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By: Globus

For nature-lovers, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is a quasi-religious experience. The 1600 mile long organism, which can even be identified from space, is actually a web of 2,900 self-contained reefs that lie between 40 and 100 miles off Australia’s north-east coast. From a plane, the Reef looks like a giant blue rash, but beneath its placid waves lie canyons of brilliant coral, each one a mini-galaxy of sea life, including wildly colored fish and anemones, giant turtles, moray eels, sharks and manta rays so large they can blot out the sun’s light as they pass overhead. The clarity of the water, the intensity of color, even the quality of the antipodean light are like nowhere else on earth. Most visitors fly into the booming tropical city of Cairns, then head north along the verdant Cook Highway to Port Douglas – a former gold rush port that was a virtual ghost town in the 1960s but is now one of Australia’s most glamorous resort destinations. (It lured Bill Clinton while President in 1996, and again in 2001). From here, high-speed catamarans run out to submerged platforms on the Reef, a jumping-off point for snorkelers and tours on glass-bottomed boats. (Companies also offer tanks for certified divers, but snorkeling is just as impressive: In fact, the colors of the Reef are most brilliant in shallow, sun-filled water.) It’s an unforgettable experience: the Pacific pumps back and forth like a giant lung over forests of stag horn coral, whose tips glow like electric Christmas tree lights. Clouds of tropical fish explode off the sandy ocean floor, green sea turtles glide purposefully by. And don’t miss the giant clams – mega-mollusks, each four foot wide, 500 pounds in weight and dressed in lurid velvet, they gabe up invitingly from their beds of soft coral swaying in the current. A kick of your flippers takes you down to admire the vibrant colors shimmering in the slanting sunlight. And when you touch their sensuous lips, the century-old shells close slowly into fixed, happy smiles.

 Escape to the most exciting reef in the world, The Great Barrier Reef, when booking with Pulaski Tickets Tours Inc today!