Great Barrier Reef Weather

"Great Barrier Reef Weather - Try and Come in the Dry Season!"

Most overseas visitors come to Australia during the cold months of the northern hemisphere winter i.e. the warm Summer Months of Australia between October and April. Sadly this is the wrong time for the Great Barrier Reef

It's perfect for the Aussies though wanting to escape the relatively "cold" winter months as between May and October tropical north Queensland is at its best - 25 degrees, not too humid and very little rain.

Clearly you can still visit the Reef between October and April - but read on to find out more....

Great Barrier Reef Weather - Temp & Rainfall

Here is the weather for Cairns Australia - the tourist hub for the Great Barrier Reef. As you can see - there are two distinct seasons, the wet season and the dry season.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Mean Maximum Temp 31.8 31.3 30.5 29.2 27.4 25.9 25.5 26.3 28 29.7 30.7 31.8
Mean Minimum Temp23.423.322.621.118.917.316.316.317.819.721.322.7
Mean Rainfall mm419.3422.4459.6263.8110.572.539.141.743.550.197.9202.9

Here is the table for the Whitsundays Australia - another great access point for the Reef. Still two distinct seasons but tends to be less dramatic than Cairns.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Mean Maximum Temp 30.6 30.3 29.6 28.4 26 23.4 23.0 24.2 25.9 27.5 29.69 30.5
Mean Minimum Temp24.924.924.122.720.417.216.717.419.221.323.424.5
Mean Rainfall mm212294229137.1119.853.336.725.716.737.458.7114.4

What To Expect During The Rainy Season (Australia Summer)

Firstly, you could be lucky and experience no rain but you should plan for rain and lots of it - The Great Barrier Reef Weather really is interesting.

We went in April and it rained hard for the entire time we were there. The 1.5 hour crossing out to the pontoon to see the reef was pretty rocky and I ended up feeling very sea-sick!!

Plus, when it rains a lot or is stormy the sediment on the bottom of the sea gets mixed up in the water making visibility poor. So when I went diving the water was very murky and it was harder to see the fishes.

But having said all that - it was still great. I still saw lots of coral and lots of different types of fish - big and small and overall I did enjoy it.

I have since been back during the dry season though and I have to say, the colours, the journey and the whole experience was much better.

But if this is your once in a life time trip to Oz and you don't think you'll be back then you HAVE to tick the Great Barrier Reef off your to do list.

So don't be put off but please be prepared for it not to be perfect!

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