Great Barrier Reef Weather & Ocean Temperatures

Located in tropical North Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef enjoys mild sunny weather year round. Part of the reason visitors flock to the region each year is for the sunshine, sea breezes, fine days and warm seas.

Unlike the typical four seasons experienced by most of the country, the Great Barrier Reef is divided by only two seasons however the two are quite distinct. Winter is known as the dry season and is characterised by warm temperatures and little rainfall while the summer season features higher temperatures and rainfall resulting in more humidity.

Winter occurs from May to October and enjoys plenty of sunshine, low humidity and cooling breezes while the summer wet season runs from November to April and features afternoon tropical showers and occasionally, electrical storms. During this time, the region experiences an average rainfall of approximately 168mm per month.

Swimming in tropical North Queensland is ideal throughout the year however the most popular swimming 'season' falls between April to October. The water is always pleasant with ocean temperatures ranging from 23 degrees Celsius in Winter and 29 degrees Celsius in summer.

From November to March, the waters in this region are inhabited by box jellyfish which can pose a threat to visitors. Special swimming enclosures are provided at popular beaches to protect swimmers.

The Bureau of Meteorology can provide up to the minute information on the weather on and around the Great Barrier Reef thanks to its National Meteorological Service.

Remember: Visitors wishing to swim at any of the beaches located on the Great Barrier Reef are advised to swim only at beaches patrolled by surf life savers and remain between the red and yellow flags at all times for their own safety. When out in the sun, it is also important to apply quality sunscreen regularly, wear a hat and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. This is particularly important for overseas visitors who aren't used to a warm or particularly sunny climate.