This is just a small part of Australia’s most precious treasure, the Great Barrier Reef, shot from a helicopter at 1000 metres above sea level.
The Reef is the largest living thing on Earth. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The only natural formation that can be viewed from space. Covering an area of 348,000 square kilometres, it is considerably larger than Italy, 4 times the size of Ireland and nearly as big as Germany. It encompasses over 900 islands and the largest ecosystem in the world.
To witness it literally takes your breath away. After you dive on it, you will never be the same again.
The Reef is the most fragile beauty in the world, under threat from climate change, natural predators such as the Crown of Thorns Star Fish, and most insidious of all, man-made pollution.
In early 2014, the newly-elected conservative Government announced its decision to allow the dumping of 3 million cubic tonnes of spoil from nearby coal mines into the sea 25 kilometres from the Reef. This was despite an environmental impact study that concluded such a move would have disastrous consequences for the Great Barrier Reef. Leases and contracts with foreign companies to mine for gas along the coast abutting the Reef are being negotiated every day. In April 2014 a leak from a nearby nickel mine onto the Reef has had same effect as a sewage leak from a city of 7 million people.
This wanton destruction cannot be tolerated.
In March 2014, along with 100,000 other Australians, I marched in protest at the decisions of this Government. Its short-sighted and mercenary views towards the environment was just one of the reasons. Those of you who know me on Facebook are probably sick and tired of hearing about this and the other reasons. But the environment is something I’m very passionate about and I will never stop protesting.
Critiques | Translate
SnapRJW (31627) 2014-04-26 4:50
Hi Lisa - Well I for one am not at all sick of you banging on about the great Barrier Reef and the moronic decision made by your government.
I am of the opinion that all the world's natural wonders belong to each person populating the planet and we (collectively) have a responsibility to protect our precious planet for both ourselves and the generations to come. There has to be a time when one rises up and speaks out.
I am afraid our world has swung to such a degree of capitalism that money is the main motive for many western governments.... long term planning, assessment and provision has flown out of the window in favour of short-term solutions and money making.
I am not a rabid tree-hugger but I do appreciate the wonders of the natural world and living in Africa with its delicate eco-systems I relate very much to what you are saying here (and I am married to a geologist who has worked on mines)
I wonder why the UN or similar does not get involved in situations like this one.... is there a world body that deals with the protection of the natural world?
I'm pleased to see this wonderful areal shot, the colours and detail are superb. I'm envious of your trip and glad to see you back.
We're off to Italy on Tuesday.... Yeah!
Warmest regards dear friend
Keep on voicing your anger!
Sergiom (68708) 2014-04-26 4:55
This is the big problem when a country elect a conservative party. We live the same problem in Canade with the tar sands petrol. A real nightmare for ecologist. And on top of that they want to built pipelines across the country to transport it.
You were very lucky to ride the helicopter over the rief...what a point of view.
Have a nice weekend
Romano46 (18472) 2014-04-26 5:19
Ciao Cara Lisa
appoggio la tua battaglia in difesa della natura. Dopo aver letto le tue note rimango sorpreso nell'apprendere che il governo australiano fa una politica miope perchè credevo che fosse esattamente il contrario.
Ma evidentemente tutto il mondo è paese e le lobby sono sempre più forti dei diritti della popolazione.
Mi sorprendi anche con questa foto che, come scrivi, hai scattato da bordo di un elicottero a ben mille metri di altezza - per cui alle vibrazioni del mezzo si sommano i difetti derivanti dalla distanza di ripresa.
Ciò nonostante la ripresa sul reef è abbastanza nitida e permette di coglierrne appieno la bellezza che abbiamo spesso avuto modo di conoscere attraverso i documentari ed in TV.
In ogni caso complimentio non solo per la foto ed un appoggio sincero alla tua battaglia per la salvezza della natura.
Ciao e buon fine settimana
photoray (13719) 2014-04-26 7:01
Beautiful bird's eye view of the Great Barrier Reef, even though we can not see up close the under water marvels, this scene shows the attractive blue and green colors and the reef formations from above.
