Boom Netting in the Great Barrier Reef

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GBR michaelThe Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. Boasting miles of paradise blue waters filled with colourful marine life and fascinating reefs, it is the perfect place to learn about the diverse ecosystem that characterises this part of the world and explore the pristine waters for yourself.

There are numerous ways you can discover everything the Great Barrier Reef has to offer, including scuba diving, snorkelling, and various different boat trips, but there’s a new activity that’s sweeping the region - boom netting.

What is Boom Netting?

This new phenomenon lets you explore the Great Barrier Reef in a unique and exciting way. Offering an adrenalin-pumping alternative to diving and snorkelling, it involves riding on a large net that is attached to the backend of a boat.boom 2 michael

During the experience, you get dragged through the waters of the reef, passing pretty islands and different reef spots as you go.

The best part? The nets have the capacity to seat a lot of people, so you can experience the Great Barrier Reef alongside friends and family. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for the incredible array of colourful marine life that the reef is so well-known for.

Boom netting brings together just the right amount of speed, adrenaline, and fun, and is a great way to stay cool in the Australian heat while getting to know one of the world’s most magnificent hotspots. While you whizz through the water at a high rate of knots, you’ll get to experience the Great Barrier Reef in an incredibly unique way.

boom netting michaelBoom Netting For All the Family

Boom Netting is a great activity for all the family. Despite its fast-paced, it’s perfectly suited to smaller members of the family, who will be provided with life jackets to keep them safe. Not only will they get to have a fun ride on the water, but they’ll get to learn all about the biodiverse ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef in an educational and exciting experience all wrapped up in one.

Seeing the Great Barrier Reef in this way is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, giving you the chance to explore the endless blue waters of the reef, its incredible rich selection of marine life, and the paradise islands that dot the region. As you go, you’ll get an adrenalin-pumping educational ride while you dig deep into the habitat of the area, its history, and its inhabitants.

Beginner Dive on the Great Barrier Reef

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The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s best-loved attractions, drawing in thousands of visitors each year who want to explore the fascinating depths of the ocean and everything it has to offer.

Sprawling out across 2300km of coastline along the length of Queensland, the reef is a haven of ecology just waiting to be discovered. There are numerous adventurous pursuits on hand, whether you want to take a cruise to enjoy the smattering of islands and reefs whilst keeping dry, or want to immerse yourself in the underwater world. GB michael

The reef is ideal for all different kinds of visitors. You don’t have to be a pro diver to dig deep into its depths, and there are plenty of places you can take your very first dive if you’re a complete novice. 

Once beneath the water’s surface, you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with a mesmerising array of sea creatures, including ancient turtles, vibrant fish, and whales, dolphins, sharks, and dugongs. It really is a magnificent experience that should be done by everyone in the region – so don’t panic if you’re new to diving.

In actual fact, the excellent selection of reefs that vary in depth and size mean the Great Barrier Reef is an ideal place to learn to dive or to go for easy dives if you’re a beginner. The opportunity brings a hearty dose of adventure to your trip and gives you the chance to learn more about the unique biodiversity of the region and get up close and personal with some of its residents.

Diving green turtleBeginner Dives in the Great Barrier Reef

The thought of dipping your toes into the great expanse of ocean that the Great Barrier Reef encapsulates can be a scary thought, let alone immersing yourself completely and relying on an oxygen pack to keep things going.

But you shouldn’t let your fears hold you back from enjoying one of the most incredible experiences in the world.

Breathing underwater is unnatural, so it makes sense that it’s a terrifying concept, but all beginner dives will thoroughly show you the ropes before you begin. You’ll be alongside really experienced divers throughout every step of the trip, and you’ll be shown safety instructions as well as what gear you’ll be wearing and what it does. diving michael

On most beginner dives, you’ll have the chance to dip below the surface more than once as you become more and more confident in your equipment and your ability.

With each dive, you’ll get to see more and more, too. As you relax and soak up the beauty of the underwater world, you’ll start to spot different species as they flit around you in the dappled water.

