Tropical North Queensland is favourite holiday destination for both Australians and foreign visitors, and when you think about everything this beautiful part of the world has to offer, it’s easy to see why.
Beaches with soft sands, Tropical Islands like Fitzroy Island and incredible natural attractions like the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef – both world heritage listed sites – all call the sunshine state home. These natural attractions offer endless activities, from water sports like sea-kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving, to hiking, mountain biking and chasing waterfalls – and these are only some of the things you can do in this part of the world.
We referred to Queensland as the sunshine state, and it’s for good reason. The sun is almost always shining. But if the sun is shining all year round, how do you know when the best time to visit is? Well, while we are big fans of Tropical North Queensland all year round, there are some things to consider when planning your visit to this part of the world.
What You Need to Think About
It’s undeniably beautiful and warm all year round in Queensland, with the sun always shining and temperatures averaging at around 31 degrees. However, it is important to note that Queensland, particularly Cairns and the surrounding TNQ area, experiences two major seasons, ‘Wet Season’ & ‘Dry Season’. Dry season is April to October, and wet season is from November to March.
During the wet season, which coincides with the Australian summer, this is when majority of the rainfall for this area occurs. Heavy rainfall and sometimes even tropical storms sometimes are experienced during this time. It is also when the temperature hits its peak and so does the humidity.
During the dry season, which begins just before the Australian winter starts setting in, the temperature drops ever so slightly from the average, usually sitting between 18-26 degrees. And with the drop in temperature, the humidity takes a dive as well.
The lower levels of humidity, balmy warm temperatures and the long sunny days means that if you are in Australia, you can escape the cold winter days the rest of the country has to experience at this time of year and defrost in the stunning sunshine of TNQ.
Another thing to take into consideration when planning your trip to Tropical North Queensland is how busy it’s going to be! So, when are the peak times?
With the glorious weather, and the abundance of activities on offer in this part of the world, it is a popular place to visit at any time of year. However, there are some busier times of year than others.
The usual big holidays, like Christmas and New Years are of course very popular for a visit. It’s a beautiful place to ring the new year and spend the holiday period.
However, unlike many other places in Australia, the busiest time of year for visitors to TNQ is around June and July. This is because many Australians in other states are trying to escape the cold, so they come to this area to defrost the icicles covering them!
It’s not only escaping the cold that makes this time of year popular, the Australian school holiday periods fall during this time, and also again in September.
Because these are popular times to visit, it does mean that in some instances pricing may be more expensive than at other periods.
If you’re not from the area or you’ve never been to Queensland before, you may not have even heard of the next thing you might want to take into consideration – Stinger Season.
Stinger season is actually jellyfish breeding season, and usually occurs between November and May. During this time, dangerous stingers are sometimes found close to shores of many of the mainland beaches in Tropical North Queensland. The stings you can experience during this time can be quite painful.
However, don’t let this stop you from visiting, because there are a number of precautions you can take. If you are planning on swimming, talk to the local lifeguards, they will be able to advise you of the safe areas to swim. Many of the beaches actually have dedicated stinger enclosures or net areas, to keep you safe while you swim. And you can even wear stinger suits that protect you from coming into contact with the jellyfish – many of the hotels and resorts have activity centres where you can hire stinger suits from – like the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub.
In addition to these precautions that you can take, the beaches are not the only swimming options you have in this area. Tropical North Queensland has incredible and very safe freshwater swimming locations that can help you cool off over the summer months. And not only freshwater options, so much of the accommodation options in the region have swimming pools you can get that swimming dose in!
Our Favourite Time of Year to Visit
While we love it all year round in TNQ, one of the best times you can visit the area is August. That’s because it’s when all of those perfect elements come together. You can avoid the cold winter that most of Australia is experiencing with temperatures between 18-26 degrees and the beautiful sun shining. You’re in the dry season, so you don’t have to experience the high levels of humidity and heavy rainfall of the wet season. There are no school holidays during August, which will usually mean that it’s less busy. And it’s perfect for swimming, with those warm temperatures making the water pleasant to swim in and it is before stinger season hits, so you can swim safely and comfortably.
Our Favourite Place to Visit
We mentioned Fitzroy Island earlier and that’s because it is one of our favourite places to visit in TNQ all year round. Fitzroy Island is a truly unique tropical island that is immersed in the great barrier reef region and while it feels like a secluded escape, it is actually easily accessed via a Fast Cat Ferry from Cairns.
Covered in luscious tropical rainforests and home to the beach that was named Australia’s best in 2018 – Nudey Beach – Fitzroy Island is a tropical getaway destination that can suit any and every budget and all ages.
You can stay in luxurious hotel rooms, or try your hand at camping, with accommodation options that will work for whatever type of holiday you’re after. And while you’re on the island, you can try out all sorts of adventures and activities, like the stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling, and even a sea-trampoline! But it’s not only water-based activities that you can try. Take a hike to explore the beautiful rainforest and make your way to the summit to view those ocean waters that house the Great Barrier Reef’s coral gardens and marine wildlife below.
And if relaxation is more your speed, you can experience the meaning of true relaxation as you bask in the beautiful sun by the resorts pool. Or you can take a book and a picnic and spend the afternoon by the water watching the world pass you by at Nudey Beach.
And while August is an amazing time of year to experience all Fitzroy Island has to offer, it really is a great place to visit all-year round.
While we recommend taking things like the weather and peak periods into consideration when planning your trip to Tropical North Queensland, one of the greatest things about this part of Australia is that it is still an incredible place to visit at any time of year. All you need to think about is what exactly you want to do, because that sun will be shining all year round – so what are you waiting for? It’s time to plan your TNQ adventure today!