Tucked away in the Cape Range National Park near Exmouth in Western Australia, Ningaloo Reef experiences warm weather all year round. It promises an epic adventure for snorkelers, divers and nature lovers thanks to its rich waters filled with colourful coral reefs and an abundance of marine life.

What is the best time to visit Ningaloo Reef?

In terms of weather, you can visit Ningaloo Reef all year round, however, some months are better for seeing certain species of wildlife. To see whale sharks, you’ll need to go between mid-March and July, humpback whales arrive from June, Manta Rays in April and turtle hatchlings from February to March.

What is the weather like in Ningaloo Reef?

With about 320 days of sunshine every year and average annual rainfall of less than 250mm, you can visit the Ningaloo Reef region all year round. Most rainfall is in February and March, and even in the coolest months, daytime highs are a warm 24°C. We dare say the weather is almost always guaranteed to be on your side. November through February are the hottest months with temperatures often exceeding 35°C. It can also feel very humid, so if you don't cope with hot and sweaty weather too well, the cooler months might suit you better. Thanks to its location along the East Indian Ocean, water temperatures are mild to warm all year round. Water temperatures in summer hover around 25-28°C, while in winter it's just under 22°C. 

If you want to make the most of Ningaloo Reef and the wildlife that live here, you might want to consider visiting during the winter months between May and September. The weather is great, heaps of wildlife are migrating along the coast and the crowds are smaller. The busiest time to come is during the school holidays in late March/early April and July. It's still gorgeous, but it's super busy and can be more difficult to find accommodation, book tours and get a table in a restaurant. If you go during these months just make sure you plan your trip ahead of time.

Average temperatures in Coral Bay




March to May



June to August



September to November



December to February




When is the best time to snorkel Ningaloo Reef?

Ningaloo Reef has something special to offer no matter when you go. But of course, you’re here to see marine life and not just have a nice dip in the ocean. To see whale sharks, you’ll need to go between mid-March and July as this is when these gentle giants migrate in search of krill and plankton. However, it’s possible to see whale sharks up to late August depending on the season. 

From April, majestic manta rays are the new kids on the block - hundreds of them to be precise! Watching them elegantly glide through the ocean is a sign to behold. Humpback whales arrive from June and if you’re really lucky you might spot all three species. 

Turtle mating season is in November through March when Loggerhead, Green, Flatback and Hawksbill turtles mate before making the strenuous journey ashore to make nests and lay their eggs. Turtle eggs hatch around 40-60 days after they’ve been laid with February and March seeing the most hatchings. 

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