Dive & Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef All Year Round

Dive & Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef All Year Round

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 07/10/2015

Reading time: 3 mins

Exploring 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 and beginner divers, 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. Plus 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. Join a diving tour from one of the coastal towns along the reef for a fantastic day in the water.


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 snorkelling expeditions from the main towns along the coasts. Each will show you the ropes with the equipment and brief you on where to go and what to see.


Likewise, there are numerous tours that will give you an introduction into diving. If you’re new to the activity you’ll be able to pick it up quickly, it’s easier than it looks! Diving is a fantastic experience, but can be a daunting prospect for first timers. Learn all about this awesome adventure here, and get a peak into what to expect on your diving expedition!

When to go

Depending on the months, there are plenty of creatures in the ocean to see. For instance, the raining season or ‘summer and autumn months’ are during December to May and the dry season falling in-between May to November. During the wet season, there are a variety of reefs, fish, and even sharks are around to view. In February, turtles start hatching and newborns are sometimes seen in the water! You might even get lucky and be taken to the remote wilderness during these months to witness some of the best marine life in the Great Barrier Reef.

From March on, conditions increasingly get better, allowing you to view more species of fish, coral, sharks, and even whales. One of the best features of Great Barrier Reef snorkelling or diving in any season are the dolphins. They are around all year long to say hi and swim alongside your boat or with you in the water.

July brings out one of the most popular fish in the world, the True Nemo. The water is the clearest, and the most populated with tourists and divers. Manta Rays are also seen during the month of July, swimming in close proximity to divers, giving you a rare experience you won’t forget.

But the best month of all is August. The biggest activity in the entire year is balled up into this one month with Humpback Whales, hundreds of fish, and the Magical Migaloo, the world’s only all-white Humpback Whale makes its return to the Great Barrier Reef.

All-in-all, depending on what sea creatures you’re wanting to see up close, it pays to visit the Great Barrier Reef at any month. Your only choice now is whether to go Great Barrier Reef scuba diving or snorkelling.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.