In Far North Queensland, from around November to May, there are dangerous Marine Stingers in the water. These creatures can cause a lot of pain, so at this time of year you should only swim within the special enclosures at the beach.
Beaches in the Cairns area with the special swimming enclosures are:
More information can be found via the weblink below.
Be very careful after a heavy rainfall in and around Cairns,the swimming spots that are usually safe along creeks and rivers will soon turn into raging torrents and rapids caused by the rapid rise in the water.Most of these places are closed but some of the creeks run behind built up areas in Cairns.
There are many warnings about crocodiles,stingers,stinging plants etc,but this is a warning about green ants nests.
These nests are are found in trees in forests and also in suburban gardens where the ants build nests on leaves --be very careful because if you disturb them they will attack,many people have been badly stung and have had to have medical treatment--their bites are very painful although not poisonous--it can be serious for some people if bitten by hundreds of these ants and if you suffer with a lung condition or allegies.
Be careful when walking anywhere in Cairns and around the tropics.
Please wear a hat, put on insect repellent and take drinking water with you.
A lot of tourists walk around without protection and end up with dehydration and or heat exhaustion .
Remember even if it is overcast it can be extremely humid and hot.
This is a warning for all road users in and around Cairns .During our dry season--May to October--the council does a lot major repair work and sealing of roads and streets.
So if you are planning to drive be careful--also time wise,you may be held up in some places.
Be careful if you decide to do the red arrow or the blue arrow walking tracks at Mnt Whitfield Cairns--we have lost two walkers this month due to heart attacks.
Make sure you are fit for this climate and take plenty of water.The walk may sound easy but it is deceiving.The entrance to these walks are in Collins Avenue,Edge Hill.
If you are walking anywhere near a creek,waterways,or the saltwater lake at Centenary Lakes and anywhere along the beaches,rivers and mangroves--be very careful.These areas are crocodile habitats.Visitors may not realise that Cairns is a croc danger place.
A crocodile has been sighted at Centenary Salt Lake on Greenslopes Street,Edge Hill..as I am writing this Oct 10th 2011.People are going down to do some croc spotting without really being fully aware they are wild and dangerous creatures.
Please be careful and heed the crocodile signs around you.
Most visitors believe that because Cairns and areas are known as the 'wet tropics' and that rainforests are always 'damp' need to be warned of the danger of bushfires in the area.
Cairns and surrounds often have serious bush fires that can threaten homes and wildlife let alone the wonderful bushland and forests that are loved and visited by locals and tourists.
The ranges around Cairns have smoke hazes that filter down into the city and suburbs and those people with lung disease or asthmatics often end in hospital for treatment.
Sometimes after a big wet (the wet season) and a long dry season the hills and beyond become tinder dry.
Please be careful when you are travelling and take advice from authorities,if you have trouble breathing go to the nearest medical centre or the Cairns Base Hospital on the Esplanade.
Cairns and areas are renowned for the mosquitoes and midges especially at dusk.
My water aerobics teacher always had a bottle of no-brand baby oil on hand and made sure all the participants rubbed some over our face,shoulders,backs and arms or any exposed skin.
He told us that the insects could not land on the skin because it was to slippery,so we had bite free sessions in the pool every evening.
It is inexpensive and works,you don't need much and no chemicals to worry about.
There are man eating crocodiles about this region...We saw them.....We have read about them...People swimming or camping in crocodile country have been taken and devoured...fair game I reckon!...Yet not far from a large warning sign there were people actually swimming. You would not believe it.
We were told not to even put our elbows over the side of the boat when we were on the Daintree River. And still they had to be reminded a number of times. They were told not to move about the boat and cause an imbalance which could tip us into the murky water...but up they got. And had to be told to sit down.
And if one of these fools is eaten there is a hue and cry to kill the croc!
The northern waters of Australia is home to the box jellies (or jellyfishes) - one of the most deadly marine organism on earth. The box jellyfish (sea wasp) is pale blue / transparent and has a cube-shaped bell, up to 20 cm (8 in) long with as many as 15 tentacles each as much as 3 m (10 ft) long. They are found in warmer waters around the world, though not usually over coral reefs. The Indo-Pacific species is considered the most venomous marine animal known. Pain from a sting is excruciating; shock, respiratory arrest and death can follow within as little as 2–3 minutes.
From Oct to May each year, you are not advised to enter the waters as the jellies breed and come close to shore. All beaches in this part of Australia has a mailbox thingajimic containing a bottle of blue fluid - vinegar - to pour over the wounds to help folks unfortunate to be stung by jellies on the spot as immediate first aid is crucial for survival.
Be very careful when you are hiking or walking the bush tracks around Cairns and areas..many of them have rough dirt tracks with rocks/small boulders and tree roots sticking out from the earth.Make sure you have sturdy walking shoes/boots and keep your eyes open,the tracks can be very steep and narrow in places so watch your step.
Just when you think it's safe to get out of the water!
My guide Dan called this "The Thousand Years Pain" which is possibly quite right since there is NO known antidote for the pain. Called the Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide moroides) and a member of the Nettle family, it can be considered as the most dangerous plant in the Daintree. Also called "Stinging Bush" or "Gympie-gympie", it is either a single stemmed herb with stems up to 5cm wide, or a sparingly branched shrub which stands 1-5 metres high. The leaves are large and broad, consisting of an oval or heart-shaped blade that can grow up to 30cm long and 22cm wide. The leaf stalk is usually 5-15cm long.
This plant prefers more open and sunny parts of the tropical rainforest, so is therefore common along tracks, rainforest edges and gaps. The leaves and stems are covered in thick hairs that, if touched, inflict a painful sting. These hairs are manufactured from mineral silica, the chief constituent of glass. If you brush against them, their tips penetrate the skin, break off, and release an irritant poison. The effect of this sting may last for months.
Not the kind of souvenir you want to bring home to.
SO WATCH WHERE YOU ARE STEPPING AND WHAT YOU ARE TOUCHING!
Whatever you do please try and not park your car under the mango and fig trees in Cairns and suburbs where there is a flying fox (fruit bat) colony.Or under any trees where flocks of birds come to rest for the night.
They will leave your car,bike,bicycle in a real mess.
It is hard to clean off the duco once it dries and of course if left to long it can eat it away.
You may get a dropping as well if you walk underneath them.
You will be able to hear them when you approach,so they do give you a warning if you are walking..
If your transport is in a mess there is a self serve car wash in Bunda Street,Cairns or any servo that has drive through car wash.
Three times we were warned by people, twice by other tourists and once by a local, not to leave valuables in our hotel room and to make sure we secured the premises when we left. One angry Canadian couple who warned us had themselves been robbed and reported that the police had confessed to releasing quite a number of prisoners due to insufficient jail space or something like that. They also complained that the hotel did literally nothing at all to help them, and even charged them for the phone calls to the police and consulate. Apparently, they were simply told, "It happens all over the world". Remember, photocopy your passport.
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