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Want to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef? Unless you want to swim with the jellyfish, make sure you plan ahead. Here’s a guide on the weather surrounding the Great Barrier Reef, and when’s the best time of year to grab your snorkels and hit the waters.
Great Barrier Reef seasons
There are two seasons in the Great Barrier Reef area, wet and dry season.
1. Great Barrier Reef wet season
The rainy season in the Great Barrier Reef has high humidity and cloudy waters. Temperatures can be 30-40 degrees, with water temperatures of 32 degrees. Sounds ideal, if not for all the rain and storms!
You won’t find any problems booking snorkeling tours in the Great Barrier Reef during wet season, and they’ll often take you to sections of the reef where waters are calmer and clearer. That said, boat trips still often get cancelled due to storms, and visibility is nowhere near as good as in the dry season.
If you have no choice but to book your Great Barrier Reef trip in the rainy season it’s not all bad. It usually rains only in early mornings and at night, but beware of deadly box jellyfish!
2. Great Barrier Reef dry season
This is the best time to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, with cooler weather of about 25-degrees and water temperatures of 24-degrees. The best snorkeling can be done between June and October, with crystal clear waters that let you enjoy the reef at its fullest.
Beware that is the peak season though, so if you want to snorkel the reef with less crowds then shoot for April or May. Snorkeling is still great with good water conditions and temperatures, less crowds, but a little lower visibility.
Best time to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef:
Between June and October for the best visibility and great weather.
When to not snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef:
October to April when box jellyfish season is peaking!
Protip: Humpback whales migrate along the Queensland coastline during July and September, an exceptional sight if you catch it! You can also catch coral spawning once a year, after the October/November full moon.
Loved the complete set. I even used the waterproof phone pouch to take photos and videos underwater. It made my Fiji experience so much better than using the free snorkel set that hurt your face after 2hours and leaving a sun/mask mark. The ninja leaves no marks and gives great vision under water in comparison. It did take some getting used to but it definitely paid off! Only frustration is that the tightening straps are quite basic; they should be much simpler to loosen and tighten both in and out of water.” – Jock
So handy to know! Not keen on meeting a box jellyfish!
Man I’ve been looking for these for soo long!!!
I can’t wait to go to Cairns and do with my partner!
There is nothing quiet like snorkelling! I think its the sound for me, or the lack of! All you can here is fish making their noises, specially those parrot fish! It takes you out of your world for a moment and is so therapeutic!
I’m so keen to see more of Australia. Will be buying this mask for my partner’s bday gift and hoping to win one myself just in time for our next trip just after Christmas. Have previously seen parts of the reef with hired snorkel gear and it just doesn’t do the job! Can’t wait to try ninjashark!
Anytime is the best time to see this wonderful natural wonder of the world.
The Great Barrier Reef is one place I am wanting to go to very soon.
Snorkelling the great barrier reef was by far one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences I’ve had in my life so far.
I’m not overly a fan of the traditional snorkelling masks but we made it work.
I wish I had one of these masks as I have read so mny positive reviews with them and have seen others whilst on holidays using them and thought what a wonderful idea.
These masks truly would have made the experience better than it was just by the ease and simplicity these masks give.
I can’t wait for my kids to use these as I believe this will help them snorkel quicker and more confidently. They can focus on swimming rather than trying to breathe and wrestle with the traditional types.
Looks like I’ll just have to make another trip to the GBR with my new masks when I get them 😁 any excuse will do I reckon…
I can’t wait to get snorkelling. Getting the gear now for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree (I hope) in 2021.
Swimming with turtles is a must for me – been wanting to do this since I was a kid.
These tips you have in the blog are something I’d also love to experience so thank you for these.
‘Humpback whales migrate along the Queensland coastline during July and September, an exceptional sight if you catch it! You can also catch coral spawning once a year, after the October/November full moon.’
I can’t wait to start exploring the underwater world.
I will be buying one of these masks before our next reef visit. I really struggled trying to use a regular snorkel. I’m not a good swimmer and to struggle with breathing as well made the experience not as great as it could have been. I really want to see it all again without the hassle of trying to breath through my mouth and choking because I can’t. I also like the mounted camera, I had one attached to my wrist and it hit me in the head. Also no photos, more worried about my breathing and the constant emptying and refitting of my mask.
I cannot wait for the border restrictions to be lifted to finally explore the great barrier reef
I struggle to breathe with normal snorkel gear. Waiting to win the Ninja Shark snorkel package so I can snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef.
See the reef… before it disappears.
Thanks for the guide about when to head to the Great Barrier Reef. I’ve been before some years ago and though I struggled with the snorkeling gear, I rushed home and demanded my sister come with me next time (oh, there is going to be a next time!!). Work and life has gotten in the way, but this blog has reignited our desire to go. We’re planning for a trip next year (I’m thinking June as the water will be clear as crystals)!
I’ve snorkelled in the Great Barrier Reef back in November 2016 to celebrate my birthday. I went with just ordinary snorkelling gear. Didn’t really like breathing through my mouth using the mouthpiece and I gel uncomfortable with my nose all covered up with the snorkel mask. I felt I was suffocating. I ended up just using my goggles and held my breath as long as I could lol This year on my birth month, November, I’m heading out to the good old Great Barrier reef and hopefully I’ll get to enjoy it more with the ninjashark face mask. 😍 When I saw the ad for it on social media, I thought that this was a Godsend! Perfect solution to my snorkelling woes. I’ll get to finally breathe comfortably and enjoy viewing the marine life with all its glory. ❤️