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Stinger Season in Cairns

4th November 2021

Predominantly a problem along the coast and islands and not typically affecting the Great Barrier Reef, North Queensland's marine and estuarine environment is home to many interesting animals, including some harmful jellyfish collectively known as marine stingers. These small marine stingers are easy to avoid but can cause discomfort if you are stung, and some of the tropical species, such as the Irukandji and the Box Jellyfish can be lethal. To ensure you enjoy your day at the beach or Great Barrier Reef, always remember to swim at a patrolled beach and obey the safety signs. When visiting the Great Barrier Reef always use the lycra "stinger suits" offered that will protect you from stingers and offer great sun protection.



  • Always swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags and swim in stinger resistant enclosures provided.
  • Look for and obey safety signs.
  • Don't enter the water when beaches are closed.
  • Ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for help and advice if you need it.
  • Don't touch marine stingers washed up on the beach, they can still sting you.
  • It is recommended that a full-body lycra suit, or equivalent, be worn to provide a good measure of protection against marine stings, particularly during the stinger season, which generally runs from November to March.
  • Symptoms for Irukandji stings may take 20-40 minutes to develop, if in doubt seek medical aid

Stinger nets will protect swimming areas at affected areas during the summer months. In Cairns, Holloways Beach, Yorkey’s Knob, Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, Clifton Beach, Palm Cove and Ellis Beach and Four Mile Beach are protected.

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