Great Barrier Reef Sea Temperature

Looking to find out what the sea water temperature in Great Barrier Reef is for today and the next few days? Below are data and charts that will give you information about sea temperatures in Great Barrier Reef and nearby locations.

Water temperature in Great Barrier Reef right now

Below is the current sea temperature for Great Barrier Reef, Australia on 26th September 2023.

27.28° C

(81.1° F)

  • yesterday: 25.18° C (77.32° F)
  • a week ago: 25.32° C (77.58° F)

This water temperature is comparable to that of a swimming pool, but it might be higher than most open water swimmers prefer for serious swimming. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after swimming and don't wear a wetsuit to avoid overheating.

The average sea temperature for Great Barrier Reef on September 26th over the last 10 years is 25.59° C (78.06° F), with a low temperature of 24.08° C (75.34° F) and a high of 27.34° C (81.21° F).

Analysis and forecast for Great Barrier Reef water temperatures

The water temperature in Great Barrier Reef today is higher than the average temperature of 25.59° C (78.06° F) and the temperature on this day last year, 26th September 2022, was 27.34° C (81.21° F).

The chart and table below shows the change in water temperature in Great Barrier Reef over the last 30 days:

Date Temperature (Celsius) Temperature (Fahrenheit)
September 26 27.28° C 81.1° F
September 25 25.18° C 77.32° F
September 25 25.18° C 77.32° F
September 24 25.19° C 77.34° F
September 23 25.27° C 77.49° F
September 22 25.28° C 77.5° F
September 21 25.28° C 77.5° F
September 20 25.35° C 77.63° F
September 19 25.32° C 77.58° F
September 18 25.15° C 77.27° F
September 17 25.19° C 77.34° F
September 16 25.12° C 77.22° F
September 15 25.15° C 77.27° F
September 14 25.06° C 77.11° F
September 13 25.07° C 77.13° F
September 12 25.25° C 77.45° F
September 11 25.47° C 77.85° F
September 10 25.61° C 78.1° F
September 9 25.77° C 78.39° F
September 8 25.76° C 78.37° F
September 7 25.63° C 78.13° F
September 6 25.56° C 78.01° F
September 5 25.54° C 77.97° F
September 4 25.84° C 78.51° F
September 3 25.74° C 78.33° F
September 2 25.99° C 78.78° F
September 1 26.07° C 78.93° F
August 31 25.9° C 78.62° F
August 30 25.54° C 77.97° F
August 29 25.4° C 77.72° F

The actual nearshore temperatures may vary by several degrees and this can also be heavily affected by weather. Strong winds can cause cold, deep waters to replace the surface waters that had been warmed by the sun, and heavy rain can also reduce the temperature of the sea surface temperature as well.

Water temperature in Great Barrier Reef by month

The chart below shows the monthly average water temperature in Great Barrier Reef.

For more detailed information on how the sea temperature in Great Barrier Reef changes for each month of the year, choose from the months below.

Great Barrier Reef map and nearby water temperatures

The highest temperature in Australia today is 29.17° C (84.5° F) in Darwin. The lowest is in Austins Ferry, where the temperature of the water is 11.68° C (53.02° F).

Why measure sea surface temperatures (SST) in Great Barrier Reef?

The ocean covers about 71% of the Earth's surface, and scientists record the sea surface temperature (SST) of locations such as Great Barrier Reef because they want to understand and learn how the ocean communicates with the atomosphere of Earth.

SST is one measure that provides information on the global climate, and it can be used to predict the weather in Great Barrier Reef as well as atmospheric model simulations and to study marine ecosystems in the area.

Data source and citation

Raw data for the calculations made to find the sea surface temperature in Great Barrier Reef comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and their 1/4° daily Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature.

The water temperature data is constructed by combining observations from different platforms (satellites, ships, buoys, and Argo floats) on a regular global grid. A spatially complete sea surface temperature map is then built by interpolating to fill in gaps in the data.

If you'd like to use any of the information above in the format it is presented, please use the citation tool below.

  • "Great Barrier Reef Sea Temperature". Accessed on September 26, 2023.

  • "Great Barrier Reef Sea Temperature"., Accessed 26 September, 2023

  • Great Barrier Reef Sea Temperature. Retrieved from