Winter on the Great Barrier Reef with Coral Expeditions
While winter temperatures make their presence felt around southern Australia, there is no better time to escape the cold and explore the magic of the Great Barrier Reef with Coral Expeditions.
Winter on the Reef, otherwise known as the dry season, is touted as the best time to visit with the chance to see wildlife that only appears during this time of year.
The Great Barrier Reef is a haven of turquoise waters, sand cays, deserted tropical islands, colourful coral gardens, ribbon reefs and tiny rainforest covered islands. With so much to see and do and its easy access, it makes for the ideal short break destination.
Here are five great reasons to see Great Barrier Reef in winter.
1. Have a whale of time
Winter in Australia also means it is whale-watching season. Dwarf Minke Whales travel through the Great Barrier Reef each winter, with most sightings during June and July. Coral Expeditions even spotted one as early as April last year.
Each year, the Humpback Whales make their journey to the warm waters of Queensland. These majestic creatures are renowned for swimming and breaching around the coastline of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
You may also get a chance to see the most famous whale on the Great Barrier Reef – Migaloo the White Humpback Whale.
2. Head to warmer grounds
The great thing is, it never really gets cold in North Queensland! Between May and October, the dry season brings less rainfall, low humidity and mild temperatures in the mid-20’s.
This also means the waters are clearer for better diving conditions and average water temperatures range between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius.
3. Plenty of marine life to see
The Great Barrier Reef houses some of the world’s most exquisite marine life including more than 400 different kinds of coral, molluscs, dolphins, over 1,500 species of tropical fish, 134 species of sharks and rays, six of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles, and over 120-year-old giant clams.
Manta rays can be seen throughout the year in Queensland but are most prevalent in the winter months around the Southern Great Barrier Reef as they can aggregate in their hundreds creating an amazing spectacle.
One of the reasons the Great Barrier Reef was given its World Heritage status was for the support of the planet’s most elusive marine animal, the dugong. The best to place to sight these creatures are in the mangroves of the Hinchinbrook Channel and the shallow coastal waters north of Cooktown.
4. Enjoy the smaller islands only accessible by small ship
Coral Expeditions’ longstanding history on the Reef means you will be taken far from the day tripping crowds or larger ships.
Think sunset drinks on the remote beaches of Lizard Island and Sudbury Cay, and snorkelling sessions around the pristine outer Ribbon Reefs where human encounters are rare. There is nothing more relaxing than waking up surrounded by the ocean at one of Coral Expeditions’ exclusive mooring sites.
5. Cruising with a purpose
With Coral Expeditions’ expert team of marine biologists and dive instructors, guests learn about the best ways to engage with the reef whilst they are visiting. Immersive experiences such as lectures and guided dives and snorkelling will educate guests about sustainability, deepen their understanding of the reef and all the different ways they can get involved in its future protection.
Coral Expeditions have been taking guests to the remote reaches of the Great Barrier Reef for 35 years. Coral Expeditions offers 3, 4 or 7-night immersive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef all year around, departing and returning to Cairns. On-board the Coral Expeditions II, there is a maximum of just 44 guests, so every sailing is an intimate affair.
To book please visit the website www.coralexpeditions.com or call 1800 079 545.