Stinger Season Port Douglas - Down Under Tours

Stinger Season Port Douglas

November 9, 2017

Snorkeling can be an exciting and beautiful hobby or profession, and few places compete with the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. From the gorgeous marine life to the breathtaking blue water, the Great Barrier Reef has it all, and people flock here each year to have a once in a lifetime experience while creating memories that will last a lifetime.

However, with all of this natural beauty comes the reality of the dangers this gorgeous location has. From the period of November through May, you’ll be snorkeling during Stinger Season. This means you may get up close with Cairns Jellyfish. These jellyfish prefer the warm, tropical waters that summers on the Great Barrier Reef can bring and it’s not unusual to see them while you snorkel throughout Port Douglas.


Humans and jellyfish have been able to share the same waters for years and as long as you’re careful, you can enjoy the beauty of this animal while keeping both of you safe. Even though they’re beautiful, they’re wild animals that will sting if they deem it necessary and it’s important for anyone snorkeling during Stinger Season to give them the respect they deserve. If you find yourself snorkeling off of the beaches of Port Douglas, there have been safety measures put in place for both the people and the jellyfish’s safety. You’ll encounter stinger-resistant enclosures and nets to keep the jellyfish out and the beachgoers in.

If you want to experience the Great Barrier Reef on a tour, the tour guides go to great lengths to protect their guests as well. Each tour company will offer and outfit every guest with a stinger/ lycra/wetsuit that will reduce the chances of the guest receiving a sting if they happen to get too close to one of the jellyfish species that inhabit the waters. Many tour companies include the cost of this suit in their ticket prices, but you can always ask when you book your next snorkeling adventure. The tour guides also give their guests any information they may need before they enter the water, so they know exactly how to behave if they come upon a jellyfish.

It is important to note that the Great Barrier Reef is also home to Box Jellyfish, they are more dispersed among the Reef than other jellyfish species, and their stings are rare. There are currently 28 known species of Box Jellyfish, with three being fatal to humans. Of these three fatal species, two live off the waters of Australia in the Great Barrier Reef, and they are the Chrionex fleckeri and Carukia barnesi. The Chrionex fleckeri is the larger of the two, with its tentacles trailing up to three metres in the water. The tentacles are the place that contains the stingers, and the fatality rate is low. Depending on how much toxin the jellyfish injects and how long the person goes without medical treatment, the fatality time varies.

If you do get stung, vinegar can help to stop the stinging cells of a jellyfish encounter, and the person should seek medical intervention by a trained professional. These types of stings are rare, but being informed can help you avoid an unpleasant experience during your next snorkeling adventure.

If you want to experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef and these beautiful animals, book a tour with a reputable touring company. Not only will they know where to take you to get the best experience possible, but they’ll also know how to keep you safe during Stinger Season. It is entirely possible to snorkel with jellyfish and stay safe while doing so.