I did a short visit to Australia about a decade ago, primarily to snorkel within the Reef, and I was not disappointed.
And we are proud you are fighting for the Reef. It is also common in the Colonies for our politicians to represent and work for the Rich and Powerful rather than the People. I worked for California Transportation for the People and witnessed first hand the corruption not only by our politicians but also the civil servants who should be working for the People. Oil companies were constantly buying and controlling our projects preventing environmental protections. I joined the Sierra Club which made me even more of an enemy to the corruption. One top ranking manager even threatened me with "accidental death". Anyway I miss the battles but not the stress.
Have an excellent weekend and I wish I could send the Sierra Club to help out...
Noel_Byrne (27752) 2014-04-26 9:02
Your image and your note are so at odds with each other. I look at the scene, emerald and jade greens bathed in beautiful clear blues, the best of everything this world has loaned us for our lives and it fills me with this childlike sense of awe and wonder. With my camera in hand, I see sights like this and feel I am 10 years old again, ready to experience the world for the first time and begin to learn how to appreciate its wonder.
But then I read your note, and all of a sudden I grow up very quickly and become the middle aged man I am, and a sense of rage and anger, and frustration and helplessness comes to the fore. Seriously, how the HELL can this be allowed? These idiots in power are elected by the people, and then blatantly ignore theis wishes because suddenly they are the untouchables! This is so frustrating to read, and it makes me very mad to know that such idiocy has power. I commend you highly for your protest, its one thing that the Irish are not good at, hence the reason our country is being steamrolled over by so many scuzz buckets.
Then I look at the picture again, and I put down my placard, pick up my camera and become 10 years old again :)
Thanks for sharing a thought provoking note, and a stunning image of one of the worlds greatest treasures. Your note has put me in the perfect mood to converse with the government candidates knocking at my door these weeks with local elections coming up, you have reminded me that deep down, they are all the bloody same.
Have a great weekend, and Slainte. Its wheat juice time :)
Cheers from the emerald isle
lousat (83568) 2014-04-26 9:08
Ciao Lisa,mi sarei messo in marcia anche io contro questa vergognosa decisione del gioverno,io poi che amo fare snorkelling..la foto è stupenda,questo è cio' che la natura ha costruito,e noi come la solito stiamo facendo di tutto per distruggerla,speriamo bene....complimenti per il post interessantissimo e buona Domenica,Luciano
jrleborgne (1554) 2014-04-26 10:00
Beautiful panoramic photograph, great colours.
I do agree with your concern. Our natural world is endangered as well as animal species, on a daily basis.
As long as world population is growing with proportionate needs; the industrial rush, for mineral resources, will continue.
Maybe, we should implement a world authority so as to conciliate this kind of intricate environmental problem.
siudzi (34141) 2014-04-26 12:07
Wow! What a fantastic capture this! I love the intensive and perfectly executed colors and details. The view is simply spectacular and very well presented. You pointed with this post a very important topic. Thank you for that. TFS!
npecanhuk (70876) 2014-04-26 12:09
Wonderful natural details!
Very beautiful and attractive picture!
Sharpness, exposure, colors, vertical format, chosen high pov and composition are all excellent!
TFS - congrats,
carlo62 (39741) 2014-04-26 14:29
credo che si possa solo essere d'accordo con ciò che scrivi, la cecità di certi governi (quasi tutti) è fin troppo evidente, quello che non capisco è il silenzio di tutti gli altri.
Purtroppo la natura ha subito ingiustizie da parte di tutti i governi, direttamente o indirettamente.
La tua foto è molto particolare, credo sia una vera meraviglia stare su un elicottero e guardare questo spettacolo, perlomeno fino a quando ci sarà....
Un abbraccio di conforto e solidarietà
fritzi007 (9191) 2014-04-26 15:02
a really good idea, the Great Barrier Reef to photograph from the air, very nice colors and shapes!
