When to visit Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is a stunning natural playground that offers plenty of ways to explore. Whether snorkelling along its colourful coral reefs, sailing around idyllic islands or soaring above this spectacular ecosystem on a scenic flight, there is something for everyone here.

Just remember to leave the reef as you found it – this delicate ecosystem should be left intact for future generations.


With stunning picturesque beaches and a colourful marine wonderland beneath the waters the Great Barrier Reef is a bucket list item for many travellers. To get the most out of your experience you will want to visit at a time where the water is clear and the weather pleasant.

For this reason, May through October is considered the ‘green season’ when rain is minimal, water temperature is warm and our coastal cities are a hub of activity. It is also a great time to see migratory whales on specific Whale Watching tours.

If you’re not afraid of a little rain then the Australian summer (December, January and February) is also an option. It’s a great time to swim and snorkel with warm temperatures, tropical fish breeding and turtle hatching taking place. If you choose to join a liveaboard boat tour this is also the best time of year to see Manta Rays. This is due to the high numbers of mantas that gather in the calm coral sea after stinger season.


The spring months of October – April bring clear waters and balmy temperatures perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring. It is also when the coral reef’s colors are at their most vibrant and you can see more marine life.

However, these are the peak tourist seasons so prices for flights and accommodation will be a little higher. This is also when many of Australia’s waterfalls are at their most flowing, and the rainforests are at their lushest.

June – October is the driest season and also when the Great Barrier Reef experiences its highest levels of activity. It’s also when tropical fish are breeding and turtles are hatching, so the water is teeming with marine life. However, rain is still a possibility, and there are also fewer people in the water to dodge jellyfish.


One of the seven wonders of the world and an important ecological landmark, the Great Barrier Reef has made it to many travel bucket lists. The natural landscape encompasses an astounding 1,429 miles of the Australian coastline and is home to countless beautiful and breathtaking beaches, coral, and sea creatures.

The best time to visit the GBR is between June and October when the water conditions are exceptionally favourable with low chances of rainfall. However, this is also the peak season so expect a crowd of tourists and higher accommodation prices.

The period from November to April brings heavy tropical downpours and dangerous (for swimmers and divers) box jellyfish roaming in the waters. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to enjoy the beauty of the reef during these months. Just keep in mind that there are steps you can take to protect yourself against the venomous creatures.


The fall months, from May to October, offer beautiful conditions for visiting the Reef. Rainfall is minimal and the risk of deadly box jellyfish wanes.

This is the prime time for snorkelling and diving because the waters are clearest. It’s also peak season, so you can expect large crowds of visitors.

While the water might be a bit chilly for swimming, it’s still very pleasant to visit the Great Barrier Reef during this time.

Whether you’re booking a glass-bottom boat tour or a resort getaway on one of the many pristine islands that make up the Great Barrier Reef, this national and global treasure is worth a trip any time of year. Just be sure to book ahead to secure your spot and avoid the heaviest crowds. Plus, booking during the dry season will ensure you’re seeing the Reef at its most beautiful.