Stingers in Gold Coast and Whitsundays During December

by Cillian
(Dublin, Ireland)

Can you swim there in mid December (thinking of stingers)?

Annie, I note your clear advices below so that's useful. What about up near the Whitsundays.

We are thinking of spending a week on Gold Coast and a week up there?

Where should a family, 2 kids aged 8 & 10, go on Gold Coast.

Two questions to answer. I'll answer about the stingers, but I will need some extra information about the second question about where to go on the Gold Coast for your family. So if you can contact me directly I can answer that question a bit more specifically for you.

Marine Stingers are extremely rare on the Gold Coast. It is not usual to have them on the Gold Coast, but under certain conditions there have been a few occasions where Gold Coast has seen some. With all the changes in weather patterns they cannot be ruled out.

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In general, it is the more northerly tropical waters that get the different types of marine stingers - from the mild to the dangerous. The season for these is generally October to May each year, so a December holiday in Whitsundays you would need to take precautions.

If I was holidaying up north at this time of the year, I would always swim between the lifeguard flags for a start.

The lifeguards check the conditions and write the on the boards near their station. They will include any "hazards" such as rips and stingers on their boards.

You can also look at get stinger suits for swimming.

If you are planning on doing a snorkeling or diving tour, they should provide you with suitable stinger suits and have first aid resources to cope with any stings.

The best piece of advise I can give you about these "water" hazards and also the famous spiders (eg Red backs) is that when I first visited Australia I was under the impression that the nasty spiders would be large and clearly visible. The first redback I ever saw was really tiny and I dismissed it as a threat because it was so small!

Silly me! In the water, the Irukanji Jelly fish is similar in that they start at only 1cm and are really hard to spot. So, you always need to be vigilant.

I wouldn't let it put me off visiting The Whitsundays at this time, but I would make sure that I was aware of the conditions when entering the water. Always be around lifeguards or tour operators who know what they are doing.

I hope that was useful, if you contact me as I mentioned above, we can talk more about both aspects of your visit and I can probably give you some more pointers.


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