When’s the best time to snorkel in Great Barrier Reef

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. The wet season is between October and April,
  2. The dry season is from May to September.

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!

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.

 

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