I have always enjoyed David Attenborough’s nature and wildlife series…who doesn’t love a bit of The Hunt, Planet Earth, Life On Earth – his distinctive calming voice teaching you about our beautiful planet?! So when I found out about his Great Barrier Reef series, especially having just returned from travelling up the coast of Queensland where I snorkelled the reef, I couldn’t wait to watch it.
And it definitely didn’t disappoint. It was the final episode in the short series tonight and I have enjoyed each one. With in-depth (no pun intended) descriptions and footage of the fish and their fascinating habitat along with the incredible underwater filming and photography, it really does make you realise just how small we are on such a large planet. Secondly, the cutting-edge equipment and technology they use for the research is just amazing – David Attenborough and the reef team descend into the water several times at nighttime to depths of 300 metres (I’m not sure I’d like to be that deep underwater at that time of night!) in a state-of-the-art Triton submersible, the first of its kind to visit the reef – and it was quite incredible I thought for a man of 89 to clamber into this tiny vessel! Under the waves, they come face to face with beautiful fish, giant green turtles and even sharks. He then takes to the skies to view the reef from above the water – and that’s when you realise the vast scale of the reef as a living structure and home to over a thousand species – it spans almost half the length of Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef really is a magical place on earth and if I hadn’t realised already, watching this series made me feel even more privileged to have visited one of the beautiful and natural wonders of our world. If you haven’t already, catch it on your BBC iplayer now!