ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Australia's Top Tourism Treasures - Fraser Island & The Great Barrier Reef

Updated on March 25, 2010

Central Station, five miles north of Lake Birrabeen, was once the headquarters of logging operations on the island. Today, this grassy clearing, edged with soaring hoop and kauri pines hung with staghorn ferns, is a popular camping and picnic spot; an information building has displays on the Aboriginal and European history of the island. Here, walkers have a choice of trails.
Cliffs of ancient colored sands, bound together by silt and clay and carved by wind and water into fantastic turrets and spires, border the eastern beach all the way from Rainbow Gorge, just south of Happy Valley, to the famed Pinnacles on Maheno Beach. The reds, browns, ochers, and creams of the cliffs are the result of leaching iron oxide.

Dolphins riding waves into shore are frequently spotted from the cliffs, as are migrating humpback whales. The waters below Indian Head are particularly rich in fish and therefore notorious for the sharks they attract. A boardwalk at Middle Rocks offers panoramic views of the coastline and access to the effervescent waters of Champagne Pools via a short, steep track. Here, a natural seawall creates deep, sandy rock pools that are filled at high tide by crashing waves.

At low tide, the pools are excellent for swimming; in fact, the presence of sharks and treacherous currents elsewhere means that this is the only place on the entire eastern shore where saltwater swimming is possible. The brightly striped fish that become marooned in the pools earned them their alternative name, the Aquarium.

Whatever you decide to include or miss in your travels to Australia make sure that you don't pass up Fraser Island. Just writing this section made me tear up! I simply have to go back!

The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Extending for 1,430 miles along the Queensland coast, the Great Barrier Reef covers an area that exceeds that of Great Britain and Ireland combined. Indeed, so large is it that the only way to obtain a complete view is to travel into space: seen from beyond Earth's atmosphere, the reef stands out as the only visible organic structure on the surface of the planet.

The reefs alone harbor the greatest variety of life-forms found in any one location on Earth. Conservative estimates put the number of fish species at 1,500, and no fewer than 400 species of sponge and 500 species of seaweed adorn 400 kinds of coral. Even more astonishing is the reef's mollusk community, which includes approximately 4,000 species, ranging from tiny sea slugs through hard-shelled scallops, oysters, and clams to cephalopods such as octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. The warm waters of the Coral Sea are also home to or visited by an extraordinary array of marine mammals, including green, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles, dolphins, dugongs, and humpback whales. In addition, the tropical skies, islands, and cays ring with the cries of more than 215 species of birds.

Perhaps the most remarkable single fact about the Great Barrier Reef is that it is a living entity. This natural masterwork consists of billions of individual corals, each of which is made up of thousands of tiny jellyfish-like animals known as polyps.

Continued in: Australia's Top Tourism Treasures - The Great Barrier Reef

Back To Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)