Coral Spawning The Great Barrier Reef Australia.
Coral Spawning The Great Barrier Reef Australia.

Sex on the Reef in Cairns

Could the Super Moon, witnessed in Cairns on the 14th November 2016 be the trigger needed for ‘Sex on the Reef’?

One of the most astounding shows Mother Nature displays annually, is the mass Coral Spawning on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. This is sometimes referred to as ‘Sex on the Reef’.  Those lucky enough to time their dive right, can witness a virtual underwater snow storm of vibrant shades of reds, oranges and yellows when the millions of corals simultaneously release their eggs and sperm to ensure their diversity and survival through diversified fertilisation.

The window of opportunity for this phenomenon is quite small and relies on many factors.  Scientists, who have studied Coral Spawning on the Great Barrier Reef for 35 years have identified several main catalysts for this occurrence which generally occurs in late November to early December.

  • The water temperature must be a constant 26 degrees Celsius or above for the month before
  • 4 – 6 days after a full moon
  • 2 – 3 hours after sunset (when sea creature who feed on the spawn are least active)
  • As little as possible water movement (Small tides, light winds)

It seems that all these factors have aligned this week and the energy in the vibrant tourist town of Cairns is currently electric, with locals and tourists alike scrambling to grab their spot on a special charter to see the once-in-a-lifetime must-do!

So, let’s check off the above factors and the current situation in Cairns.

  • The Full moon (a Super One at that!) fell on the 14th Nov putting the perfect days this Friday/Saturday!
  • At the time of 2 – 3 hours after sunset for these days the tides are relatively small and the prediction is light winds.

Visitors and residents of Cairns alike, if you have never witnessed this absolutely breathtaking occurrence first hand, I urge you to try and scramble a spot on one of the quality Dive Operators in Cairns.  Talk to these experts or your local Dive Specialist Cairns Tour Info for live updates and booking details.