Wet Season or the Green Season as we like to call it is a special time of year in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. But with a name like Wet Season, it gets a bit of a bad rap! While a bit of rain might put some people off, we have plenty of reasons why summer is a great time of year to visit!
When is Wet Season?
Though the timing may vary slightly each year, the Wet Season typically runs over the summer months from November to March. During this time, the weather stays warm, the sun still shines (for most of the day), but a significant amount of rain can fall each day. And with the rain comes humidity.
The Wet Season is a vital part of the weather cycle here in Queensland as this is when the rainforest and wildlife are revitalised after the drier months. Incredible tones of green start to consume the Whitsunday Islands as the forests soak in the much-awaited rains and this provides an abundance of food for the wildlife.
The monthly rainfall during the wet season can be over 400mm, and while this may seem like a lot, one thing to keep in mind is that when the rain falls, the majority of it tends to fall fast and usually during the late afternoon or at night, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the warmth and sunshine of the day.
One of our favourite things about Wet Season is the Waterfalls! The Islands catch these heavy downpours and the rockfaces come alive with seasonal flows! They never last for long, but guests on board who get to experience these brief wonders are always blown away by the ever-changing environment that the Whitsundays have to offer.
Airlie Beach mainland experiences many waterfalls too. Cedar Creek is a summer favourite with both locals and tourists alike.
The rain brings plenty of activity in the animal kingdom too! With the annual natural wonder of coral spawning to the nesting and hatching of sea turtles, there are always incredible encounters to discover.
In the days after the October and November full moon, triggered by lunar and temperature cues, the Great Barrier Reef comes alive with the annual Coral Spawn, otherwise known as ‘sex on the reef’. By releasing millions of eggs and sperm simultaneously, the coral polyps of the reef reproduce in epic proportions! Once these bundles fertilise, they then face their biggest challenge in finding a suitable substrate for the larvae to develop hopefully growing into the future corals of the GBR. This amazing image captures by Johnny Gaskell shows this natural phenomenon in action.
Summer on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park means it’s turtle nesting season! 6 out of the 7 species of turtles call the Great Barrier Reef home, and from October to March, the female turtles will drag themselves up on the beaches to lay clutches of over 100 eggs. After 6-8 weeks of incubation in the warm sands, the hatchlings will emerge and make their dash to the open ocean. With the islands supporting hundreds of Beaches we see peak numbers of turtles at our snorkel sites throughout our summer months! So if you want too swim with turtles, Summer is your best chance of making that dream a reality.
The Rain in Wet Season is spectacular!
Here at Ocean Rafting, we don’t let the weather get in the way of a good time! Seeing these tropical downpours roll in is spectacular and in our opinion, the Ocean is the best place to appreciate these events.
So what happens if it rains on your tour?
We make the best of it of course!!
So don’t put off the trip of a lifetime because of a little rain! If you’re seeking fun and adventure then Ocean Rafting is the tour for you! Of course, if you are worried about the conditions our friendly crew are on hand through phone, email and social media leading up to your tour to answer any of your questions or concerns!
We hope to see you onboard Ocean Rafting whatever the weather soon!