Wish you a good time
tyro (22404) 2014-04-26 17:14
Ciao cara Lisa,
A very thought provoking note with which I have to agree. The basic trouble is that there are too many human beings on this planet and our modern lifestyle, to which we have become so accustomed, makes us believe that we cannot live without fossil fuels and other resources whose irresponsible and overly zealous exploitation causes immense pollution and destruction of those natural resources with which we have been blessed. As other creatures have become extinct due to some failings on their parts, I cannot help but feel that we, as humans, might equally be forced to end our days on this planet simply because we have become just a bit too damn clever for our own good.
So this is you now returned home after your trip to the Great Barrier reef? Glad to hear that you made it successfully and that you weren't gobbled by a shark - but, then, we kill many, many more sharks than the number of people who are attacked by them.
This is a fabulous aerial photograph, particularly as it's been taken from a helicopter and, presumably, through a perspex window. The colours are amazing, the deep blue/green of the ocean contrasting so well with the varied colours of the reef. You have chosen a fine composition too and the boats at the left give an excellent sense of scale.
A perfect upload for TE and yet another way to vent your spleen - I must have a look again on Facebook - I tend to visit it about once every three months if I'm lucky.
kathryn_weir (2056) 2014-04-26 18:55
Hello dear Lisa,
Keep up the action and voice against such destruction and shortsightedness. It is rather bizarre that there are so many restrictions on approaching whales etc and yet they allow such shocking dumping of waste!
This is a great shot- i love the aerial approach. I hope you got some lovely rest and relaxation whilst in the beautiful reef zone :)
jjcordier (79275) 2014-04-26 23:35
On comprend bien ton indignation et ta protestation. Comment oser détruire une telle merveille de la nature?
Cricri (112089) 2014-04-27 0:52
Hi dear Lisa
Intéressante note et une belle solidarité envers cette beauté de la nature qui j'espère a été entendue...... bon POV et des couleurs sublime
Beau dimanche a toi
dip (23880) 2014-04-27 1:34
we see not every day photos taken from a helicopter,therefore the view is really amazing!
the inclusion of the boats in frame helps to perceive the distance,
interesting and informative note as well,
thanks for sharing,
ikeharel (63925) 2014-04-27 1:46
Heard a lot about the Great-Barrier Reef, Lisa, but most photo from there are from underwater and not from high above.
The three vessels gave indication of the vast rif area, and this would be only small part of.
Colors mingle in great harmony, variable green to turquoise, deep blue with shining corals.
Preserving the environment is a grand task of any community around our little planet.
Have a nice new week,
marabu61 (9707) 2014-04-27 6:17
Unbelivable to what these big money gouvernements are capable of, there should really be a UN comite where one could protest to. Good for you for having taken a stand against this atrocities. It is simply unbelievable how insensible humankind can be against our only planter we have. But unfortunately many gouvernements today are owned by the global companies and all that counts is the short profit. Sometimes I am scared about the state of the world we will leave behind for our children. At least I have tried to raise my kids to be critical about consumerism and that there are lots of other things important than money ...
But aren't those boats visible in the picture to close to the reef as well? Undenied the reef is beautiful and attracts a lot of tourists and divers, I believe that all those divers help with the destruction of the reef almost as much as the industrial waste dumps.
hoping that we can enjoy this amazing wonder of nature for many decades to come, I wish you a great sunday
rigoletto (34279) 2014-04-27 6:29
in today's world of profit based capital system, a civilized and reasonable human being has endless choices to protest against. i however believe (though not wanting to believe) that the destruction caused by human race can only be stopped by the nature herself. i just want it to happen as soon as possible, whatever the cost is. as greedy parazites infecting the surface of the globe, we all deserve the harshest of consequences.
abmdsudi (47646) 2014-04-27 9:14
Wow what a fantastic place taken from high up offering a different perspective! Flying over the barrier reef is an amazing experience really gives us the feel of height full of rich coloiurs, patterns and abstraction at its very best. That's jewel in the sea perfect for a morning swim, and like the boats they really help capture a sense of depth and space. I can appreciate all the effort you went through to get this photo. I am truly impressed. Delightful shot, Congrats
jemaflor (90107) 2014-04-27 23:32
Lovely view with all these blue tones, good pov, nice result, tfs.
mkamionka (32937) 2014-04-28 8:54
it looks very impressive indeed. Having the boats down there helps us to imagine the scale. Wonderful place. I am really so sorry to hear about what we people do to it. One could think that things like that could be possible only in undeveloped countries and that the rich one have learned their lesson already.
