FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We receive A LOT of questions about our area, and as you would expect, the same question crop up again and again... "When's the best time to come?", "What's the best place to stay?", "What about the dangerous animals" etc.

So to give you all the answers in one place, we have put together a collection of the most Frequently Asked Questions on this page.
IF YOUR QUESTION HAS NOT BEEN ANSWERED BELOW, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US VIA THE LINK TO THE RIGHT. WE ATTEMPT TO REPLY TO EVERY ENQUIRY BY THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

It seems that many of the same questions pop up over and over again, so to save everybody valuable time, we have posted a compilation of the most frequently asked questions below, along with comprehensive answers. Here at Cairns Unlimited, it is not our practice to ridicule or humiliate someone who is seeking help or advice, but if you enjoy a good laugh, have a look at this OTHER LIST of some of the more unusual and uneducated questions, apparently received through the Australian Tourism website.

HOW DANGEROUS ARE MARINE STINGERS, AND WHEN IS STINGER SEASON?
Only a few species of marine stingers are very dangerous. Some of them will give you a nasty sting, and the box jellyfish and the irukanji jellyfish have, in rare cases, have proved fatal. They are found in the warm waters anywhere north of Bundaberg, and are more common along the beaches than around the reef and islands. The stinger season is from around November to May. During this time you should swim only inside the stinger enclosures at the beaches. You will find more information about marine stingers and other potentially dangerous marine life, including details of which Cairns beaches provide netted swimming enclosures, on our SAFE TRAVEL page.

WHAT ABOUT SHARKS AND CROCODILES?
Most shark species found on the reef are harmless, and will likely swim away from you as soon as they see you. Shark attacks in Tropical North Queensland are extremely rare. Crocodiles are an ever present danger in the waterways of Tropical North Queensland. Fortunately, attacks on humans are rare, and can be easily avoided by taking sensible precautions. You will find more information about avoiding dangers such as sharks and crocodiles on our SAFE TRAVEL page.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET FROM CAIRNS TO THE REEF?
This varies between operators, depending on the type of vessel, and which part of the reef you are visiting. Travelling times should be stated clearly in each operator's profile, but generally it will range from 90 minutes to 3 hours each way. You will find more information about the different scuba diving and snorkelling trips available, on our GREAT BARRIER REEF page.

WHAT IS THE 'WET SEASON' AND WHAT TIME OF YEAR DOES IT OCCUR?
This is the Tropics, and as such we generally experience two distinct seasons, the wet season and the dry season. The wet season usually begins to build up around December, giving humid days and possibly stormy nights. Most rainfall occurs during January, February and March, and is usually in the form of heavy tropical storms in the late afternoons. The days are usually clear and bright though, and this is the time of the year that is best for diving. Winds are usually calm and underwater visibility can be up to fifty metres!

WELL, WHEN'S THE BEST TIME TO COME?
Well, we'll have to let you decide that - it depends entirely on what sort of things you plan to do here - but we can certainly help. If you're having trouble deciding which time of year you want to visit, CLICK HERE.

WHAT ABOUT MOSQUITOS?
Once again, this is the Tropics, so yes, you will probably encounter mosquitos, especially around dawn and dusk. Generally, they are nothing more than a nuisance, but they do have the potential to transmit disease. You can prevent mosquito bites by using an effective repellant, and by wearing long sleeved, light coloured clothing in the evenings and early mornings. You will find more information about the risks posed by mosquitos, and how to avoid them, on our SAFE TRAVEL page.

HOW IS THE WATER TEMPERATURE ON THE GREAT BARRIER REEF?
You will find a CLIMATE TABLE above, showing the average water temperatures for each month of the year. You'll see that in the winter months (June - August), the water temperature can be as low as 22 degrees Celsius. In summer (December - March), it ranges form 28 degrees to almost thirty.

IS THERE A BEACH IN CAIRNS?
Cairns city does not have a natural beach, but in 2003 the council opened a 4000 square metre saltwater swimming lagoon, complete with artificial beach, on the esplanade waterfront. You will find more information about Cairns city, and the esplanade lagoon, on our CAIRNS page. If you want a natural beach, you will have to head out of Cairns a little, to the string of beaches 20 kilometres north of the city, called the NORTHERN BEACHES.

WHICH PLACE IS BETTER, CAIRNS OR PORT DOUGLAS?
Phew! I'm afraid we can't answer that one. It's a personal choice. Cairns is, or course a much bigger place, with a greater range of accommodation, nightlife and entertainment. The beachside communities north of Cairns each have their own character, and can provide a quieter location for family groups and honeymooners. Port Douglas is a quaint seaside town, with a relaxed atmosphere, and some lovely accommodation options. When making your decision, keep in mind that most tour operators pick up from Cairns city, Northern Beaches and Port Douglas. You will find more information to help you chose the perfect destination for your needs, by following the links on our DESTINATIONS page.