~2 wks in Australia - when to go?

Apr 7th, 2008, 04:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3
~2 wks in Australia - when to go?

Our 20th anniversay is Feb 2009 and we'd like to celebrate by spending about 2 wks in Australia (doesn't have to be exactly on our anniv date). I've read conflicting suggestions on the best time to go. Mar/April according to Fodors. But when I look at the historical weather, there's more rain in Sydney in those months than in Feb. And the weather is cooler.

What about Brisbane and Cairns? Should we fly to either of those places? It appears that there is less rain in April in both locations, but what about the jellyfish? Would we be able to swim at the beach?

We are very active and like to do day hikes, bu no camping for me - I like a nice hotel This is our 1st trip to Australia so we want to see the highlights. I prefer to spend 3 or 4 nights so we can see more in each place and don't spend as much time traveling from place to place.

Thanks in advance for your help!
SanDiego1 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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If you enjoy hiking, what we call bushwalking, maybe you should include Tasmania in your itinerary. Cradle Mountain in particular has lots of great day walks. Tasmania is great in February or early Autumn.

If you want to swim in Sydney, February might also be a better time to visit. March is unpredictable in terms of weather. It has been very rainy so far this April.

Susan7 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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If you want to come to Australia when it is hot(30-38Celsius) then Jan. and Feb. are the best months. For travelling I would advise March/April or October/November. Rain has been very unpredictable and historical weather patterns seem to be changing so it is difficult to use them as a guide. Don't worry about the nasties!!!. They always get sensational publicity, but honestly most Aussies never see them. There are jelly fish at certain times, but Aussie beaches are so vast that you can always find a spot to swim. Other people on the beach will soon tell you of their whereabouts, but with thousands using the beach only the careless get stung. Flying is the best form of transport when you have limited time. The GBR is a must see be it from Cairns or Port Douglas. www.wotif.com will give you the rundown on hotels.
DownUnder is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 10:32 PM
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San Diego - I assume you mean box jelly fish when you say "jellyfish" - these and irukandjis are the ones to worry about. These are only found in tropical waters, way, way north of Sydney and Brisbane.

So swimming on coast or nearby in Far North Qld is not a good idea between about Nov-April unless you swim within the stinger netted enclosures which are set on some lifesaver patrolled beaches in FNQ. GBR is considered marine stinger free, but if at all worried rent a lycra stinger suit.

Whilst impossible to predict weather these days, its pretty safe to say that Feb/March are the two wettest months in the north, October/November are usually just about perfect
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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If you want to go to FNQ in April you just have to wear the fact that swimming from beaches is not a good idea. But most people don't go there for that at any time of year - go to Fiji or Thailand or New Caledonia, etc, etc for that. Go to FNQ (Cairns) knowing that swimming is done in pools, or off out on the reef (GBR).

April should be OK for that. As for Sydney - you can never tell. I don't recall early April being like it is now - ie, grey and un-sunny for the last week. Last year maybe it was completely different (I don't keep personal records!!).

Maybe mid-late April for FNQ (when the rains have likely gone) and come down to Sydney afterwards when Autumn has set in, but it's (usually) pleasantly warm (c 22C). And at night the outdoor restaurants provide patio-heater warmth for diners.

The latter isn't exactly an environmentally sound practice, but that's what happens.

Lovely time of year. Otherwise, think Sepember.

afterall is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 748
Just thought that I would add a note to the previous poster's suggest of the following:
" If you want to go to FNQ in April you just have to wear the fact that swimming from beaches is not a good idea. But most people don't go there for that at any time of year - go to Fiji or Thailand or New Caledonia, etc, etc for that. Go to FNQ (Cairns) knowing that swimming is done in pools, or off out on the reef (GBR)".
Please note that the Jellyish and nasties are in ALL tropical waters which includes Fiji and Thailand ( the latter being one of the most disgusting, filthy places in the world and I would not want to swim anywhere there - let alone worry about stingers) . Australia does tell people about the stingers whereupon other countries do not because most of the research into them is done here and I guess we have a more advanced feeling of 'duty of care' to visitors.
If you are only going to Brisbane/Gold Coast then there are no worries at all and the beaches are shark netted as well. However if you want to see the GBR in the summer months then either a lycra suit or only swimming off outshore islands is the way to go - the lycra suit does then save you from sunburn which is more likely anyway. There are many beautiful clear, cool mountain streams, waterfalls etc to swim in around the GBR that swimming from a beach is not really missing anything because there is no surf because of the reef.
LizzyF is offline  
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