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The World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef off Queensland’s coast is so expansive it can be seen from space. The Earth’s largest living thing stretches for 2300km and comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands.

It is so impressive, Google added a street view collection of photos to their maps of the world, allowing anyone to take a virtual dive into a spectacular underwater world. Get up close with sea turtles at Heron Island in a coral wonderland https://goo.gl/maps/Sa5Qn and look over a ferry boat of visitors relaxing and snorkeling the reef https://goo.gl/maps/GsiWq

It is encouraging to see the new Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan in place as a blueprint for Australia’s continuing efforts to preserve the Great Barrier Reef and its outstanding universal value.

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This world treasure and bucket-list destination makes for a dream holiday. It is an island playground brimming with activity and relaxation. You can swim, snorkel, dive, sail or relax on white sandy beaches. Stay on a luxury island such as One&Only Hayman Island in the Whitsundays, or the Reef’s Northernmost, Lizard Island. Or charter a boat and explore the calm waters of the Whitsunday Islands. Scenic helicopter flights will give you an overview of the array of stunning islands, including spectacular Heart Reef, a popular marriage proposal destination.

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Last month, I dived into these turquoise waters and entered another world. I swam alongside countless species of colorful fish, turtles and an endless fairyland of coral gardens. I now count it amongst my most distinctive experiences. I felt such meditative calm and absolute joy. I realized what an immense privilege it was to be immersed in such a hidden world of sheer natural magnificence. I am delighted to add it to the Rothschild Safaris portfolio of exceptional experiences.

Photo Credits: Photo 1: Courtesy of One & Only Hayman Island; photo 2  F. Delventhal, courtesy of Creative Commons