The Whitsunday Islands support an array of plant and animal life. Both above and below the waterline hosts many variations of species that add to the diverse and amazing ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Among this diverse animal population are sharks.
The Whitsundays are one of the best places to try scuba diving for the first time! The diverse and calm reef beds offer the perfect place to explore the underwater world alongside your fellow divers and dive instructor, experiencing this exciting sport for the first time! The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is home to a huge variety of fish, corals and other marine life. It is famously known as the biggest reef system in the world, stretching thousands of kilometres.
There are thousands of individual species that live in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. From birds, to mammals, to fish and corals, there is a huge variety of what can be found above and below the water. Below we have listed some exciting things you can expect to see when snorkelling in particular.
Each winter the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park sees an influx of humpback and minke whales. Each and every dolphin and whale that enters the park is protected, with a very strict set of rules in place when encountering them. Most of the encounters in the Marine Park and Whitsunday Islands are accidental, as there are few whale watching operators in the area. However, even if encountering them by surprise or accident there are a strict set of rules that people and vessels much adhere to.
Whales migrate to the Whitsundays every year visiting us for the winters typically staying from June - September. During this time, there are thousands of these majestic creatures that can spotted around the islands, enjoying the calm and sheltered waters.
The Whitsundays have always been known for its pristine beaches, beautiful reefs, great weather and amazing marine life. It is a top tourist destination, that marvels all its visitors as they check out the sights and experience paradise. One of the Whitsundaysâ€™ most beautiful assets are the amazing reefs that surround the islands, where you can snorkel, swim, scuba dive and enjoy the warm blue waters.
Coral spawning is when coral simultaneously release their eggs out into the ocean for purposes of reproduction. Sometimes fertilised and sometimes not, both male spermatozoa and female ova are released during the masse event. The coral increase their chance of reproductive success by spawning at the same time as their counterparts.
New research has shown that dugong calves have made a comeback on the reef.
The population was virtually wiped out after Cyclone Yasi in 2011, which damaged seagrass growth, their main source of food. However, recent aerial surveys have shown that they have made a comeback and are now doing well on the reef.
Coral gardening is on the horizon in the Whitsundays. The initiative has been put forward as a solution to help inshore reefs recover that have been damaged by cyclones that have disrupted the Whitsundays. Inshore reefs often bear the brunt of waves and unpredictable tides that accompany such weather patterns.