Tourism and Conservation of the Great Barrier Reef

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The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most impressive natural wonders in the world. Sprawling out for 2,300km along the Australian coastline, it brings together an eclectic mix of coral and marine life. It is now a World and National Heritage site, with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 overseeing all the activities that take place in the area.

So Why is the Great Barrier Reef So Important?marinebiology

Coral reefs are vitally important for a number of reasons. Not only are they incredibly diverse, providing ideal living environments for both endangered and non-endangered creatures, but they also act as protection against the damaging effects of waves and storms on coastlines. 

In addition, they are the source of food for millions of creatures and provide jobs for numerous different people.

What’s Happening to the Corals?

Like with any natural resource, the Great Barrier Reef faces some threats, including the degradation by a number of factors, including overfishing, pollution, and outbreaks of predatory species. The constant threats that loom over it means that the area has a considerable amount of conservation efforts in place.

Conservation in the GreaNemot Barrier Reef

The groups protecting the reef all have one main aim – to protect and manage the ecosystem for future generations. On average, the Australian and Queensland governments invest around $200 million annually into the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

There are a number of things the government and other groups are doing to protect the reef, including the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, which regularly reviews the state of conservation on the reef.
Tourism and Conservation in the Great Barrier Reef

Because of its world-famous status, the Great Barrier Reef is an incredibly popular tourist hotspot. But, though it might seem like tourism is a bad thing for such a delicate natural region, it actually might be helping the conservation efforts.marine biology

You see, only 7% of the Great Barrier Reef is open for tourism – a miniscule amount compared to the seemingly never-ending length of it. Many of the boats that take tourists out are part of the conservation efforts. They are actively engaged in reporting changes to government bodies and relevant scientists so the efforts are constantly kept up to date.

Tourism is such a huge part of the Great Barrier Reef and it will continue to be so, especially now that everyone is coming together to protect and maintain the natural beauty of this impressive world wonder.

Snorkelling and diving the Great Barrier Reef

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GB michaelExploring the magnificent Great Barrier Reef is on the top of many traveller’s to-do lists when they visit Australia. Getting below the surface of the water and discovering the dizzying array of marine life that lives beneath is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The reef is the perfect place for experienced divers and complete beginners, offering up some of the best ocean views in the world. There are plenty of places to learn how to dive if you’re a newbie, as well as some incredible dive spots for the more experienced diver.

There really is something for everyone, whether you’re looking for calm, protected spots that flank paradise islands, or outer reefs that offer up rarer marine life and deeper exploration points for more experienced visitors. All of the sites in the Great Barrier Reef can be reached by boat, which you can pick up from around the coast of Australia in numerous different spots.

Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef snorkeling michael

The sites in the Great Barrier Reef are shallow enough so that you can easily explore everything below the water’s surface. The water in these parts is pleasantly warm and ideal for novices.
There are plenty of companies that run snorkelling expeditions from the main towns along the coasts, each of which will show you the ropes with the equipment and brief you on where to go and what to see.

diving michaelDiving in the Great Barrier Reef

Likewise, there are numerous companies that will give you an introduction into diving, so if you’re new to the activity you’ll be able to pick it up quickly.

The Marine Life in the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is home to some incredibly exotic marine life, much of which can only be found in this part of the world. While below the water’s surface, you might be able to spot one of the six species of turtle that live in the reef, as well as dolphins, whales, and porpoises. There’s also the chance to spot dugongs, sharks, and colourful exotic fish that weave in and out of the pretty corals. When it comes to corals, there are more than 400 species of both soft and hard coral, giving you plenty to discover and learn about while you are scuba diving or diving in the reef.

This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will expose you to the mesmerising underwater world that characterises this part of the world.

The Corals of the Great Barrier Reef

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The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders and is a firm favourite attraction amongst visitors to the country. Made up of thousands of tiny islands and coral reefs, it boasts a unique ecosystem like nowhere else in the world. Great Barrier Reef Michael

There is a huge array of coral that lives in the reef, which help form the many bright and beautiful colours that make the region so majestic. There are around 600 different types of coral, all of which vary in size, shape, and colour.

