Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Australia & the Pacific (
-   -   Help! - Traveling to GBR islands in January (

Joe Oct 21st, 2002 04:08 PM

Help! - Traveling to GBR islands in January
I am planning a trip for my anniversary to Australia this January and need advice as to whether it is worth booking a room on Lizard Island. Many trip reports reference rain and cyclones in the northern territory from mid-January through March. We want to be able to scuba dive on the GBR and while we can tolerate the heat and humidity, I hate to spend a small fortune only to get beat up by rain and heavy winds. We are also considering a sailing trip through the Whitsundays, but I understand that many boats don't operate during January because of the cyclones. I would appreciate feedback from anyone with actual experiences (positive or negative) because I am trying to create a memorable trip for my wife!

Alan Oct 22nd, 2002 05:51 PM

Hi, Joe!<BR>Now, what I am about to say is not first-hand information (I have never actually been that far north at the time of year you are interested in), but, if nothing else, this reply will stop your post from sinking to the bottom of the list -- and if I say something wrong, the more knowledgeable posters will be bound to jump in to correct it!<BR>January is the peak holiday season in Australia -- from Christmas to January 26 (which is a public holiday). I cannot imagine, then, that the sailing boats will cease operations in January with all those clients waiting to buy a ticket! What they may well do is to close off operations when a cyclone is imminent (and you'll be glad of that, or else you are in the remake of Gilligan's Island!), but you are misinformed if you think that January is just one long month of cyclones in northern Australia! There may well be one while you are there, but it won't be an everyday occurrence. January is, however, a rainy season up that way, so, cyclone or not, you can expect several days when it showers heavily, and then the sun quickly comes out again. Rain or shine, it will be HOT.<BR><BR>Hope that at least starts some replies coming! Best of luck!

john Oct 23rd, 2002 03:41 AM

With any comment on severe weather you are on a hiding to nothing.<BR><BR>It is no consolation to you if you know that there is only a 2% chance of a cyclone in Jan if you are sitting on Lizard in the middle of one.<BR><BR>The probabilty of being on lizard in Jan during a cyclone is low...imho they tend to come later in the season and their frequency is declining.<BR><BR>However sailing conditions in the whitsundays even without cyclones are not particularly pleasant.By far the best time to sail the whitsundays is winter when the weather is balmy and the sou-easter comess in day after day.<BR><BR>I reckon if you are looking to sail you might try a charter elsewhere further south.

Aussie Oct 24th, 2002 12:58 AM

Some years ago I went on a cruise around the Whitsundays in mid January....I spend everyday in the cabin seasick ... 10 long days.<BR>However my husband & 2 children had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect. Not one day did it rain or cyclone.<BR>You can never predict the weather.<BR>Enjoy

Joe Oct 24th, 2002 03:07 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone! I guess I will take a chance on Lizard Island. As far as sailing in the Whitsundays goes, does anyone have thoughts on reputable operators that run short cruises. I am considering a 2-3 night trip which might include Frazier Island and 1 or 2 others for variety sake.

john Oct 24th, 2002 07:42 PM

Joe<BR><BR>Fraser island ? is several hundred miles south of the whitsundays.<BR><BR>There are any number of sailing boats operating out of airlie and shute.However most cater to the backpacker careful to go smaller and up market.Be sure to go to Whitehaven beach.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:49 PM.