Stretching a full 2000 kilometres in length and made up of 3000 individual reef systems and hundreds of islands, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is breathtakingly beautiful. Selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981, it is one of the wonders of the natural world. These programmes offer a definitive guide to the secrets of the reef - how it was created, how it works, the intricate relationships between its inhabitants and how climate change and other factors might shape its future. Using the latest specialist filming and visual techniques, the series captures the magic of the reef as it has never been seen before.
The first film explores the complex structure of the coral reef itself and the wildlife that lives on it. So vast it is visible from space, the reef is actually built by tiny animals in partnership with microscopic plants. It is a place full of surprises that is always changing, responding to the rhythms of weather, tide, sun and moon.
Within this magical and intensely crowded world this episode reveals how the amazing reef creatures compete and co-operate - from deadly fish-hunting snails to sharks that can walk on land, fighting corals and parrot fish that spin sleeping bags every night.
Monty Halls explores its full 2000-kilometre length, from the wild outer reefs of the Coral Sea to the tangled mangrove and steaming rainforest on the shoreline; from large mountainous islands to tiny coral cays barely above sea level; from the dark depths of the abyss beyond the reef to colourful coral gardens of the shallows.
The Great Barrier Reef is vitally linked to the rest of the planet in many ways. Creatures travel for thousands of miles to visit in spectacular numbers, including tiger sharks, great whales, seabirds and the largest green turtle gathering on the planet.