How Warm is the Water at the Great Barrier Reef?

How Warm is the Water at the Great Barrier Reef?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/24/2024

Reading time: 2 mins

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s 20 extraordinary World Heritage sites.

The Great Barrier Reef is an iconic part of Australia and a major attraction that draws visitors from around the world. Approximately two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef each year to experience it as a bucket list item!

In tropical parts of Australia, it remains warm throughout the year, but the water temperature varies with the seasons. During the cooler months, water temperatures range between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius. In the warmer months, they range from 24 to 32 degrees Celsius.

What is the coral temperature range?

Coral can survive in water temperatures ranging between 20 and 29 degrees Celsius, but they thrive best between 23 and 26 degrees Celsius. Corals require warmer water and plenty of sunlight because they rely on symbiotic algae that live on them for nutrition.

When is the best time to visit the reef?

In terms of water temperature, it doesn’t really matter when you visit, as it usually doesn’t go below 24 degrees Celsius year round. However, the best time to visit is from May to October when underwater visibility is optimal.

During other times of the year, this part of Australia experiences heavy rainfall, which can occasionally cloud the water. There may also be storms and tropical cyclones that could disrupt activities.

Things to do on the reef

The most popular activities on the reef include snorkelling and scuba diving! Snorkelling is great for beginners and allows for a wonderful introduction to the reef. Scuba diving offers the chance to explore deeper waters and encounter turtles and other marine life.

On tours, you will receive instructions on how to use snorkelling or diving equipment before venturing out on your own.

Ready to see the Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is a breathtaking part of Australia and an amazing attraction to visit while in the country. Cairns is the best and closest city to the reef and the ideal starting point for daily tours. You can opt for the cruise deluxe tour that includes a complimentary dive and snorkel! Or you can spend the day out on the pontoon tour enjoying various activities such as swimming, snorkelling, diving, and more! A pontoon is perfect for the whole family, with activities for the kids and adults.

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.