Great tribute here. Obviously everyone in the world has probably heard about this wonder but no one knows I guess that it is being so badly treated.
Thanks for sharing it,
Silvio1953 (131778) 2014-04-28 11:12
Ciao Lisa, fantastica vista aerea di un luogo favoloso, magnifici colori, bravissima, un abbraccio Silvio
rogerl (1544) 2014-04-29 6:12
Lisa, I don't know if it will make you feel better or worse to know that your government is by far not the only one making stupid and destructive big-company based decisions. Ours has come to specialize in that art, even under a president who claims to be a moderate or liberal (for the U.S.).
What a lovely shot, with the many greens and blues. I've never been there, but hope to be in the next couple of years. Thanks.
emka (87538) 2014-04-29 23:15
Hi dear Lisa,
I saw your posts on Facebook but had no idea what it was all about. But if this is in case of Great Barrier Reef protection, you have my support :). Something must be done. It is so easy to destroy natural environment but often impossible to repair. But difficult to fight with the greedy politians, I am not optimistic.
Splendid view of the reef from helicopter. The ships are provididng the scale.
I admire your courage.
jcpix (13820) 2014-04-30 15:35
Well, well, well...how are you my dear V2?
My, you really got off the ground for this one, yeah? :) What an amazing view this offers up, really puts the scope and scale into perspective. Smart inclusion of the boats to drive that point home. It's no wonder this is such an attraction and life force, well worth being protected...such a pity that those in power would allow its mistreatment.
Even from these heights, it looks inviting enough to jump in and soak up everything it has to provide the respectful tourist...but my healthy fear of heights would only have me clinging to something on board instead. ha Thanks for sharing this awesome viewpoint of this natural wonder of the world. Hope all has been going well. Be good, or at least try. ;)
Cheers from the top side,
krzychu30 (15510) 2014-05-01 4:08
I can only hope we´re not the last generation,who can enjoy such wonders of nature for own eyes and not only from the TV or old photos.
Speaking of which-your shot is really great and captures well the beauty,uniqueness and splendor of Great Barrier Reef.
Wish You all the best
Gigidusud (18243) 2014-05-02 13:27
Ciao Cara Lisa,
Capisco bene la tua protesta mi auguro che i vostri sforzi saranno ricompensati. E incredibile quello che l'uomo può distruggere su questa pianeta.
Cattura superba di questo bellissimo litorale australiano, non facile dall' élicoptère. Bravissima!
vjmite (4142) 2014-05-02 22:38
A colorful view of the reefs with beautiful blues and greens. The lack of a horizon gives it a slightly giddying feel.
Unfortunately the Australian government seems to have declared war on the environment, not to mention the poor, sick and vulnerable. And the company that spilled waste from a nickel mine into the reef waters is owned Clive Palmer, another politician. We are living in a new dark age!
Juzo (4347) 2014-05-03 6:52
Aside from this wonderful graphical and colourful image, I agree with your sentiments. For the first time in a while I must admit some fear of our own Government.
I hope all is well :)(sorry been on such a long sabbatical)
macjake (62350) 2014-05-03 13:00
keep banging us over the head with it on Facebook, remember, more public outcry could mean changes...if its ignored by us the public than nobody will be held accountable.
First of all, i had NO Idea the reef was THAT big! Holy cow!! thats enormus.
lucky for you to be able to fly in the helicopter, what a treasure that must have been.
as for the government...man i just don't get it...like I mentioned to you before...they must have had this agenda way in advance and decided not to inform the public. I'm sure the public wouldn't have elected them in if all of what they're up to was spoken of in their political platform.
what a bunch of douchbags.
vote them out, kick them out, whatever it takes.
And i agree with Rosemary's statement about wondering why the UN or other agencies don't get involved in such things.
lets hope for the best