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swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

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swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

I will come in January in Queensland.

I'm afraid of stingers.

is this problem present in all Queensland coasts or only in North (Cairns and G.Reef Barrier)?

basically is it a real problem?

can I swim, snorkel or scuba?

are stinger suits compulsory?

are swim/snorkel 100% safe if I use a suit?

Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

It is certainly something to take very seriously.

Stingers ( Box jellyfish, Irakanji etc..) can be found north of about Rockhampton from November to May.A sting can be lethal.

You can still swim in special Stinger enclosures at the more popular beaches and/or by wearing a Stinger Suit, which are readily available. They are not particularly comfortable nor flattering but they really are mandatory if you want to swim,dive or snorkel.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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2. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

40C has given you excellent advice for more details check out the website www.marinestingers.com.au

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

January is not the best of times for NQ for it'll be very humid which makes the heat worse and possibility of storms or even cyclones.

There are not too many spots along the mainland that you can go snorkelling from, and not that I am an expert but I've never heard of one and it'll likely be a trip out to a reef location somewhere that you'll go for snorkelling or SCUBA and though the Box Jelly Fish are a mainland inhabitant and instances of the smaller Irukandji are less out on the reefs, there have still been the occasional stings by them.

Even a stinger suit is not a 100% guarantee of protection for the first part of you that could come into contact is likely to be that part forward, your head!

But chances are very low and you go back a few years before stinger suits existed and people took the chance.

And then again, maybe with warmer weather there are more Irukandji about and more people in the water and so perhaps chances are still much the same though just more people get stung now.

Nobody makes stinger suits compulsory and it's up to you.

And even at netted areas, the nets may be designed to keep Box Jelly fish out but Irukandji are small enough they could go through, so when not out on the reef, keep your swimming to a pool somewhere, but not one that a Crocodile might use! - they'll sting even more and a different fatality.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

<< But chances are very low and you go back a few years before stinger suits existed and people took the chance. >>

larcvardi, when I was a kid growing up in N.Q. stinger season lasted about 4 weeks - if that. There were a lot less stings/deaths because they were around for a very short period of time and numbers were very low too. I dont think the Irakanji even turned up until maybe the 80's ??

These days even the locals dont take chances. We know of someone who stepped on one walking on the beach ! This is always a tricky question as we dont want to scare the bejesus out of the poor tourists but need them to make informed choices too.

ps. Some of the stinger enclosures do keep out the irakanji - very fine mesh.

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5. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

how much is it a stinger suite for whole body?

what are better price/quality brand?

how roughly much is a suite?

are they different from surfer suites?

@40ishcouple: are irakanji-suites more expansive?

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6. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

little forgetfulness:

how roughly much is a suite hiring?

Cairns, Australia
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7. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

Reef boats to GBR supply full stinger suits for about $7 a day, they're very lightweight and will protect you from sunburn, a far likelier danger when out on the reef in January.

Cairns, Australia
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8. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

No ocean is risk free from marine stingers. I read there been a fatality recorded even in Alaska. Australia has less fatalities from marine stingers in recorded history than some countries have in one year alone. Our culture however dictates everything come with a warning label. So no ocean is 100% safe, no matter what you wear, but the nanny state culture actually makes it a safer destination than many other tropical destinations.

I would avoid the beaches because the risk/reward is low. The stinger that is found on the beaches is not found on the reef at all and accounts for all but two of known fatalities. To swim off the beach in wet season not that pleasant even sans marine stingers. Rains stirs up sediment close to shoreline, crocodile may decide to migrate from one river to the next using the beach as it's marine highway and the water is too warm for a refreshing swim.

So very, very low risk on the reef but jellyfish stings do and will happen as anywhere.

For onshore swimming nothing beats a waterfall or rainforest stream but that carries it's own set of dangers as well. Nature is a like that though still not as dangerous as the most deadly creature of all, man!

9. Re: swim, snorkel or scuba in January: stinger

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