When to Visit Tropical North Queensland and The Whitsundays

Heart Reef in the Whitsundays, Australia
Heart Reef, Whitsundays

Tropical North Queensland and The Whitsundays by season

Perennially sunny Queensland is blessed with a tropical climate, splitting the year into a hot, humid wet season and a warm, dry season. The average daytime temperature rarely drops below 20°C, even in the height of so-called “winter”, making Queensland’s beaches a popular spot to soak up some rays at any time of year. Here’s our guide to the best time of year to visit, split by season:

Whitehaven Beach
Dry Season

May - October

The most popular time to visit Queensland’s tropics, the dry season is a delightful time filled with warm, sunny days and cooler evenings. The water hovers around the 25°C mark, the perfect temperature for swimming and snorkelling. All roads are open in the dry season, with Cape Tribulation fully accessible, and it’s also a lovely time to simply laze on Queensland’s glorious white sand beaches.

Go for:

Great Barrier Reef: the dry season is the ideal time to dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. The water is warm, visibility is good and there are few jellyfish about. Enjoy!

Whale watching: join a whale watching tour in Cairns and look out for minke and humpback whales, which pass by between July and September.

Barron Falls
Wet Season

November - April

Hot and humid, with sticky days building up to dramatic evening thunderstorms, the wet season is a time for sun-seekers and heat-lovers. The Daintree’s waterfalls may be thundering and the rivers in full flow, but come prepared: non-tarred roads may be flooded and temperatures shoot well above 30°C, rarely dropping below 20°C, even at night.

Go for:

Turtles: turtles start to nest on Queensland’s beaches in February. Keep an eye out for them along the coast or take a trip to one of the more remote islands to spot them hatching.

New Year’s Eve: the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach is a popular place for Australians to celebrate the New Year with fireworks on the beach and parties taking place at many of the resorts.

Top Tropical North Queensland and The Whitsundays Journeys

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Round the World Expert Rachel Graves

In addition to the reef, I recommend taking a full day trip into Daintree National Park. It's such a unique part of the world! The park also has a river which you can cruise along and see crocodiles as well.

- Rachel Graves, Expert
Rachel Graves scuba diving

Our Expert Rachel Graves mingling with some of the locals on the Great Barrier Reef #expertfinds #greatbarrierreef #queensland #thisisqueensland