Life on the Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the richest and most complex natural ecosystems on earth. Home to a stunning array of animals, from microscopic plankton to 100-ton whales, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. From the coral cays of the outer reef to the Islands of the Torres Strait, the reef's human residents work to find that critical balance between our needs and those of an ever diminishing natural world.
Over the course of a year, Life on the Reef follows those who live, work, and play in one of the most extraordinary places on the planet, Australia's Great Barrier Reef - where man meets wild and nature calls the shots. It's high stakes and high drama across our greatest marine wilderness.
Episode One - Tourists flock to the reef to enjoy the perfect weather and the humpback whales are here to give birth. Fire destroys a luxury yacht and a critical rescue is launched. On the most protected island in Australia, 20,000 green sea turtles return to the biggest reptilian breeding colony on Earth.
Episode Two - The approach of the wet season brings an explosion of life on the reef as corals spawn, sea birds nest, and turtle hatchlings erupt over the beaches in the thousands. Like a great alien spaceship the manta ray comes swooping in, a gentle plankton feeding giant up to 7m wide and weighing as much as two tonnes. Soon torrential rain and severe storms will close in, bringing change and upheaval to the delicate ecosystem.
Episode Three - The human and animal residents of the reef prepare as category 5 cyclone brings destruction to the North Queensland coast. But as cyclone season finally gives way to calm seas of the dry, the reef begins to recover and thrive. From the mangroves to the coral cays reef fish populations flourish, and mysterious dwarf minke whales arrive to enjoy the warm tropical waters.
Producer: Electra Manikakis, Peta Ayers
Executive Producer: Karina Holden, Sue Clothier
Production Company: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC); Northern Pictures
Production Year: 2014
Copyright Year: 2014
Director: Nick Robinson
Narrator: Rupert Reid
Subtitle Language: English (SDH)
Audio Format: Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen