Sea and Great Dividing Ridge. Originally founded as a mining town in the 1870s, the city was later used as a base by the Allies in World War II for launching airborne operations in the Pacific theater. In postwar era the city gradually developed a bustling tourism trade, which was pushed into overdrive with the construction of the Cairns International Airport in 1984.

Got Reef?

The real engine that drives Cairns’ bustling tourism industry is the city’s proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns reef tours are a huge attraction, and tourists have a variety of options when it comes to exploring this natural wonder. Whether you want to get a birds-eye view from a helicopter or glass-bottomed boat, or a more intimate experience through scuba diving or snorkel, there is a reef tour that fits the bill.

For those who are unaware of just what the Great Barrier Reef is, it is truly one of the great wonders of the natural world. Stretching over 2,600 kilometers (or 1,600 miles) of ocean, and made up of 2,900 individual reefs and over 900 islands, the Reef is the largest structure made up of living organisms on the planet. That’s right; coral reefs are actually alive, as they are made up of billions of miniscule organisms called coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef is abundant with life of all types though, which is one of the reasons that Cairns reef tours are so popular. As an example, the Reef is the breeding ground for six distinct species of sea turtle, and approximately 125 species of shark, skates, stingray, and other aquatic life call the reef home. Even the area surrounding the Reef is full of life, as the nearby mangrove forests on the Australian coast are rife with giant saltwater crocodiles.

Life Changing Experience

A Cairns reef tour will do much more than just give you a break to your daily routine; it will be a life changing experience. The biodiversity that can be found in the Reef creates a connection between visitors and the natural world that isn’t broken when they return to their everyday lives. Appreciation for the natural world can help you take notice of the beauty that surrounds you at home, and that connection formed at the reef can be shared with the flora and fauna wherever you go.

Uncertain Future

Unfortunately, the Great Barrier Reef’s future is not certain. Over the past 30 years over one half of the total coral that makes up the reef has died. This ecological tragedy is not only a tremendous loss for those hoping to witness the majesty of the Reef, but also a grave threat to the delicate balance of the ocean’s ecological system as well. Numerous species of fish and other aquatic life rely on the reef system to sustain them in some way during a period of their lives, and as the habitat shrinks, so too does their ability to survive.

Given the uncertain future, there has never been a more valuable time to come to Cairns for a reef tour. Not only will you be able to see and interact with this unique environment before it is gone, you can see firsthand why it is worth protecting. While there are numerous organizations internationally that fight to protect natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, every advocate is important in the fight to save our oceans.