Many people believe that corals are plants, but they are in fact colonies of very small animals known as coral polyps. These creatures are closely related to the jellyfish and come in two main types – hard and soft coral. corals michael

Hard Coral

The hard corals form the sturdy building blocks of the Reef and come about when the colonies of coral polyps start growing limestone skeletons in order to support themselves. The hard coral formations consist of thousands or millions of individual coral polyps, each of which have six smooth tentacles.

Soft Coral

The other type of corals are the soft corals, which are more flexible than the hard coral because they don’t have the limestone skeleton. These are the corals that are often mistaken for plants. Instead of six tentacles, this variety of coral has eight, which look feathery in appearance. It is the soft corals that come in vibrant colours, many of which are bright pink and mauve, and they form the home for numerous other marine species, like fish, prawns, and sea slugs. To ward off any predators, soft corals produce chemicals that acts as poison and grow spiky spicules which aren’t dissimilar to thorns on a rose.

The Feeding Habits of Coral hard corals Michael

Corals get their food from a variety of different places. For the most part, the use the sun to make food, but they also eat plankton – tiny little animals and plants that float around in the water. Some types of coral also eat very small species of fish. In order to catch their prey, they use their tentacles to paralyse the creature they’re hunting.

Coral makes up a hugely important part of the Great Barrier Reef. Not only do they have a fascinating existence themselves, but they also provide the perfect habitat for some of the region’s best-loved marine life. By scuba diving or snorkelling, you can get up close and personal with this living, breathing ecosystem and learn more about it.

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling at Norman Reef

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norman reef IThe Great Barrier Reef is one of the best dive sites in the entire world, encompassing hundreds of reefs that each offer a unique collection of marine life and underwater sights.

Norman Reef can be found 70 kilometres from the coastline and sits right on the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef where it meets the continental shelf. Because of its close proximity to the ocean, it offers some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the area. It’s characterised by its shimmering turquoise waters and amazing visibility that can reach up to 30 metres.

Snorkelling at Norman Reef

Norman ReefNorman Reef is a hugely popular snorkelling destination thanks to its abundance of marine life and clear waters. There are many shallow observation points where you can get up close and personal with the colourful corals and numerous fish species. Expect to see garden moray eels in the sandy patches of the reef and, if you’re lucky, you might get to swim alongside Barney, the resident Napoleon Maori Wrasse.

Scuba Diving at Norman Reef

Scuba divers have full access to the colourful goings-on in Norman Reef. As well as exploring underwater canyons home to unique species of fish, like oriental sweetlips, you can also discover various swim throughs and caves boasting breath-taking natural architecture. You can venture 30 metres below the water’s surface to really get to grips with everything the reef has to offer.

norman reef IIIThe Different Dive Sites at Norman Reef

There are a number of different dive sites that make up Norman Reef, each of which offers its own unique sights. There’s the Ski Slopes Mooring, which features a sandy bay flanked by colourful coral, the Caves Mooring, where you can explore the quirky caves, and the Fingers Mooring, where you can discover a shallow reef with a steep drop off.

There are also plenty of places where you can dive at night, as Norman Reef is one of the liveliest spots after dark. Here, you can marvel at the huge schools of giant trevally and grey whaler sharks as they come out to play after the sun sets. If night diving isn’t your thing, you can always watch from the boat as white tip reef sharks and red bass circle the waters below you.

Exploring the Great Barrier Reef is a must-do for anyone visiting Australia. At Norman Reef, you can get a taste for everything this incredible natural wonder has to offer, including stunningly clear waters, colourful corals, and an exceptional display of marine life.


Glass Bottom Boat - A window into The Great Barrier Reef

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glass bottom boat tourAustralia is well-known for a number of things, but few are comparable to the Great Barrier Reef off the country’s east coast. Covering a total area of 344 000 km², this majestic reef is the world’s largest living organism. To help you to better wrap your head around this, you can see the Great Barrier Reef from space.

