Each year more than two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef. For many Reef users, the public face of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park’s management effort is the field officers they meet when they’re out on the water or on an island.
Field officers are crucial to management of the World Heritage Area. This includes making sure there is up-to-date regional and site-specific information for visitors, education groups and commercial users on how to enjoy the Reef responsibly.
Facilities such as public moorings, reef protection markers, campgrounds, picnic areas and amenities, walking tracks and lookouts are there to make sure everyone can have a great time out on the Reef and its islands, while looking after them for future visitors.
The Field Management Program maintains 127 reef protection markers where there is no anchoring allowed and 128 public use moorings. This infrastructure protects the Reef where anchoring would otherwise damage the fragile reefs visitors come to enjoy and facilitates use at sites where visitation is high.
They also look after 163 kilometres of walking track, 111 campgrounds, 21 boardwalks and lookouts and 15 kilometres of public roads. These well-constructed visitor facilities provide safety and enjoyment to visitors and help protect the environment from human impacts.
Further information about island national parks is available at the Queensland Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing. Here you can obtain information about the natural and cultural values, as well as the facilities of the island you are visiting.
Some islands in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area are Commonwealth Islands that are subject to private lease arrangements, Department of Defence activities, or are managed by a caretaker. These islands have additional management arrangements in place.