Tourism Australia announced his return as part of a new media project aimed at inspiring greater interest and more visits to the world’s largest coral reef system.

Expected to air early in 2016 and anticipated to be distributed across more than 130 countries, the three-part documentary series will form a key part of a renewed push by Tourism Australia to promote Australia’s aquatic and coastal experiences.

Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan said, “David Attenborough is one of the world’s greatest presenters of natural history content, and the Great Barrier Reef is arguably the world’s most recognised natural wonder. We couldn’t ask for a better match.”

Attenborough spent three weeks on the Reef as part of the filming schedule, including time aboard one of the world’s most advanced research vessels equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology.

He said returning to the Reef with the latest technology and science provided an exciting opportunity to see one of the most important places on earth in a whole new way. 

“The most exciting natural history experience of my life was the first time I dived on a coral reef [in 1957]. Being on the reef is a revelatory, thrilling and unbeatable experience and with this project we’re going to be able to share it with millions,” he said.

The Great Barrier Reef remains one of Australia’s strongest tourism draw cards, attracting more than 1.9 million visitors each year.

O’Sullivan said, “It’s vital that we continue to show the world why our aquatic and coastal experiences are so unique, and this film will undoubtedly help tell that story to a truly global audience in an authentic and engaging way.”