If you’re heading to the Great Barrier Reef, there are a few things to know about the weather. First, it’s tropical, and second, it’s sunny. Simple, but important.

First, this is a tropical climate, so the temperatures are rarely cold and rarely exceedingly hot. During the summer, average temperatures range from 73 to 91, though it can, of course, be hotter or colder depending on various factors. In the winter, be prepared for average temperatures ranging from the high 50s to the mid 70s.

Now, this is a sunny climate, in fact there an average of 300 sunny days a year. But around these parts, they refer to only two seasons – the green and the dry. The dry, is, well, dry, but the green… that’s when the rains show up. The rainy season arrives around November with the first monsoonal rains and ends in May, generally. On average, 75% to 90% of the area’s rainfall comes during these months.

So if you’re planning a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, be sure to remember the busy, high season is May through October, and during those months, reservations can be harder to come by and rates will be a bit higher. If you’re not afraid of a little (or a lot) of rain, head here during the December holidays or dark days of January. Just be sure, whenever you visit, to bring plenty of shade with you and lots of sunscreen.