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Great Barrier Reef Biological Life

By Richard Monk

The Great Barrier Reef is a stunning natural sculpture. A key part of the beauty of the area is the Great Barrier Reef biological life.

The Great Barrier Reef is a 1616 mile long coral reef situated off of the coast of Queensland in northern Australia. This humongous coral reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, with over 3000 individual coral reefs and 900 separate islands located within the Great Barrier Reef. People from all over the world come here to explore the thousand year old living coral reef, and see the many different biological species and types of vegetation. The Great Barrier Reef plants, while often not considered as exciting as the animals that live here, are also diverse and well worth seeing.

The Great Barrier Reef vegetation are all aquatic plants that thrive in salt water, so they tend to be sea grasses and algae. Of the 60 different types of sea grass in known existence, over 15 are found here in the Great Barrier Reef. They are important to many of the animals that live in the Reef, as they are a major part of the diet of both the dugong turtle and green turtle. Additionally, they are used as a habitat by much other small marine life, including different types of fish and prawns. Sea grasses are the only flowering bioforms that are able to live in sea water, and most of the sea grasses in this area tend to bear both flowers and fruit in the months of September through December.

One of the other types of Great Barrier Reef vegetation that are abundant in the Reef area is marine algae. Algae can range in size from the minuscule, such plankton algae, to large – with these larger types of algae being seaweed that can grow to many feet long. There are around 500 different types of algae found in the Great Barrier Reef area, with the most common types being found within the groups red algae, green algae, brown algae and golden algae. The different forms of algae provide nutrients for many different sea creatures, such as fish and even marine mammals. Algae in the form of seaweed is also incredibly beneficial to humans; we eat seaweed in many different food preparations, as well as using extracts of seaweed such as carrageenan and alginates for food, cosmetic and even pharmaceutical preparations.

About the Author
Richard Monk is with Facts Monk – a site with facts about everything.

Queensland, Beautiful One Day, Perfect The Next – 2

By John Morrad

… cont’d from part 1:

In Tropical North Queensland, which is the spa capital of Australia, you’ll find some of the finest spas in the world.

You can take your spa in the rainforest or overlooking the beach, your choice, but whichever you choose it’s sure to please.

The drive north from the vibrant tropical city of Cairns, gateway to two World Heritage areas, (the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest, and the Queensland Outback,) to Port Douglas is one of Australia’s most scenic, with graceful views across the Coral Sea toward the Great Barrier Reef.

The World Heritage rainforests are also accessible by car, with the Daintree very popular.

The drive south takes you to the romantic beach-side hamlets and mountain ranges of Mission Beach, while west will take you through the Atherton Tablelands where cosy B & Bs and private retreats await.

The Savannah Way is a must do trip if you want to follow in the footsteps of the earliest pioneers from Cairns west to the Gulf of Carpentaria and possibly the ultimate self-drive experience, the trek to the tip of Australia, Cape York, is pure adventure.

A word of warning is probably required here, if you do decide that you want to make the drive from Cairns to Cape York, don’t go on your own, always take at least two vehicles, plenty of supplies and fuel and make sure you let the local police know where you plan to go.

It is beautiful but it can also be very dangerous for the unprepared.

In Tropical North Queensland you can go hot air ballooning over the Tablelands, ride four wheel ATVs through eucalypt forests, go horse riding on the Cape Tribulation beach or parachuting, bungy jumping, sea kayaking, and you can even indulge yourself in some of Australia’s best white water rafting.

You’ll also find some of Australia’s best Aboriginal experiences, including the award-winning Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park – the first complete Aboriginal experience in Australia, and the exciting Pamagirri Dance Troupe at Rainforestation.

Various tours reveal the prehistoric and modern artworks, body painting, authentic artefacts, indigenous knowledge of bush foods and medicines, customs and festivals of the Aboriginal, Thursday Islander and Torres Strait Islander people.

Outback Queensland is Australia’s final frontier.

Follow in the footsteps of those intrepid European pioneers who first explored this region, gaze in awe at the stark beauty of the desert dunes or sit in the shade of Coolabah tree beside a gently flowing stream.

The Queensland outback has it all. You’ll find world heritage listed areas filled with dinosaur bones, beautiful fishing holes just waiting for you to wet a line and genuine down to earth people all combining to make this a place like no other.

These days the area is quite easily accessible by air or rail or, if you prefer to drive, by car or coach, on mostly sealed roads.

Stretching from Mitchell in the east, to Birdsville in the west, this region is a fusion of stunning red sand hills, abundant wildlife and magnificent flora.

