Great Barrier Reef

Where can I find information about the Great Barrier Reef?

Senior Primary

(Years 5-8)

Colour photo underwater, showing a formation of various corals on Flynn Reef near Cairns in Queensland, Australia.

Image: Coral Outcrop Flynn Reef by Toby Hudson on Wikimedia Commons.

Entry last updated: 13/12/23


The Great Barrier Reef lies on the northeast coast of Australia. This natural reef is a unique ecosystem and home to hundreds of fish, turtles, dugong, whales, sharks, crocodiles, coral and other sea life. It is made up of coral reefs, small islands and mangroves. Global warming, pollution from rivers and acidification are some of the dangers that threaten the Reef and its marine life today.

General websites

The websites below will help you discover more about the Great Barrier Reef, the dangers it faces, and efforts to protect the Reef and its marine life.

Britannica School

Britannica School is part of EPIC, a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It is put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Select Middle to begin.

  • Enter the words 'Great Barrier Reef' into the search bar.

  • Go to Great barrier reef (in Queensland, Australia) to read an article.

  • Remember to explore the tabs Images & Videos.

  • You can always select a different Reading level from the top of the page.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Kids Corner

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is about the efforts to save it from growing threats and protecting endangered turtles and other marine life that depend on it for survival. To know more, go to the About us link to understand the values and mission of the organisation.

  • Use the tab The Reefs to find information and videos on dugong, whale sharks, green turtles and other reef animals.

  • Also find how climate change, poor water quality, and crown of thorns starfish are a threat to this ocean environment.

  • Look down the page for lots of games to help you understand more about the Reef.

Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to donate to a good cause, buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

This Australian government website has lots of information about biodiversity, types of corals, and endangered and protected species of the Reef.

Tips: A website’s address (URL) can give you a hint about how reliable it is. Look for addresses in the results that include .gov or .edu in the URL. These are quality sites from overseas government or educational organisations.

National Geographic

National Geographic is a popular magazine and its website is a great place to find information about saving wildlife and protecting the planet.

  • Select the link Education at the top of the page.

  • Enter the keywords 'Great Barrier Reef' in the search box that says Explore all.

  • Select themagnifying glass to start the search. You don't need to choose options from the three other drop-down boxes.

  • Read the article Great Barrier Reef about its biodiversity and the ways scientists are working to protect it.

  • The entry called Reef explains what a reef is, its formation and the two types of reefs.

  • The entry Coral Reefs is about risks like coral bleaching, why it happens and how to stop it.

Tips: This site gives you the option of narrowing down your search results by Grade. These are the USA school grades that are not exactly the same as our New Zealand school year groups. You can use these grades to narrow down your search to find information at the right level for you, but you will need to go down a year. e.g. If you are in Year 7 at school, choose Grade 6 on the site.

Young Ocean Explorers

Young Ocean Explorers aims to teach children how to love and protect the ocean, so it has heaps of great videos on stories about the ocean, and its life. You will find here a video about the Great Barrier Reef.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

One of the main aims of this special agency of the United Nations is the protection of World Heritage cultural and natural sites. There is information here on why the Great Barrier Reef is on this list.

  • Find the tab called The List and select World Heritage List from the drop-down menu.

  • Enter 'Great Barrier Reef' in the search box.

  • Scroll down the page to Australia and select Great Barrier Reef from the list.

  • Explore the tab Description to understand why this is a World Heritage site.

  • Use Maps, Gallery and Video to explore more about this huge coral reef ecosystem.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [Great Barrier Reef]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.


There are lots of fantastic books written about the Great Barrier Reef and life on coral reefs. Try some of these titles:

SCIS no: 5368726

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