Reef islands as signifiers of paradise
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Reef islands as signifiers of paradise book
The islands of the Great Barrier Reef are a key destination for visitors, providing a base from which to access to the coral reefs. The islands comprise both coral cays and continental islands characterised by distinctive native Australian flora. Despite this, early holidaymakers had a different expectation of what the tropical islands should look like and sought out elements symbolic of Pacific island imaginaries. Palm trees were particularly powerful signifiers and were therefore replicated in both advertising images and gardens planted around tourist accommodations. The imaginary was eventually made real as the bush environment of early holidaymakers gave way to lush tropical gardens of modern resorts.