Lights in the sky in Melbourne and Adelaide have become an annual tradition in Australia’s capital, as the world celebrates the centennial of the great Barrier Reef.
The iconic blue, white and yellow star of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne has been turned into a light show on Thursday night, to mark the centenaries of the two most famous marine animals in the world.
It will be followed by a ceremony at the Royal Darwin Zoo, which will also honour the birth of its newest member, the endangered Australian blue whale, as well as the discovery of the world’s first mammal fossil, a male African black-banded porcupine.
Zoos around Australia will also be staging a series of celebrations, including a series on Thursday afternoon at the Sydney Zoo.
A total of 16,000 guests will descend on Sydney, including thousands from the United States and Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that Australia will continue to invest in the Reef as part of a “rebalancing” of the nation’s economy.
Australia’s national parks, wildlife and heritage minister David Shearer has also said the government will continue the Reef’s recovery.
But in the wake of a devastating coral bleaching event that hit the Great Australian Bight earlier this year, and concerns about the future of the iconic coral, Mr Turnbull said the Government is committed to protecting the Reef.