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I'm Trying to Determine a Good Time Weather-Wise to Visit Auckland and Cairns

I'm Trying to Determine a Good Time Weather-Wise to Visit Auckland and Cairns

Old Dec 15th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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I'm Trying to Determine a Good Time Weather-Wise to Visit Auckland and Cairns

My main concern is choosing a time with good snorkeling weather on the Great Barrier Reef. We do plan,however, to spend several days in the Auckland area on the way from the US to Cairns, flying Air New Zealand.

I am thinking that early to mid October might work for both locales. We don't need summer-like conditions in Auckland, but would like to visit there at a pleasant time of year.

All comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Trying to pin down weather in Auckland is like trying to stab a marble with fork.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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I'll have to second mglb's comment re: Auckland. I just returned and while it's officially summer there, it was cool during the day and cold (I wore a warm jacket) during the evening. Plus, there were sporadic bouts of hard rain accompanied by dark, gloomy clouds and sporadic periods of lovely sunshine. So, not terrible, just not typical summer weather (from my NY perspective). So, I can imagine that October could be quite cool/cold.

I believe I had normal December weather for Cairns. Hot and sunny. However, I did have to wait a few days for the wind to die down before going snorkeling. I believe the boats were going out to the reef while the wind was up, but I was advised to wait to have a chance at a calmer trip out to the reef and better visibility once there. I'm sure some locals will chime in about October weather. Good luck!
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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Yes, October weather in Cairns this year was exceptionally windy, fine and warm for landbased trips but not so great for reef. Most reef boats will go out in any weather short of cyclone. But weather has been haywire for most of year in Queensland, dare I mention global warming? It'd be almost impossible to predict good weather around Cairns and Auckland, NZ at the same time. Totally different climates and a long way apart.

And MaeT, it was totally freakish to get the wind in Cairns that you did in December, at least now its calmed down to a balmy 10 knots for reef, but its been a long time coming.
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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I'm in a quandary about Cairns since we want to go snorkling. But I think that October may be the best choice.

Check out http://www.frommers.com/destinations...212020006.html

http://www.letsgo.com/destinations/a...cover/when.php
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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Jed, October is usually a perfect month around Cairns, this year the temperatures reached about 29C, and normally October falls after the SE winds of July/Aug/Sep and before the humidity associated with the build-up to the wet. This year it remained windy in October for most days and rained quite a lot in so-called "dry" months. Whatever the guidebooks say, Cairns isn't particularly hot in comparison with other parts of Australia, yesterday's maximum in the second-hottest month of year was 31C - it was 36C in Perth in the south west of country and 34C in Darwin in the north.
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 04:11 PM
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I was also concerned about the critters in the water which may limit snorkling. Frommers says "Swimming in their waters can be very hazardous to your health. Deadly box jellyfish, or "stingers," halt all ocean swimming at beaches in the northern third of the country from October through May."

How much of a problem is it really?

Can you compare swimming and snorkling at Cairns and Gold Coast?
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Stinger nets go out on live saver patrolled beaches in Far North Qld in November, not October and a little later further south where marine stingers may turn up. Only life-saver patrolled beaches have stinger nets, and its foolhardy to swim at any Australian beach which isn't patrolled.

Gold Coast has fine surfing beaches, although possibly a trifle chilly in October. But no reef for snorkelling. There's no surf around Cairns/Port Douglas, nor the Whitsundays - the Barrier reef is just that, a barrier to beach surf.

Marine stingers breed in coastal or nearby island mangroves, and would be extremely rare to find them out on reef - if a bit worried, rent a stinger suit, all boats supply them, they'll protect you from sunburn which is a far greater danger anyway.






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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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Migb,

You made me laugh out loud with your fabulously funny comment about weather in AKL! Thank you, and just to let you know, I'm stealing that (please let me know if I must pay any royalties and the check will be in the mail)!

This, followed by the other impossible question ("how much money should I take?") is the No.1 question I'm asked by clients! ARRGH!

So, I have to be really careful and couch my answer with personal observations like....."well, the weather during that time SHOULD be _________; but let me tell you about my trip in 2005 at the end of November where it was bitterly cold and rained almost every day the first week...".

And of course, not limited to this part of the world; I can follow that up with the "unseasonable heat wave" in France in MAY (causing many deaths) of which I also had first hand experience!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Kiwi Specialist
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