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-   -   Cairns in January, Should I go or not? (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/cairns-in-january-should-i-go-or-not-955997/)

lica Nov 7th, 2012 03:24 PM

Cairns in January, Should I go or not?
 
I have only a week in Australia and I already bought a flight ticket to go from Sydney to Cairns. I am going to be in Cairns during 3 days in the first week of January and then come back to Sydney, but a lot of people keep telling me not to go because of the terrible weather and the stingers.
Should I cancel this flight to Cairns?
Is it safe to go to the great barrier reef during this time of the year?

I would be very gratetful for some help in this decision

peterSale Nov 7th, 2012 11:45 PM

http://www.cairnsunlimited.com/faq.htm#

According to this website there should be no problem if you are sensible. The stingers are not out on the reef. The water wil be clear and it is less windy then as well.

Temperature should not be too bad as you will be either in air conditioned cars/boats/hotels or in the water. Again be sensible.

Mind you I have not been there at any time so am only going on what the website says.

Generally though, when going to a place that is either extremely hot or cold or rainy. Dress for the weather, don't over exert yourself, take care, eat/drink right. In essence be sensible.

When are you next likely to be able to make the trip? That is the deciding factor.

Weather is fickle - we have just come back from Bundaberg where it was colder and windier than where we live down south.

longhorn55 Nov 8th, 2012 07:14 AM

I took a look at the website that Peter included in his response and it's very informative. It should be of great use to you in deciding whether you want to make the trip to Cairns in January.

I have been to the Cairns region (Port Douglas) 5 times, but all of those were in the June - August timeframe when it's not so hot and you don't have to worry about stingers at the beach. (As Peter says, stingers are not at the Reef in January or any other month.) But it is windy during those months, so the snorkeling and diving conditions aren't as good as you will likely have in January.

If you will have an opportunity to go to the GBR at another time of year which appeals more to you (e.g. September or October), then perhaps you should wait. If this is the only time that you foresee being able to go to Cairns, then GO! Every snorkel tour I have taken to the Reef (8 - 9 of them) has been incredible. Yours will be, too.

pat_woolford Nov 8th, 2012 02:51 PM

I've lived near Cairns for 22 years and have many times experienced perfect reef weather in January, watch the weather map for any possible monsoon activity, its too early to tell yet.

lica Nov 8th, 2012 03:05 PM

So I guess I will try to go to Cairns...Thank you for the answers:)
And how many days or weeks in advance can I know if we are going to have bad weather there?

peterSale Nov 8th, 2012 07:46 PM

You should get at least a week's warning:-

http://www.willyweather.com.au/qld/f...th/cairns.html

http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/

AlanJG Nov 8th, 2012 10:45 PM

As Peter said except for thunder storms and they pass.

pat_woolford Nov 10th, 2012 03:45 AM

Yes, don't worry about thunderstorms on forecasts, they're brief and passing.

Trav Nov 10th, 2012 09:18 AM

My daughter and I were in Cairns late December last year and the weather was terrific. Yes, a few showers and they did pass quickly.

If you haven't found accommodations, we stayed at a wonderful B&B (hi Pat):

http://www.lilybank.com.au/

We went out to the reef from Cape Tribulation on Ocean Safari and it was fabulous. They had us wear stinger suits but there was no problem on the reef.

We did a road trip from Cape Trib to Sydney and Cape Trib, Cairns, and the Tablelands were the highlights.

Our Australian trip was over the top our best destination so far. We talk about it constantly. We can't wait to be back someday.

pat_woolford Nov 10th, 2012 07:23 PM

Hiya Trav

Its a pity more people don't know much about reef trips from Cape Trib, but on second thoughts it might be a good thing! Tablelands are often largely ignored by tourists I see, so glad you covered both.

AlanJG Nov 11th, 2012 10:38 PM

Endorsing the B&B recommendation above.

Trav it is great you got to those places.

Trav Nov 12th, 2012 10:40 AM

Hi Alan...

Cape Trib was awesome. The Exotic Fruit Farm stay was spectacular.

Thank you for your hospitality as well. :)

We desperately want to return, especially to Queensland.

nikkiblast Nov 14th, 2012 09:00 AM

Yes, you should go. We went to Cairns and loved it.


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