It’s stinger season! Australia is famous for its incredible wildlife, and the fact that some of these amazing creatures bite, sting and scratch is almost part of their Aussie charm! But heading into stinger season below is everything you need to know about jellyfish and our marine stingers.
The Queensland ‘Stinger Season’ runs from October to May, although we can get stingers all year round. Studies show that the warmer months see an increase in all species of jellyfish including the harmless moon jellies pictured above. The Great Barrier Reef is home to hundreds of different species, however, there are only really two types we worry about; the Box Jellyfish and the Irukandji.
Around the islands, we are looking to protect you from the Irukandji and the consequent Irukandji syndrome its venom can cause. This syndrome was discovered by Hugo Flecker in 1952 and was named after the Irukandji people, the aboriginal tribe whose country stretches along the coastal strip just north of Cairns. The Irukandji is a subspecies of the box jellyfish and despite being the smallest of all jellyfish at just 1cm, it packs quite a punch! With 16 different species of Irukandji, all with varying degrees of symptoms we don’t take any chances with these incredible animals.
Should I Not Swim in the Whitsundays?
Now of course the ultimate way to protect yourself from these creatures is to just not get in the water, but this is a bit of a holiday downer! That’s why throughout Queensland, we recommend you swim inside stinger net enclosures with active lifeguard patrols. However, Whitehaven Beach doesn’t have a swimmer enclosure so we recommend you wear appropriate clothing when swimming in Queensland waters. Ocean Rafting offers full-body stinger suits for rental when joining us on either our Northern Exposure or Southern Lights Tour. These suits protect you almost completely from any floating nasties in our waters!
FAQ – Do I have to wear the Stinger Suit?
The stinger suit can be compared to your seatbelt in the car… You can go your whole life without wearing one (ALTHOUGH YOU REALLY SHOULD!) and never have an incident. However, if you were to have an accident that seatbelt is installed to protect you. This works much like the stinger suit does! Long story short, you absolutely should wear a suit during our summer months.
Now for many people, stingers can be a scary thought but we don’t want these animals to discourage you from making the most of your time in Queensland. Ocean Rafting has all the gear to keep you safe as well as an expert team to offer advice and assistance on your Great Barrier Reef Experience.
We hope to SEA you soon!