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Should we consider GBR in January?

UK
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Should we consider GBR in January?

Hi

I've just arrived here from the Lord Howe Island forum. We are planning a trip in January and had thought we should rule out GBR because it's stinger season and rainy season so we were going to go to LHI instead. However we are mainly hooked on diving and we are told that GBR is much better than Lord Howe island, maybe even in January.

Having gone half way around the world and spent rather a lot of time and money to get there, we don't want tatty rooms, smoking neighbours, but we won't be spending most of our time in our room so we do want somewhere with great diving and a reasonable standard of accommodation.

So far we have had suggestions of Lady Eliot island but the reviews suggest it may be too run down and subject to bad weather in January. (Mantas and whales are great, but if you can't get out there with them....). Heron island has also been suggested but that too has very mixed reviews about the accommodation.

Happy to hear any other expert suggestions for somewhere to dive on GBR which has great diving and strong chances of seeing mantas, whales, and not being stung by jellyfish, rained off or living in a boy scout camp! And preferably well under $1000 a day including food.

Thanks very much for any suggestions

R

Townsville...
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1. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

Stinger season is nearly 7 months long and stinger suits are really not an issue as they are comfortable under water and everyone else is wearing one. January though humid and very warm usually brings calmer winds which is what you want out on the reef. Places like PD and Cairns offer great places to stay and air con is everywhere. I prefer that time of year as the grey nomads disappear and it is so much easier to get around and book stuff.

UK
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2. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

Hi Whiteman

Where is PD? What are grey nomads? (Sorry we are new to this area so don't know the jargon!)

Any specific suggestions of a base which isn't so subject to bad weather in January, has good but not outrageously expensive accommodation, and good access to great reefs with great marine life? Somewhere to stay for at least at week where we can dive two or three times a day would be ideal.

Thanks

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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3. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

PD Port Douglas (land based do trips out)

Grey Nomads= over 65s, US equivalent is the snowbirds

Perhaps you should consider a live aboard?? Mike Ball?

Townsville...
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4. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

I can't help much with diving. I've only ever been on 1 dive boat as a snorkeler - have my own boat you see. I reckon you should do a search on dive boats ex Cairns or Port Douglas and see what comes up and search this site or post again with a specific question about a boat you fancy. Live aboards are going to be pricey as ANYTHING to do with a boat costs a premium. There might be islands where you can dive from the beach but islands are like boats - you are trapped and they are not cheap. If there is more to life than watching fish hang out on the reef then I'd suggest spending your ashore time in a nice motel overlooking the water - January is a month of great deals.

UK
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5. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

Hi

Thanks for the further replies. We've now identified two possible liveaboards so I'll ask more about that in a separate thread.

R

Aledo, Texas
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6. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

Great information. Looking at visiting GBR in January, also. Hamilton Island was recommened to me as alternate. Any info on Hamilton Island? Or do you just go with stinger suit? Thanks for the help.

South Pole
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7. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

I would rather be in the cairns area than on HI in January in case 'the wet' comes in force early.

at least there is more to do landside there (the rainforest and waterfall areas are spectacular at that time of year) and u wouldn't be stuck inside on a very expensive island twiddling your thumbs. and u would need to wear a stinger suit on HI as well.

UK
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8. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

Hi

We've decided to go for a Liveaboard in the end. We are told that the wet season often isn't quite so wet out at sea (ironically!). Only time and the season will tell!

Thanks for the advice.

R

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

That is true. it the clouds hitting the coast and heading upwards that cause the rain

Townsville...
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10. Re: Should we consider GBR in January?

They are kidding aren't they? How many times have I had to try and dodge serious summer rain squalls fishing out on the reef? The reason that uninformed say it rains more on land is because there are almost zero rain gauges out there. My company develops software that works with BOM data to show councils how much rain they are getting and the rain starts well out to sea on the maps that I see (a lot).

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