Going to Cairns and concerned about jellyfish (stingers)? Would you like more information on stingers and stinger suit hire? If so, contact www.allcairnstours.com or Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre phone 07 4055 7158.

Stinger suits provide protection from marine jellyfish such as the box jellyfish, Irukandji and others found in Australian waters around Cairns. There is a range of stinger suits available. The best option is the full length, ultra-lightweight, cool, breathable and with an optional hood. The North Queensland version of a stinger suit is called a onesie. They cover your whole body except for your face and offer a high level of sun and jellyfish protection. In fact, we go to the reef and use the stinger suits ourselves.

Cairns reef day tour operators take precautions to protect their guests from the effects of Cairn’s jellyfish. Briefings are provided on the boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef, giving you all the information you need to be informed. All operators offer guests a range of stinger suits for their comfort and protection. Suits are available in child to adult sizes.

Drop into All Cairns Tours at Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre situation at 8 Rutherford Street, Yorkeys Knob where you will see our range of stinger suits. Book your reef trip through All Cairns Tours.com (www.allcairnstours.com) where all tours we book for you have the option of stinger suit hire. When booked through All Cairns Tours, we cover the cost of stinger suit hire for you meaning your trip to the reef costs you less and is safer.

Some operators include these suits in their standard ticket price, while others will charge a fee usually close to $10. Fashion-wise, stinger suits carried by Cairns reef day tour operators come in a range of colours, from light sky blue to navy, red, yellow and even green. These may not look the best in your reef photos but they will add protection from any cairns jellyfish you may encounter.

So why wear a stinger suit in Cairns?

There are a lot of very important reasons for implementing the stinger suit:-

· Late October to June is stinger season in North Queensland (including as far south as the Whitsundays), however each year the season can start earlier and finish later. You can’t rely on stinger season fitting exactly to these dates and you should always make your own enquiries as this information is only a guide and should not be fully on.

· For an added bonus, stinger suits also protect you against the harsh tropical sun. This is especially important when snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef as sunburn on your neck, back and the back of your legs can be a painful reality. By wearing a stinger suit and not using sunscreen, you are helping the coral reefs.

· If you are wearing a brightly coloured stinger suit whilst snorkelling off the back of a boat, it also makes it very easy for the tour operators to spot you and send help if you’ve swum too far away.

· They are a lot easier to get on than a wetsuit!

These ultra lightweight lycra suits are made from breathable fabric that doesn’t absorb water. They basically provide a layer of second skin, which is not as easily recognisable to jellyfish.

When a jellyfish’s tentacles touch the stinger, it is said that it doesn’t perceive the person wearing it to be an animal, marine creature or human.

In other words, it won’t consider you a threat and release venom from its tentacles as it brushes past.

Unfortunately, jellyfish are very hard to see under water so a stinger suit covering most of your body is a very safe and wise choice, even if you do look less photogenic.

Stinger Prevention on Cairns Beaches

· Always swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags.

· Look for and obey safety signs and check the lifesavers’ report.

· 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.

· Do not interfere with stinger-resistant enclosures (nets), or sit on floating pontoons In tropical waters it is also recommended that you take these additional measures.

· Swim in the stinger nets where provided.

· 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 late October to June.

· Enter the water slowly – this gives marine stingers time to move away.

· Don’t swim when beaches are closed.

Symptoms of Irukandji stings may take 20-40 minutes to develop. At last count, there were approximately 20 such cairns jellyfish nets in the waters across North Queensland. The nets consist of a fine and extremely strong, a floating “boom” which visually marks the perimeter for swimmers and takes the net’s protection to the water surface, and the net itself, which is weighted down so as to sit on the ocean floor.

The actual stinger net is a 25mm square mesh. It does not inhibit the water/tidal flow but does serve to ‘keep out’ the larger box jellyfish from the enclosure. Please note: Smaller box jellyfish can still pass through the nets, which are also patrolled by surf lifesavers, so precaution and protection should be taken including wearing a stinger suit.

For more detailed information on marine stingers or for booking tours with stinger suits, just contact us at All Cairns Tours or drop into us at the Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre. Phone 07 4055 7158 or email info@allcairnstours.com.au.



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