What is the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef?

What is the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 10/17/2018

Reading time: 3 mins

It is no surprise the Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s most popular destination.

It is one of the seven wonders of the world, the largest living thing on earth, and is home to thousands of different species. Bringing over two million visitors each year to see this spectacular sight. You can see the Great Barrier Reef any time of the year but understanding the climate and seasons helps you make sure you enjoy those crystal-clear waters.

  • Wet or Dry Season

    Queensland’s weather is gorgeous year-round, with never a lapse in sunrays and hot days. Instead of the typical four seasons, the area instead has two distinct seasons. A winter season of warm temperatures and low rainfall running from May to October, as well as a summer period of mild temperatures and higher rainfall from November to March. Although both seasons offer great reef adventures, the wet season does have some obstacles. The rain reduces the visibility of the reef, turning the water from crystal clear to a murky blue. High chances of storms also create stronger currents, which may make reef spots hard or impossible to swim in. However, these are only minor issues and can be well worth it once you see the rainforests come to life during this time of year. With thriving plants and overflowing waterfalls scattering the area.

  • Jellyfish season

    Jellyfish Great Barrier Reef

    There are two types of stingers during the jellyfish season to watch out for, the Irukandji and the Box Jellyfish. The sizes, shapes, and reactions are both very different, but both causes serve to harm and sometimes even death. There isn’t a fixed date for the stinger season but is throughout the warmer months beginning in November to May. When travelling out to the deeper waters of the Great Barrier Reef, a stinger wetsuit is recommended. These are wetsuits that protect you from any jellyfish sting.

  • Migrating whales

    Migrating Whales

    A spectacular event in the Great Barrier Reef seas is the whale migration period. Witness one of the most unique experiences with marine life as you watch these whales taking the route along the Queensland coast for their breeding season. The famous humpback whales migrate between July and September whereas the Minke whales visit during May time.

  • Coral spawning

    Great Barrier Reef Coral Spawning

    The simultaneous mass spawning of corals is an unforgettable sight to see. Only done once a year after the full moon in November/December times. The corals along the Ocean floor will release their eggs and sperm into the water for fertilisation. This creates a stunning multi-coloured underwater snowfall effect, an incredible natural event well worth the visit.

Related article: Top 5 Things to Do in the Great Barrier Reef

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.