I'm planning a trip next year to go to the Whitsundays and then up to Port Douglas, with the main purpose to visit a whole lot of the Great Barrier Reef. Right now it is looking most convenient for me to go in July. I see a lot of postings saying that June - October is best, but then when I look at average ambient & water temperatures, it seems pretty cold. Is there any reason *not* to go in July if my main reason for going is to snorkel the reef several times? Is September that much better?
I've noticed some comments about wearing wetsuits during this season, but I can't tell if that's common or not. Is it common for tour operators to provide wetsuits in this season, or should I be bringing my own? Is it even necessary?