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Great Barrier Reef

Why You Should Go to the Great Barrier Reef in Winter

The Great Barrier Reef is a must-visit for travellers to Australia. Boasting hundreds of paradise islands and some of the best dive sites in the world, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to swim amongst the world’s most mesmerizing marine creatures.

The best way to reach the Great Barrier Reef is via Cairns, a tropical port city that boasts two distinct seasons – the “wet” season which runs from December to May, and the “dry” season, which runs from June to November (Australia’s winter).

During the dry season, the temperatures are much more bearable than in the wet summer months, and there is considerably less humidity. However, there are more visitors during this time – and for good reason. The dry season (or winter) is the perfect time to take a dive as the marine life really blossoms at this time of year.

Whether you’re taking your very first dive or are a seasoned pro, here’s what you can expect to see during a Great Barrier Reef tour during winter.

Minke Whales

In June, the start of the winter season, the cooler temperatures bring in the fascinating

Dwarf Minke whales who flock to the dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef. This is the only place on the planet where you can dive with these incredible creatures – but only between June and July when they are in the area.

Manta Rays

As July comes round, you can expect to catch a glimpse of some Manta Rays that make a beeline for the clearer waters of the Coral Sea.

Humpback Whales

During August, you might be lucky enough to see the mesmerizing Humpback whales that grace the area with their presence during this month. They often put on a show for the boat trips, slapping the water with their tails and breaching. This is the time the water is at its coolest, so the Humpback whales stick around until September before they return south with their calves. If you’re really lucky, you can see Migaloo, the world’s only completely white
Humpback whale – and incredible sight to behold!

Everything else…

Although these three creatures are amazing additions to the marine life on offer during the winter months, you’ll still be able to get amongst the selection of species that live in the Great Barrier Reef year round – creatures like ancient turtles, colourful fish species, and a fascinating collection of different corals.

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