There are a number of excellent reasons to visit this phenomenal destination. You may want to snorkel above the colourful underwater world, swim in the ocean or even surf on the rolling waves. Whatever you decide to do, you’re sure to be awe-struck by the staggering beauty of the Great Barrier Reef! You may, however, prefer not to get wet. Fortunately, this does not mean that you won’t have the chance to explore this magnificent coastline and all that it has to offer beneath the surface. You will have the chance to book a glass bottom boat tour, which will provide you with a window into this watery wonderland.

glass bottom boat toursThe first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the Great Barrier Reef is the colourful coral. While most people may view this coral from up close, kitted out with scuba equipment, it can often take away from the beauty of taking a step back and seeing the reef as a whole. The magical tapestry of colour that is laid out before you aboard the glass bottom boat is absolutely breathtaking. The experience is further enhanced by the comfort of the boat, with your soft seat facing the window on the floor allowing you to sit, and peer curiously into the thriving waters. If you realise during your trip that you would, in fact, like to jump into the crystal clear water and get a closer look, you’re in luck! The glass bottom boat tours anchor and give you a chance to slip on some goggles and snorkels and take the plunge above this incredible reef.

Green TurtleAs if the beautiful coral wasn’t enough to hold your attention, these waters are also filled to the brim with marine life of all shapes and sizes. With a total of 1625 different species of fish, the Great Barrier Reef is certainly the perfect place to view schools of exotic fish. Gliding effortlessly through these schools of fish you will often spot a marine turtle. These splendid creatures display a remarkable beauty and grace as they cruise through the clear water. Dolphins and whales are also commonly spotted off the coast of Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef, not to mention several species of sharks and rays as well! One of the most significant inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef that you may have the good fortune of viewing is the dugong. This reef is home to one of the world’s most important dugong populations, and since it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these are very well protected.

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is an experience that everyone should have in their lifetime. It is undoubtedly the world’s most spectacular reef, and it deserves its place amongst the 6 other wonders of the world. To view this phenomenal reef from the comfort of a glass bottom boat makes for a truly unforgettable trip to the Great Barrier Reef.


Diving and Snorkelling at Hastings Reef

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Hastings Reef IAs one of the most incredible natural wonders in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is filled with colourful marine life and an expansive array of landscapes to explore, from paradise islands to ancient coral cays that bask beneath turquoise waters.

Hastings Reef is one of the more popular reefs in the area and sits around 30 nautical miles outside of bustling Cairns. It is thought it was created during the last ice age, which took place around 15,000 years ago, and it’s where the Australian coastline once sat.

This region on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef is the preferred location for corals, where they can thrive away from the outlets of rivers and streams.

Hastings Reef IIThe reef itself is a typical outer reef, with deep ocean swells that break against the reef wall. It is shallow on top, with sheer sides that drop away into the surrounding water – the perfect place to explore the incredible wonders of the outer reef.

Diving and Snorkelling at Hastings Reef
To explore everything Hastings Reef has to offer, you’ll want to dip beneath the water’s surface and discover the vibrant marine life. As well as colourful corals in all shapes and sizes, the reef is filled with a selection of stunning creatures that can only be found in this part of the world.

Hastings Reef is a well-loved snorkelling and diving hotspot thanks to its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. This means the water is incredibly clear and the visibility is good, plus there are plenty of unique coral formations to explore as the reef peters out into the sea.

Hastings Reef IIIKeep your eyes peeled for coral caves, overhangs, and deep water drop offs that highlight just how magical this natural wonder is. Elsewhere, you can swim past shallow coral bays and canyons before swimming alongside some of the area’s best-loved marine life.

There are plenty of fish to spot, including parrot fish, butterfly fish, and rabbit fish, as well as other creatures like giant turtles, clams and other shellfish, and, of course, there will be a number of opportunities for you to find Nemo.

