Protecting the Coastline of the World’s Largest Island: Australia

The Farm in Byron Bay, Australia. Photo Credit: Michaela Guzy.

  Michaela Guzy

Australia has over 59,000 kilometers of pristine Coastline, 19 natural and cultural UNESCO World Heritage sites, abundant wildlife and adventure activities.The land of Oz has many natural assets that attract visitors from across the globe, but sustaining these resources is critical for the future of Australia.

Starting on the lesser-frequented west coast we journeyed out to Exmouth, Australia's coral coast on the Indian Ocean. The location was first used as a military base during World War II. Today just over 2,000 year round residents focus on welcoming visitors to experience the “Range to Reef”- The Cape Range National Parkhas spectacular gorges and wildlife contrasted by The Ningaloo Coast, which has recently been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its natural beauty and biological diversity.

The Ningaloo Marine Park protects a 260 km fringing reef off ofWestern Australia’s mid north coast and is home to 200 species of hard coral, 50 soft coral and over 500 species of fish, including manta rays, sea turtles and the endangered whale shark. Just a short ride away, visitors can snorkel the lagoons in Coral Bay.

But if we’re talking reef systems, it’s hard to ignore The Great Barrier Reef, arguably one of Australia’s most iconic attractions. You can snorkel, dive, sail or even take a sea plane over this maze of 3,000 coral reefs and over 1,000 islands. It’s so big it can be seen from outer space.

We consulted David Stielow, Managing Director of Explore Whitsundays who shared, “The Great Barrier Reef is World Heritage's the largest coral reef system in the's 2,000 km long and it’s a combination of reef and islands on the whole of the Queensland coast."

For more information, watch our video interview with David here.

Australia is working to implement The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, which will serve as a blueprint for preserving The Great Barrier Reef so that it remains a natural wonder for generations to come. With almost 60,000 kilometers of coastline, seafood is an important part of any Aussie’s diet, and part of being sustainable means sourcing local food and wine. 

Chefs like Allistair from the luxury resort, Qualia, on Hamilton Island hand select local sustainable produce and seafood from across the country for their guests, "We have a few different varieties of oysters from across the country. And they're all kind of different in their own way...Tazmania has fantastic quality products and oysters is one of them."

Learn more about sustainable food sourcing, watch our interview with Chef Allistair.

The hippie chic surfer town of Byron is known not only for it’s abundant beaches, outdoor activities and its whale watching, but is at the forefront of the local food movement.

We visited Sydney’s popular chefs, The Three Blue Ducks at TheFarm they opened in Byron Bay, who took the “farm to table” movement quite literally. We sat down with chef and one of the owners, Darren Robertson to talk about the inspiration behind the food served on the farm. "The idea was to use up the whole ingredient. And utilize things you’d typically throw in the garbage.”

After a morning at sea, yoga in a barn and lunch on a farm, we caught up with television personality Magdelina Roze for her take on dressing like a local in local designer duds. We visited the iconic Australian fashion label, Spell & The Gypsy Collective which sell clothing from local designers that capture the Byron life style of “casual, relaxed, free flowing and feminine” attire.

The world’s only floating continent and it’ s friendly inhabitants are working hard to preserve their surrounding reef systems, locally sourcing their food and supporting their local stylish designers.

For more information, check out OhThePeopleYouMeet and please watch our latest video, Michaela’s Map: Australia’s Beach Towns.

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