Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia's most visited destinations, provides unique views of underwater life, including colorful fish and a great variety of coral.
The multi-colored coral formations of the Great Barrier Reef comprise living polyps of the family Coelenterata.
These are polyps which excrete lime, forming a hard exterior.
The colors of coral come from live polyps. They turn white when they die.
Some of the corals may have the shells of different-colored clams embedded in them.
The colorful corals are a habitat of equally colorful fish. There are an estimated 1500 species of fish in the Great Barrier Reef as well as innumerable molluscs and crustaceans.
How best to view coral formations
To view Great Barrier Reef coral at close hand, nothing beats diving or snorkeling into the coral reefs.
Other ways of viewing the Great Barrier Reef coral formations is by semi-submersible vessels and glass-bottomed boats. From the air view the reef from scenic helicopter flights.
Cairns, with international, domestic and general aviation terminals, is seen as an ideal base for visiting the reef. Cairns, as well as most other northern Queensland coastal cities and major towns, would have the facilities for best coral reef viewing.