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Great Barrier Reef

(4.3/5 based on 60,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: adventure, beaches, nature
The world's largest coral reef system, the world's largest structure built by living organisms, and one of CNN's "Seven Natural Wonders of the World," tops the itineraries of most visitors to Australia. You can see the reef system--which includes over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands spanning 2,600 km (1,600 mi) and covering 344,400 sq km (133,000 sq mi)--from outer space. Get a bit closer with a snorkeling or scuba diving tour departing from Cairns. Many companies operate out of the city, but make sure you choose one that's a member of the Australian government's High Standard Tourism Program, signifying a commitment to sustainable tourism. Choose a day tour for an introduction to the reef system or fully immerse yourself on a multiday trip on a live-aboard boat. However long you opt at the reef, you'll return with memories of a vibrant underwater world and improved knowledge of the ecological importance of reef systems. With our online itinerary creator, Australia vacations can be built around trips to Great Barrier Reef and other destinations in Australia.
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