Stinger season in the Australian tropics is something you need to be aware of. Sadly, it comes every year without fail and is the curse of the tropics.
Mother Nature simply loves reminding us that Australia is home to some of the deadliest creatures in the world. Stinger season refers to the period of time when dangerous jellyfish are aplenty. They roam the shores of Cairns and deep seas of the Great Barrier Reef in significant numbers. These jellyfish pack a punch, causing injury and deaths throughout human history.
The jellyfish you need to look out for
There are two jellyfish that are considered the deadliest and most common within the season; the Box Jellyfish and the Irukandji.
Box Jellyfish are most commonly found in shallow waters along the coast. Their average size is around 38 centimetres long, with their tentacles extending up to 3 meters. If stung by one, a person will receive agonisingly painful whip-like marks.
The Irukandji jellyfish is a lot harder to avoid as they are only about 1-2 centimetres long. They are found in shallow shores and deep waters. These stings leave throbbing tentacle shaped welts on the skin, as well as giving a person nausea, breathing difficulties, and even brain haemorrhages.
When is the stinger season?
There is no fixed date for the start of stinger season as it fluctuates each year. It usually commences during the warmer Aussie months; from November to May. Fret not though, that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the reef at this time of year. During this time all diving or snorkelling require a stinger suit, which is a wet suit that protects you from any stings. There’s no need to rush out to buy one yourself though, you’ll be provided with a stinger suit on all our Great Barrier Reef tours! Plus, many Queensland beaches also have stinger nets, making swimming a lot safer.
The best activities at the Great Barrier Reef
Now that you are aware of the dangers and how to avoid them, you are ready to visit this spectacular sight. Discover the pristine underwater wonderland by snorkelling or scuba diving within the deep waters. Snorkelling is suitable for any age and simply allows you to float along the ocean’s surface to see the colourful world below. Scuba diving lets you roam the bottom without having to worry about going up for air. Letting you see the fish up close and personal as you cruise the sea floor.
If you’re not the best swimmer, have no fear, as you can still see this spectacular attraction from the safety of the boat. Travel on a Glass-bottom boat to see the secrets beneath the waves. These tours include a commentary so you can learn more about the Great Barrier reef as well as the wildlife you are spotting on your journey.
Related article: How to help save the Great Barrier Reef?
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