Those of you who are subscribed to our newsletter have already heard that we are publishing our first game entitled The Great Barrier Reef Card Game which as the name implies is set in Australia’s own Great Barrier Reef.
Though the newsletter talks a bit about the game, I’d like to use this blog to talk a bit about the reef, why it’s such an awesome place, and what we can do to make sure it’s still around long enough for us to see it.
What makes the Great Barrier Reef so great?
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It’s 135,000 square miles large and contains over 3000 individual reef systems. The Great Barrier Reef is home to 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 types of mollusc, not to mention the endangered dugong and large green turtle.
Oh yeah, and it’s visible from space!
Why should I visit the Great Barrier Reef?
Personally, I have always had a fascination with the world under the sea. It’s at once so foreign and yet so seemingly close.
The thing that most attracts me to the Great Barrier Reef is the opportunity for snorkeling and diving.
The crazy diversity of sea life makes it a place you could spend the rest of your life in a diving mask still not see it all.
Though snorkeling and diving a my primary drives, Australia.com has a great page about the Great Barrier Reef citing cruising Michelmas Cay and Agincourt Reef, taking a sea plane over Heart Reef, sailing or skydiving the Whitsundays, trekking the Thorsborne Trail, and relaxing on Airlie Beach as other popular Reef options.
For more personal recommendations check out these great travel blogs about trips to the Great Barrier Reef by:
When should I go?
June through October is usually considered peak time for visiting the Great Barrier Reef due to the ideal temperatures and low rainfall (hence clearer diving conditions). But my personal advice on this and any other travel destination is “the sooner the better!”
Partially because the truism “there is no time like the present” is a motto we should all embrace if we want to be travelers instead of just daydreaming about it. More importantly, however, the science shows that time is running out for us to see this particular natural wonder.
The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. Climate change is contributing to coral bleaching. Invasive species are messing up the ecosystems. Costal development is increasing polluted run-off into reef waters. And overfishing is threatening the species who call the reef home.
I know that sounds like a lot, and it is, but the good news is there is still time – both to see the Great Barrier Reef while it is still teeming with life and to help prolong its longevity!
What can I do to help?
If you want to help the Great Barrier Reef there are lots of things you can do as a traveler to make your visit low impact and to help sustain the reef even when you aren’t in beautiful Queensland.
If you book a Great Barrier Reef tour, make sure your tour operator is eco-certified (here are some suggestions for eco-friendly tours). These tours encourage sustainable diving and snorkeling practices and support marine conservation initiatives.
Make sure you use reef safe sunscreen when visiting the Great Barrier Reef (or any reef).
Volunteer on a Reef Conservation Project. Not only can this help with reef conservation but it can be an awesome part of your vacation and even an opportunity to get diving certified.
Share your experiences and enthusiasm
Obviously this small post doesn’t begin to cover how awesome the Great Barrier Reef is. My fascination with locations like this, both amazing and endangered are a driving force in my effort to make games that inspire people to see the world and hopefully help maintain it for future travelers.
I want to know about your experiences too.
Have you been to the Grear Barrier Reef? Leave a comment with your recommendations!
Thinking about going? Let us know what you are most looking forward to.
Work in conservation? Share something we might not know!
Get invovled in the conversation.