It’s an entirely different world on this Great Barrier Reef island [gallery]

AS A BOY, on holidays at my grandmother’s house there was a cherished hardback book I would pore over, losing myself for hours in pictures and stories of the Great Barrier Reef. I dreamt that one day I would get the chance to visit, to see firsthand the flora and fauna of the world’s largest single structure compiled of living organisms.

Although it is all linked, the GBR is actually made up of over 3,000 individual reef systems that together are larger than the Great Wall of China. Indeed, the GBR is the only living thing visible from space. It’s described as one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

Recently, my long-held dream was realised at Lady Elliot Island, the southernmost cay on the reef, easily accessible from Brisbane or Bundaberg. Here’s some of what I saw.

Al Mackinnon was a guest of Tourism and Events Queensland. This article was originally published on Matador Network