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Best month to visit Whitsundays and Reef

Cleveland, Ohio
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9 posts
178 reviews
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Best month to visit Whitsundays and Reef

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?

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Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia
Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
Queensland, Australia
California
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39,377 posts
122 reviews
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1. Re: Best month to visit Whitsundays and Reef

The experts can tell you better but our family has done a lot of research on sailing The Whitsundays and we found the fall is the best time. We really wanted to take our kids last July but after reading TA, travel books and talking to friends who have sailed, they all told us the water temp and outside temps are colder in July and August. The seasons are the opposite from ours.

As far as the "wetsuits" do you mean stinger suits? It is common for people to wear these because of the jelly fish and you can bring your own, rent them there or the tour operators provide them. After reading the advice on TA we have decided not to bring ours but to buy or rent them when we arrive.

I hope this helps a little and the experts for this region can educate us all further.

Cairns, Australia
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2,838 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: Best month to visit Whitsundays and Reef

September is better than July. October, November and early December even better again. Beaches are closed November to May for marine stinger season so those that want to combine beach and reef prefer to come before November. (though read the Whitsunday starts stinger season October, check internet not always reliable). This is between the trade wind and monsoon seasons. July weather can be nice but like today if overcast and windy can be chilly as well.

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Whitsunday Islands
Whitsunday Islands
Queensland, Australia
3. Re: Best month to visit Whitsundays and Reef

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Removed on: 22 January 2010, 05:17