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Cairns late December early January

Colorado
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Cairns late December early January

We plan on visiting Palm Cove in late December/early January. We love to swim at the beach and are wondering how reasonable this is based on some of what we have been reading. How often are the beaches closed due to the jellyfish? Is it wise to swim outside of the stinger nets? How is the weather typically during this time of year for enjoying the beach? We are wondering if we would be better off staying on an island? If so, any recommendations? We'd appreciate any advice we get from those in the know!

South Pole
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1. Re: Cairns late December early January

beaches have specific netted areas for swimming at that time of year.

it is frankly stupid not to utilize them.

weather will be hot and humid and coming into the wet season. short torrential downpours possible, then again, maybe not. early in the cyclone (hurricane) season too but again who knows. as long as u are aware the potential risks. all in all great beach weather if u like it hot and steamy. take lots of sun protection.

not many islands with accommo in that part of the world. green and fitzroy maybe but cannot recommend either. imo better off on the mainland. have u considered port douglas as well as PC?

Daintree, Australia
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for Daintree
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2. Re: Cairns late December early January

I used to agree with you, Lien, re Fitzroy but the resort has been refurbished and we have been getting very good reports from guests who have stayed there recently. It seems to be attracting mostly good reviews now -

tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g255077-d258…

Colorado
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3. Re: Cairns late December early January

Thank you for your quick response. What are the netted areas like? Wondering if they are small areas packed with people or larger areas? How often are the beaches closed due to stingers that time of year? For instance out of 5 days how likely is it that the beach would be closed while we are there? We are traveling in and out of Cairns but will have a rental car so we can go wherever so I'm curious about your thoughts on Port Douglas. For people who enjoy the water most of all and are traveling with a 15 year old boy where do you recommend? Any hotels with good pools? Thanks for your input!

South Pole
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37 reviews
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4. Re: Cairns late December early January

the netted areas are quite large.

january is not tourist season so crowds are not usually a problem.

cant give u a beach closure figure as it varies. the powers that be monitor the stinger situation in the enclosures and make the decisions so the situation is fluid.

beaches can also be closed due to the presence of crocodiles.

u need to keep your eye on the beach signage.

I think PD is nicer than cairns which is a small city. there is no beach there.

there is more of a holiday feel in PD.

and the beach at PD is patrolled ie. lifeguards.

cant recommend any hotels as we always stay in rented accommo.

we use this company: http://www.beachvillas.com.au/

Cairns, Australia
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5. Re: Cairns late December early January

The beaches are closed from Nov. ~ May (nets will be present for swimming). In windy weather the netted area will also be closed as the surf rolling in damages the nets and allows stingers to wash over the floats holding the net up. High winds are not common in jan so this should not be an issue.

The swimming enclosures are small areas (maybe 30m wide, 50m deep) but they are rarely "packed full of people" as the water during the summer months is like swimming in a luke warm bath tub and summer is the low season for tourism.

These nets need to be small so as they can be moved in and out with the tide and easily patrolled by life guards. 6 of the 8 beaches in Cairns are patrolled by life guards and closures due to croc sightings are very rare during the summer months. This aside the ocean is NOT the predatory zone for salt water croc's and to my knowledge there has only been one attack in the ocean in recorded history.

You can buy lycra suits made to protect swimmers from the jelly fish quite cheaply and IMO they are better protection then the nets anyways.....

In honesty I think the beach in PD is overrated, it is visually pleasing by all means and it is a very flat and wide beach. Perfect for romantic strolls and sunbathing. Unfortunately the flatness continues when you enter the water, meaning you need to go a long way off the beach to find water deep enough to swim. This is not an issue during the winter months but during stinger season the back end of the netted area is usually about knee deep.

If you love water there are stunning fresh water streams surrounded by rain forrest to be found within short drives of either location (PD or PC) and the GBR is just beyond the horizon....

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Cairns late December early January

If you want to swim at this time if the year do what the locals do, swin in the rainforest creeks or rivers. The cascades, boulders and many more on the tablelands or sit under a warerfall or pull up a chair and sut in the rain, it won't ne cold! Unless it's a stubby. You must wear a stinger suit even in the nets, that what the life savers reccomend but hardly mentioned in the tourist press. If their are no locals in the water then neither should you anywhere. Then again Cairns beach isn't that bad (manmade) no stingers, google it. Irukandji is the one that terrifies the locals, it's not just one jellyfish "Stungers" is a plural! Wikpedia Irukandji. Remember the rain forest is a it's best in the wet.

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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7. Re: Cairns late December early January

Please remember that even locals are not silly enough to swim in the rivers up there. One big reason why is Crocodiles.

You need to know that just because there are no signs at a river saying dont swim- you should not swim there. Crocs swim in and out mouths of rivers and up rivers. They have been found in outlets /creeks off cane fields up there.

Unless it is a signposted area where swimming is ok- I wouldnt think about it.

8. Re: Cairns late December early January

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