Every trip to the Great Barrier Reef is a unique one, and exploring everything Hastings Reef has to offer gives you the chance to see just how diverse this natural wonder is. As well as quirky marine life, you’ll get to see a unique selection of coral formations like nowhere else in the world.

Exploring The Wild and Mesmerising Outer Reef

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breaking patches Great barrier ReefThe Great Barrier Reef is one of the most incredible natural wonders in the world. Sprawled throughout its length, there are a huge number of colourful reefs, each one boasting its own unique set of marine life and scenery.

You might have heard people talk about the Outer Reef before. This is where the Great Barrier Reef meets the big ocean – basically it’s the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Here, the swells roll in after building for a whopping 14,000km and where the reef drops away from 40m to a deep and slightly terrifying 2,000m.

From the Outer Reef, you can check out the beautiful landscape that characterises the area, with a smattering of small, paradise islands perfect for exploring.

Great Barrier Reef SnorkellingTo get to the Outer Reef, you can travel by catamaran for a more adventurous trip, or on a bigger cruise vessel that will give you a more relaxed viewing experience. Once you get there, you’ll be greeted by a number of anchored reef pontoons that are great starting points for diving and snorkelling. From Cairns alone there are hundreds of different boats and vessels waiting to take you out into this part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Things to Do in the Outer Reef

Upon arrival at the Outer Reef, you’ll have the chance to explore everything on offer. From the anchored pontoons, you can dive into the ocean and discover the mesmerising underwater world. Here, you can swim amongst colourful sea creatures, big and small, and learn more about the ecosystem that makes this part of the world so incredible.

You can also visit Agincourt Reef, one of the most popular reefs in this area. The reef hosts rich coral gardens and a diverse collection of marine life.

green sea turtle 1600x1200As well as discovering the reef and its offerings for yourself, you can also listen to a presentation from a marine biologist, take part in one of the twice-daily fish feedings, head out on a semi-submersible boat tour, and take an underwater observatory viewing.

Getting to know the history and diverse ecology of the Outer Reef is one of the most fascinating things to do while you’re there. Learn about the unique set of sea creatures that call it home, and discover quirky facts about the corals and their surroundings.

The Outer Reef is one of the wildest parts of the Great Barrier Reef, making it the perfect place to explore while you’re in the region.

Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef

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scuba divingVisiting the Great Barrier Reef? Want to get up close and personal with the mesmerising marine life that characterises the area?

If you are a pro scuba diver, the Great Barrier Reef offers some of the best diving spots in the world. But, even if you’re a total beginner, you can still experience this fascinating natural wonder. In fact, the reef is the perfect place to learn to scuba dive, thanks to its eclectic selection of sea creatures and its amazing array of islands and dive spots.

All along the length of the Great Barrier Reef, there plenty of calm, protected shallow spots perfect for beginners. In these spots, you can get used to your equipment and start exploring what the underwater world has to offer. As you head further into the outer reef, the dive spots get deeper, making them perfect for more experienced divers who are looking for more of a challenge.

scuba diving2You can reach most of the sites by boat, and there are numerous tours that depart from Cairns and other surrounding cities and towns throughout the day.

The best part about scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef is that you’re never more than one hour away from an incredible diving spot – like Hastings Reef and Breaking Patches.

The Sea Life in the Great Barrier Reef
Aside from it being one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders (it’s so impressive it can be seen from space), the Great Barrier Reef is a haven of marine life. Here, you can get up close and personal with vibrant fish species, friendly sharks, ancient turtles, and other native creatures.

scuba diving3As well as seeing them in their beautiful natural habitat, you’ll have the chance to learn more about their surroundings, their behaviour, and their history in the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is, without a doubt, one of the best places to scuba dive in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned pro and want a new challenge, or whether you’re a complete beginner looking to try your hand underwater for the first time, there is a dive spot that’s perfect for you. No trip to Australia would be complete without the chance to see this magical natural wonder in person and explore everything it has to offer.

