Great Barrier Reef Islands and beaches
Best weather to visit GBR islands is April-November with cooler temperatures and less rain
December-February is OK but hot, crowded and may see considerable clouds and rain January-March.
Best Scuba Diving: September-December, especially three days in November when coral releases sperm and eggs by the zillion, turning the water into a seething, snowing mass of love objects. Note that tragically the reef’s coral bleaching is getting worse so there’s less colour and shape to the coral, less marine life of all sorts and perhaps worse visibility. More of Great Barrier Reef condition
Boating is a popular way to explore these islands. The choice ranges from big catamarans through tall ships to racing yachts (maxis).
Consider your needs carefully and ask questions before committing yourself. e. g. Are there snorkel stops? Do they provide snorkel gear and stinger suits? How much time is spent travelling, how much parked? Is it really worth several hours of rough seas and well over $100 for a couple of hours on some fine sand?
Whatever, book at least a few days in advance or you may be disappointed.
Toxic Boxes patrol these waters October-May
. . . so swim with care, particularly if you have a delicate constitution. Stay inside stinger nets or wear a stinger suit – usually provided by your tour operator. See Jellyfish Stings page for full information on Box Jellies and Irukandji.