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"Organisms don't think of CO2 as a poison. Plants and organisms that make shells, coral, think of it as a building block."
–Janine Benyus
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The Great Barrier Reef is a 2-tile passable Natural Wonder in Civilization VI. The Great Barrier Reef appears on Coast tiles. Each wonder tile provides 3 Civ6Food Food and 2 Civ6Science Science (instead of the normal yields from Coast tiles). The Great Barrier Reef increases the Appeal of adjacent tiles by +2.

In Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, discovering the Great Barrier Reef grants +1 Era Score, or +3 Score if the player is the first to do so.

Strategy

Each Great Barrier Reef tile has a yield of 3 Civ6Food Food and 2 Civ6Science Science. Since Science is often hard to generate early in the game, incorporating natural wonder tiles can provide a vital head start through the Tech tree.

Like ordinary coast tiles, the yields of the Great Barrier Reef's tiles can be increased using certain bonuses. If the wonder tiles are owned by a city with a Lighthouse and Seaport, the yield of the tiles will increase by 1 Civ6Food Food and 2 Civ6Gold Gold respectively. The Suzerain bonus of the Auckland city-state also increases the tile yields by 1 Civ6Production Production, and by a further 1 Civ6Production Production once the Industrial Era has been reached.

Unfortunately, as with all natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef tiles cannot be developed or improved. Because of this, natural wonders are sometimes more of a hindrance than an asset later in the game - a natural wonder in the heart of a City can spoil adjacency bonuses for districts. In general, passable wonder tiles are significantly better than an unimproved tile of any kind, but are often less productive than an ordinary tile with an improvement or a district.

Civilopedia entry

Meandering about off the coast of northeast Australia, the 2300-km (1400-mile) Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure built by living organisms (so much for manmade “wonders”) and can even be seen from orbit. Built by billions of coral polyps over a half-billion years, it now comprises some 2900 individual reefs and 900 islands, and is home to an incredible diversity of fauna – from 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises to 215 species of birds. Unfortunately pollution, overfishing, tourism, and climate change are threatening the future of the reef; coral bleaching is accelerating and scientists estimate that unless drastic steps are taken, by 2030 AD the Great Barrier Reef will have suffered “irreversible damage” and no longer be “great.”

Trivia

  • The Great Barrier Reef can be found in its real-life location on the standard Earth map.
  • The maximum possible yield from each tile of the Great Barrier Reef is 4 Civ6Food Food, 2 Civ6Gold Gold, 2 Civ6Production Production, and 2 Civ6Science Science. This is possible if the tiles are in a city with a Seaport, if the player is the Suzerain of Auckland, and the game is in the Industrial Era or later.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is the largest natural wonder that appears in Civilization VI, covering a total area of 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 square miles). Bizarrely, the Reef covers only two tiles, while some other wonders cover up to four tiles. This is likely due to balance efforts, as the Great Barrier Reef would be able to provide overwhelming Civ6Science Science bonuses to multiple cities of the same empire if its size were scaled correctly.

Gallery

Related achievements

Steam achievement Circle of Life (Civ6)
Circle of Life
Build a Fishery adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef
A reference to the popular song of the same name from The Lion King, a 1994 Disney animated film.
Civilization VI Wonders [edit]
Wonders

AlhambraAmundsen-Scott Research Station R&F-OnlyAngkor WatApadanaBig BenBolshoi TheatreBroadwayCasa de Contratación R&F-OnlyChichen ItzaColosseumColossusCristo RedentorEiffel TowerEstádio do MaracanãForbidden CityGolden Gate Bridge GS-OnlyGreat Bath GS-OnlyGreat LibraryGreat LighthouseGreat ZimbabweHagia SophiaHanging GardensHermitageHuey TeocalliJebel BarkalKilwa Kisiwani R&F-OnlyKotoku-in R&F-OnlyMachu Picchu GS-OnlyMahabodhi TempleMausoleum at HalicarnassusMeenakshi Temple GS-OnlyMont St. MichelOracleOrszágház GS-OnlyOxford UniversityPanama Canal GS-OnlyPetraPotala PalacePyramidsRuhr ValleyStatue of Liberty R&F-OnlySt. Basil's Cathedral R&F-OnlyStonehengeSydney Opera HouseTaj Mahal R&F-OnlyTemple of Artemis R&F-OnlyTerracotta ArmyUniversity of Sankore GS-OnlyVenetian Arsenal

Natural Wonders

Bermuda Triangle1Chocolate Hills GS-OnlyCliffs of DoverCrater LakeDead SeaDelicate Arch R&F-OnlyEye of the Sahara R&F-OnlyEyjafjallajökull1Fountain of Youth1Galápagos IslandsGiant's Causeway1Gobustan GS-OnlyGreat Barrier ReefHạ Long Bay1Ik-Kil GS-OnlyKakadu2Lake Retba R&F-OnlyLysefjord1Mato Tipila GS-OnlyMatterhorn R&F-OnlyMount EverestMount KilimanjaroMount Roraima R&F-OnlyMount Vesuvius GS-OnlyPaïtiti1Pamukkale GS-OnlyPantanalPinnacles2PiopiotahiSahara el Beyda GS-OnlyTorres del PaineTsingy de BemarahaUbsunur Hollow R&F-OnlyUluru1Vinland2YosemiteZhangye Danxia R&F-Only

1 Requires DLC2 Specific scenario games only

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.

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