The Marine Biology of the Great Barrier Reef

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marinebiologyThe Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest marine protected area and is home to thousands and thousands of marine creatures, including 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of coral, 500 species of seaweed, and 215 species of bird amongst other things. The Marine Park surrounding the Great Barrier Reef was founded in 1975, and today remains a stalwart part of protecting the region and its inhabitants – no easy feat when it stretches for more than 2,300 kilometres along Australia’s coastline.

There are more than 2,900 individual reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef, each of which boasts its own selection of corals, fish species, and other marine life, making the region one of the most vibrant, diverse underwater landscapes in the world. Nemo

Why Coral Reefs Are Important
Corals reefs are important for a number of reasons. Not only do they provide a home and a natural habitat for thousands and thousands of sea creatures, but they also protect coastlines from waves and tropical storms.

The Great Barrier Reef – and Australia in general – forms a very active part of Marine Biology education and conservation, with hundreds of different projects taking place to continuously protect the coastline, the corals, and the creatures that live in them. With more than 4,000 types of fish in the waters around Australia and 58 seagrass species, there is a lot at stake, meaning the ocean surrounding Australia (including the Great Barrier Reef) needs to be carefully managed and protected.

Projects That Study the Marine Biology of the Great Barrier Reef
There are numerous companies and non-profits that dedicate themselves to researching and conserving the waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the creatures that live there. The Australian Marine Conservation Society is one such organisation. As the leading non-profit of its kind in the country, it promotes the study and conservation of all aquatic life in Australia and the Great Barrier Reef to the general public, and influences decision makers through consistent research and scientific facts drawn from studies.

Turtle GBRThe Great Barrier Marine Park Authority solely focuses on the water and marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. It acts as the principal advisor to the government about the goings-on in the Reef and provides protection and conservation to the diverse selection of species that live there.

The marine biology of the Great Barrier Reef is diverse and constantly changing, meaning conservation efforts consistently have to be updated and observed in order to make sure this stunning natural wonder keeps providing the perfect habitat for its thousands of sea creatures.

Getting to Know the Climate and Seasons of the Great Barrier Reef

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GBR skyviewAs one of Australia’s most beloved landmarks, the Great Barrier Reef draws in millions of visitors every year from all over the world. If you’re one of these visitors, you might be wondering when the best time to visit this natural wonder is.

Because the Reef boasts a tropical climate, you’ll find that it’s relatively warm throughout the year – most corals can’t survive in waters below 18 degrees Celsius. In summer, the region boasts temperatures between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius, while winter temperatures can drop to between 14 and 26 degrees.

The important thing to note is that, because it’s a wet tropic climate, the Great Barrier Reef only sees two seasons each year, the Green season and the Dry season.

hasting 3The Green Season

The Green season takes place during the summer months and tends to begin in November and stretch through to March. During this time, the reef experiences monsoonal rains - between 75% and 90% of the region’s rainfall takes place during this time.

Bear in mind that the region as a whole sees 300 days of sunshine a year, so even though you might be travelling in the Green season, it will still be warm and you’ll still need to take precautions to avoid sun burn and damage.

During the Green season, the native box jellyfish come out to play in the waters just off the coast. They tend to stick around from October until May, so look out for netted areas on the beach to swim in or ask about the local conditions before you get in the water unattended.

The Dry Season

The Dry season takes place during Australia’s winter months – between May and October. At this time, you can expect plenty of sunshine, low humidity levels, and cool breezes that sweep along the coast.

breaking patchesThis is the most popular time to swim in the region, when the water is pleasant and the box jellyfish aren’t around. You can expect the water to be a warm 23 degrees in the Dry season – perfect for taking a leisurely dip and exploring the local scenery.

Remember, though, that the Great Barrier Reef is huge, and the different points along its length bring different climates and weather conditions to visitors at different points throughout the year. The further north you go, you’ll see less variation in temperature throughout the year, for example. Be sure to check the weather forecast and climate conditions at the time of your visit.