Monday, August 21, 2006

Australia Bound? Watch Those Stingers!

Time to start planning your trip if you are traveling to Australia. It's coming to the end of winter there now. If Far North Queensland and its fabulous beaches, and the Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation, and Cairns is on your itinerary, then there's something you should know. Don't assume you can go swimming whenever you want.

Sure, it's tropical year round. But (this is a big but) from November to May, it's Stinger Season! Marine stingers -- Chironex Box Jellyfish and the Irukandji -- are classed as dangerous tropical jellyfish, known as marine stingers, and if their tentacles brush against your skin, apparently you opt for death as preferable to the pain.

Many beaches set up stinger enclosures (blue tubes holding underwater nets, photo) that help keep out stingers, but there are so many beaches along the way. Private, isolated beaches along the highways, where you'd love to stop and picnic or swim. Don't. Unless it's not stinger season, in which case, you're all right, mate!

My story about my own disappointment with not being able to go swimming at will in Queensland is posted at Have a look to find out what panithose and stingers have in common!

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