You can immerse yourself some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet and see colours you’ve never seen except in someone else’s photos.

Perhaps you’d prefer to experience the simple pleasure of wandering through the most outstanding national parks and state forests; they will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

It’s all up to you…

Outback Queensland has all the options for accommodation that you could possibly want, from five star luxury to backpackers, and everything in between.

You can stay in the local pub and eat some of the best tucker you’ll find anywhere, or maybe a night or two on a farm is more your style.

You can take a tent or caravan or you can opt for some excellent bed and breakfast hospitality, you can bunk down at a backpackers hostel or, if roughing it really isn’t your style, you can go the whole hog and stay at one of the exceptional five star facilities.

Performing arts, events and shows, sporting contests, no matter what your particular idea of a holiday is you’ll find it in Queensland.

Yes it’s all about choice, and the choice is always yours!

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Queensland, Beautiful One Day, Perfect The Next -1

By John Morrad

Brisbane itself is a thriving cosmopolitan city of about 1.2 million people, situated in Queensland’s South East.

It is the fastest growing area in Australia, famed for its relaxed, easy going lifestyle and its wonderful climate.

Al fresco dining here is as good as anywhere in the world with superb seafood, locally caught, being the order of the day and whether you want to eat “5 star” or “fish and chips” style you’ll find something to tempt your taste buds.

A small city by comparison to it’s southern counterparts (Sydney and Melbourne), Brisbane has everything the visitor could possibly want (except snow, you’ll never be able to ski in Brissie!!).

The climate is superb, winter days are generally quite warm with sunny blue skies and no rain, summer can get very hot and humid, sometimes with severe thunderstorms in the evening.

Take a coach ride to the famous Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast , both less than an hour away, and spend a day or two on the best beaches in the world, (at least that’s my opinion), enjoy the surf, soak up the sun, chat to the locals, they’re all very friendly and they’ll tell you the best places to eat, dance, and have fun.

Stay at the Hilton or the Sheraton for 5 star luxury, or go to one of the local backpacker inns and receive a good clean bed in very safe and friendly surroundings, Brisbane has both, as well as a good supply of accommodation which fits between the two extremes.

To find the best, and cheapest places to eat, what’s on in town this week, gigs, movies, live theatre, the best bars and so on try here , you’ll find all you need to know.

In the central coastal region of Queensland is a collection of 74 beautiful islands, only 8 of which are inhabited and, together with the adjoining coast they make up The Whitsundays.

Approximately seventy percent of the region is national forest and marine park, protected by legislation.

Stunning beaches and spectacular rainforest where many species of native birds, mammals and reptiles abound.

Local estuaries and wetlands that meander inland from the coast to the Proserpine River are also a feature.

The Whitsundays are unique, exotic and spectacularly beautiful – one of those rare and unforgettable places where Mother Nature is at her best, and where there is nature, there is adventure.

The Whitsundays experience is indeed something extraordinary, particularly when it comes to outdoor adventure and recreational activities, offering something for everyone.

On the islands you can indulge yourself in all the creature comforts you could want, sip cocktails while sitting on the beach alone or around the pool with friends, pamper yourself with a relaxing massage or party into the night with a loved one.

You choose.

Most of the islands cater for families as well as couples, many offering such delights as ‘kids clubs’ with organised activities, a boon for frazzled parents who just would like some time to indulge themselves. Whether you visit Daydream Island, renown for its world class spa, Hamilton with its 10 restaurants, 7 swimming pools and more than 40 activities or Hayman’s five star luxury surrounded by calm crystal clear water, whether its Long Island ( perhaps the prettiest of them all ) with its 20 kilometres of beautiful bush walks or casual and relaxed South Molle, you’ll find great food, from silver service to ‘cheap eats’, cocktails and cold beer ( an Aussie icon ) and enough entertainment to keep you amused or wear you out.

If you’re going to the Whitsundays let’s not forget the mainland where the dining and entertainment options centre around Airlie Beach.

The food is excellent, clubs and bars are plentiful and the shopping is as good as anywhere.

Every Saturday the Airlie foreshore and parkland transforms into a bustling market with stalls selling fresh fruit and veges, local arts and crafts and all manner of goods under the shade of the coconut palms.

Airlie Beach is lined with unique shopping experiences from clothing to jewellery to gifts.

There is a range of diverse shops, most opening all day, every day, into the early evening.

Most of the islands have kiosks selling basic provisions for any unexpected holiday needs and some of the larger islands also have general stores to allow for self-catering if desired.

All the islands have gift shops or boutiques to satisfy all of your shopping cravings.

— Check back tomorrow for Part – 2

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