Best Time of Year to Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, Australia?

by Jeff
(Salt Lake City )

I am getting mixed advice about the best time of year to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. Some say April/May, some say September/October. Opinions please...

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Apr 18, 2016
We went in March 2016
by: Gerald

We just got back from a trip there last month (March). I think It's a good time to go. The water was very warm. We had to wear stinger suits but did not mind as they kept us from getting sunburned.

Here is a link to the pictures from our trip.

Apr 20, 2016
by: Jeff

Thanks for input Gerald. Nice pix!!

May 29, 2016
by: Anonymous

Gerald, where exactly were you snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef?

Jeff, where are you planning to go?

May 29, 2016
by: Jeff

Due to reports of bleaching in north we're thinking central to south reef and specifically Heron Island, at least for a week.

Mar 12, 2017
Lady Elliot Island - South Great Barrier Reef in March
by: Jackie

We have just returned from a week on Lady Elliot Island (only accessible by light aircraft from Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Redcliffe in Brisbane or Coolangatta on the Gold Coast).

Lady Elliot Island is at the southern most tip of the Great Barrier Reef and has not suffered from coral bleaching and has no stingers. It is a laid back rustic eco-resort. Water was 27°C. The lagoon is tidal and swimming or snorkeling is only possible about 2.5 hours either side of high tide.

Our summer is also our cyclone season so the weather could have been horrendous, but it was perfect. Traditionally our winter is more likely to be fine and sunny, but no guarantees anymore. Manta season at Lady Elliot Island is our winter when the water is about 19°C.

Mar 12, 2017
Thanks for Lady Elliot Info
by: Jeff

Jackie, sounds wonderful. We are booked there this October. Can't wait.

Feb 06, 2018
Snorkeling in November, Port Douglas?
by: Alexandra

Hello! Is it a good time to snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef in November? And Is Port Douglas a great location for snorkeling? Thank you!

Apr 02, 2018
Snorkeled GBR (Port Douglas) June 2017
by: Tara J

I snorkeled with Wavelength Cruises from Port Douglas in June 2017 and it was outstanding. Water was 26°C, no stinger suit or wet suit needed. Visibility was great. I even saw Humpback Whales on the way out to the reef. I believe they took us out to Opal Reef.

I highly recommend visiting tropical north Queensland in June! Especially Port Douglas & Palm Cove area.

Oct 31, 2019
Is it worth snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in February?
by: Eva

I understand that February is rainy season at the Great Barrier Reef. Will that hamper the snorkeling experience? Should I wait for another year when I can see the Great Barrier Reef a different month of the year? I may not return to this part of the world a second time; I want a great experience.

Is it possible that I will be "rained out" and not able to snorkel at all? Is it safe to snorkel in the rain? Is it allowed?

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