Jan 9th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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I am trying to figure out the best time to come to Australia and New Zealand. I plan to spend most of my time in Queensland/GBR and the South Island of New Zealand. I don't want it to be snowing in NZ or too rainy when I go, but I also don't want to go so late in the year that I have to worry about stingers in Queensland.

How far out do the stingers go? Are they present at the islands too? (eg., Hayman, Heron, Lizard?) Are they only a worry in November+?

Thanks for your help!

Jan 10th, 2003, 02:31 PM
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Has any one noticed the lack of answers to this mans question.
How far out do you find the stingers he asks ??? No one knows Joni, Are they present around the Islands, No one is game to say yes or no to that either because they do not know. Are they present in any other months other than November???? of course they are. Dec,Jan,Feb,Mar, I have been swimming around some of the outer Islands in the North unprotected for up to six hours a day, for 20 years. I have not ever been stung. Have I been lucky??? or are there no stingers 25 kms out to sea. I can not answer that!!!! And I do not think any one else can categorically state they are not there. Or,, they are there. Lots of studies are now being carried out on the little devils and hopefully in a year or so we may know more. One study which started last week looks promising. They (the scientists) have actually been able to tag one of them.
They will be able to track the little bugger for several weeks electronically
Im not sure, but I think the people involved are from the James Cook University in Cairns. If you are really interested, Im sure some one at the uni would be more than happy to talk with you on the subject. I can only speak from experience. But here's a little secret for you. Right up North, where there is nothing for hundreds of miles along the coast we would watch Aboriginal kids. If they were swimming we would swim. If they were not neither were we. If there parents were fishing, we fished and caught fish as well, if the Parents were not fishing, we did not fish either. And you know what ??? I dont think we missed any thing. Search James Cook University in Cairns North Queensland. I bet you can find some one there to talk to.

Jan 10th, 2003, 05:14 PM
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Hi Joni~ For NZ, the real tourism season starts around Christmas time and goes into March for the South Island. I actually prefer the last week of November and the first week of December because there are beautiful flowers everywhere.
Jan 12th, 2003, 02:42 PM
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We went in August (no an issue then) but were told that you have to worry about them close to shore. They supposedly spawn in the fresh water rivers then are carried out to the sea by the tides. I'm sure they get out to the GBR but are probably more abundant close to the mainland.

October might be a bad time of year for NZ or Australia.
Dec 30th, 2003, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 27
OK, the guy who is doing the stinger research is Jamie Seymour. He is at the James Cook University.
Stingers- if you mean box jellies or Chironex fleckeri, they live within a kilometre of the coast. This species do not visit the reef which is around 32 nautical mile from the coast of Port Douglas.
There are sea going jellies during the summer months here (nov-may). Some are painful but not fatal - like the blue bottles/portugese man o wars. Some are more serious like the irukannji. They can make you sick enough to need hospitalisation. Sometimes they can be fatal, this depends a lot on the victims medical history and allergenic reaction. The upside is that you can wear a stinger suit which will protect you from irukandji, and also the sun.
Irukanji seem to be most prevalent when we have a lot of rain, then a spell of minimal northerly winds, and if there are lots of other jellies present, then there is a strong possibility that irukanji are present too.
hope this helps
Port_princess is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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oh and this is a fantastic site on stingers in general
Port_princess is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 07:50 PM
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Please Joni, don't let the presence of marine stingers determine what time of the year you visit the reef - trip operators are well aware of any dangers and will provide stinger suits - be guided by them. October is one of the nicest months in Far North Queensland as it's after the "winter" SE trade winds (which can upset conditions on the reef) and before the "wet" so the humidity hasn't built up.
pat_woolford is offline  
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