Preston Nash

The Great Barrier Reef

Facts About the Reef

The Great Barrier Reef holds the title of the world's largest coral reef. It spans over 133,000 square miles of ocean and is composed of 2,900 individual reefs. The Reef can be seen from outer space. This underwater structure holds over 8,000 different organisms, some of which I can't even pronounce. The Reef is quite the popular breeding ground for aquatic creatures. Six of the world's seven sea turtles trek here to lay their offspring. Australia's natural wonder was formed due to a shift in the tectonic plates and many volcanic eruptions. The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's prized jewel, but it is under constant threat from and array of issues, including; climate change, pollution, overfishing and one of its inhabitants. The Crown of Thorns Starfish consumes coral polyps and this infestation of them has caused 66% of the living coral to die.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Barrier_Reef

http://ww.wwf.org.au/our_work/saving_the_natural_world/oceans_and_marine/priority_ocean_places/great_barrier_reef/

The Flight to Cairns, Australia

Getting to the Great Barrier Reef, consists of three different flights and will take 24 hours and 55 minutes, on the airline, Air New Zealand. You would leave Denver at nearly 6:00 PM on August 22 and arrive in Cairns, Australia at 10:50 AM, August 24. I'm planning to stay for a total of five days, and will be leaving on August 29. I leave Cairns at 1:55pm August 30 and arrive in Denver at 9:03 pm on August 31. My total flight time is 72 hours and 3 minutes. The cost for my flight is a grand total of $1744.


http://www.kayak.com

My Hotel

I chose to stay at The Lakes Cairns Resort and Spa. Located in the northern part of Cairns, this four Star Hotel, boasts a total of 170 rooms, a full blown spa, multiple, beautiful pools. Cairns also has a sauna, tennis and basketball courts, and for the parent traveling they have toddler playgrounds and play rooms. Its costs $139 a night, and because I plan to stay for six nights, I will be paying $834 on a room.


http://www.thelakescairns.com.au/

Fun Things To Do

My main activity was staring at the beautiful, Great Barrier Reef. I was taken on a tour by a company named Calypso Dive. For a mere $169, they will provide the equipment, and take me to the reef. However if you aren't the water type, Cairns still offers many other activities. The plant loving types, can visit the Flecker Botanic Gardens which is filled with beautiful plants and other greenery ($10).For the adventurous type Cairns offers a seven day pass, for up to 27 deep sea dives ($1270). The possibilities aren't over there, Cairns has a lovely art museum. The Tanks Art Centre is made up of three large ex-WWII fuel storage tanks that have been re-designed to showcase local artists works. Everyone loves food, so why not visit The Ochre. This local restaurant demonstrates creative cooking, by using local fauna and flora, such as kangaroo and wattke seed.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/

Anticipated Issues and Solutions

A largely anticipated proble, is running into a threatening creature while exploring the Great Barrier Reef. This is something that terrified me and made me re-think my trip. Some species you may incounter that are dangerous include; sea snakes, saltwater crocodiles (near the coast), sharks and stingrays. These creatures, normaly stay away from us humans, but just to be safe make sure to always stay with the and follow your instructors instructions. However if you do come across a shark the best thing to do is hit it in the nose, eyes or shove you fist up its gills. If you don't want to come face to face with a dangerous creature, don't be stupid and stay away from them.

Conclusion/Reflection

The Great Barrier Reef is a marvelous work of nature. I choose this magnificent site because I think observing underwater life is as thrilling as a rollar coaster. I'm really interested in the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, and a living thing, visible from space sounded like a fantastic idea. Also Australia offers warm weather, interesting animal and beautiful sites. While planning my dream trip, I learned many things. First off, I relized that planning flights and were to stay is way easier than it seems. I also learned that Australia is a book, full of climatic views and heart-stopping endings.

Some Information About Me

My name is Preston H. Nash and I enjoy traveling to see exotic areas and animals. I have not traveled a great deal. My trips usually consist of long road trips with my family to Minnesota or Texas. I prefer to drive than to fly and love wasting money on junk food in Gas Stations. In the future, I would like to travel to many different places. When I have the money, I would love to take my parents and grandparents to Germany and Italy. I want to visit the Great Barrier with my brother, who shares many interests with me. Lastly, if possible I want to visit Kenya, Africa to see a good friend of mine.