The Great Barrier Reef is 25 million years old.

And it is also in deep trouble.

Luckily we don’t have to stop traveling to the Great Barrier Reef to protect it, but more about that later. First, let’s chat about what you can do TODAY to make a difference.

Heart hands next to a tree

Here is how we can get past the bystander effect and help save the coral reefs around the world:

Conservation at home

1. Save water to reduce runoff and stop dangerous chemicals from filtering through lakes, rivers, and streams.

2. Plant an edible garden – you can start with something small, simple to grow and delicious to eat – adopt Meatless Monday (see our #RSMeatlessMonday tweets for inspiration every week), Dine at home, reduce your leftovers and reduce your use of single-use food containers.

3. Recycle what and where you can and Reduce your consumption of anything that cannot be Re-used or Recycled.

4. Reduce your CO2 emissions. This will slow global warming. Which will reduce coral bleaching (a problem affecting 90% of the Great Barrier Reef) If you can’t switch to an electric car, use public transport or carpool!

5. Make sure your appliances have an Energy Star label as they are better for the environment and reduce Global Warming.

6. Slow down climate change by managing your home environment more effectively. Both heating and air conditioning increase HFC’s in the atmosphere.

7. LEDs use up to 80% less energy than regular light bulbs. Conserving energy is an important step in slowing climate change.

8. Get involved in demanding clean power by joining the National Resources Defence Council

9. Instead of being apathetic or feeling helpless simply tweet, share, pin and talk about this blog to ensure more people have access to the practical tips that can make a real difference.

If you are lucky enough to plan a Safari to include the Great Barrier Reef we have more advice. As we mentioned, visiting the Great Barrier Reef has a very positive effect on its conservation.

How does it work?

Every reef visitor pays a mandatory Environmental Management Charge (known as reef tax). This improves the long term resilience of the reef through effective day-to-day management.

Seeing this unique ecosystem will help you bond with the reef and you will share about your experience which can be incredibly powerful advocacy for the environment.

If you stop by Reef Teach you will be educated and entertained… but they will also inspire you and ensure you enjoy an enhanced experience of the Great Barrier Reef’s beauty, curiosities, and importance. Through their Underwater Naturalist program, you can even dive with a qualified Marine Biologist.

Why not become a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef? This global community of people is dedicated to making the small personal changes that will drive positive change for the planet. As you commit to action your impact score is increased and you can track your progress directly via your Citizen’s dashboard.

You can also contribute to the Eye on the Reef program that is run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The program relies on the input of day-trippers, tourists, fishers, rangers, researchers, and scientists to gather information on reef health, marine animals and incidents. The information is utilized in the long term protection of the reef. An app will allow you to upload photos and information and if you consider yourself a skilled marine warrior you can take part in one of a variety of surveys such as the Rapid Monitoring Survey where you use an underwater monitoring slate to collect more in-depth data.

Plastic promotes pathogens and makes coral 20 times more susceptible to disease. The Tangaroa Blue Foundation is committed to the removal and prevention of marine debris under the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI). Even better – they are committed to finding the solutions to stop the flow of litter at the source.

Quick Tips for Planning a Great Barrier Reef Safari

When to go?

The Great Barrier Reef is a great destination year round but the summer months (from December to March) offer balmy weather and warm water. The visibility and water clarity is also good, especially in Outer Great Barrier Reef locations. The monsoon occurs in summer and 75-90% of the year’s rain will fall between November and May.

May/June to October is peak season in this tropical climate zone. Temperatures are perfect for a beach holiday and rainfall is uncommon which increases water clarity and diving conditions.

Migrating whales can mostly be seen during winter and while the Great Barrier Reef coral spawns one a year the timing is dependent on moon cycles and water temperatures. Locals may tell you to visit in August as it is warm but a little quieter than the preceding months.

What to do?

From Cairns

  • Explore the Daintree Rainforest
  • Go Whitewater Rafting
  • Fly in a Hot Air Balloon
  • Green Island Day Trip
  • Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Flight

From Port Douglas

  • Take an Outer Reef Cruise to an Activity Platform.
  • Low Isles Sailing Cruise

From Airlie Beach

  • Take a Seaplane Flight over the Whitsundays.
  • Visit Whitehaven Beach

Consider Yourself in the Know

1. Always, always, always wear at least SPF30 sunscreen that is also waterproof. Apply early and often.

2. Also, bring sunglasses a hat and light long-sleeved shirts.

3. Address the possibility of motion sickness and take preventative medication to avoid feeling horrendous whenever you need to board a boat.

4. Don’t attempt to mix boozing with scuba diving. It is dangerous and will not be allowed. Always stay hydrated with water.

5. It is highly recommended that you wear a wetsuit a stinger suit or a lycra suit whenever you are in the water. Marine stingers are less prevalent on the Outer Great Barrier Reef but when you swim in the waters off of Green, Fitzroy and the Frankland Islands you are better safe than sorry, especially during high summer.

6. Sharks may be a vital element of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem but you are most likely to see a reef shark on the sandy bottom if you are lucky (keep your distance and watch as they are quite timid and will most likely simply swim away)

And finally, our Top Tip for visiting the Great Barrier Reef?

Do it like Leora and Go Bareboating!

Book a 10-minute call to get the ball rolling on your unique Australian trip design today.

{Our advice is always totally free}

Images via Jodi NelsonDavid ClodeFezbot2000, Pixabay, Pixabay, Pixabay, Rawpixel



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