Cairns Weather, November & December Whats it Like?

Cairns Weather, November & December Whats it Like?

Cairns Weather, November & December Whats it Like?

Cairns Weather, November & December Whats it Like?


Are you planning your holiday to Cairns? Maybe you’re thinking about what is Cairns Weather going to be like in November and December?


So you have decided to come to Cairns! But maybe you are worried about the weather? What is the best time of the year to come? We try to answer that very question, read our latest article on Cairns Weather, November & December Whats it Like?


In this article, we are going to attempt to answer this common question. We will also offer Weather information on traveling to Cairns during the other months of the year.


As a local of over 30 years, I will offer my general observation. Also taking into account the changing weather patterns around the World. Especially the changes in Weather patterns these last few years.


I’m going to try and answer this common question. Cairns Weather, November & December Whats it Like?


In my opinion, Cairns has 3 main weather cycles. I describe these as such:


1 – Generally Perfect Weather: May / June / July / August / September.


So lets start with “generally the best time of the year to travel to Cairns. Notice I emphasized generally!


Late May and late September I would class as the shoulder seasons to the peak tourism seasons here in Cairns. Still good weather no rain and light to moderate South-Easterly sea breezes.


June / July / August, these are the peak tourism months for Cairns. Why? Because they coincide with Australian, European and American  Summer Holidays. We also tend to get the best weather during this time.


You can expect light to moderate South-Easterly sea breezes, blue skies, and sunshine, just about every day!


2 – Hot and Humid, No Rain: October / November / December.


Welcome to the warmish time of the year. I like to call this the build up. The build up is a lead up to the large monsoon season. The build up actually means nice sunny days with scattered clouds and heavy humidity.


You could sometimes expect late afternoon showers. Once the showers have passed, the sun will be straight back out, hot humid and sunny!


The big wet hasn’t started yet, but with each day that passes bye it’s getting hotter and hotter. Welcome to the Jungle baby!


3 – Hot, Humid and Rainy: January / February/ March / April.


So now we can talk about the rainy season. So the rainy season will be nothing like what you would expect where you live.


We don’t have grey skies and drizzle all day for 3 months in a row, perhaps like in Europe or the UK during winter. I would even mention Vancouver BC Canada. Washington State and Seattle for those who live in that area will know what I mean.


During the hot humid and rainy season, we have hot humid evening’s and once the rain starts it comes down hard. The water droplets are the size of a 5 cent piece and we revive millions of tonnes of water!


Spread out across the Atherton Tablelands, Cairns, North into Cape Tribulation National Park. Also spreading South to Wooranooran National Park and beyond. The rain comes down!


This rain is what keeps the oldest living rain-forests in the World alive! A typical day during this time of the year, usually you can wake up to patchy skies with big black thunder clouds. The sun will still be peaking thru.


You might have an early shower in the morning, but then the sun will come out. Around 11:00am thru until 3:30pm it will be hot. I’m talking about 38 degrees Celsius and 100% humidity.


For some people this will be a bit of a shock to the system. But give it time and you will acclimatize. By late afternoon, you can then expect the big rains to set in. Watch as massive thunder clouds and often big large storms roll in from the hot ocean water.


Photographers love this time of the year. Spectacular tropical thunder storms with lighting and smokey dark clouds.


So you might ask yourself, Why would you come to Cairns in the rainy season?


Maybe its the only time you can get off work!  Or maybe you have a thirst for adventure. The rain and the heat brings out all living things. Birds, animals, insects, crocodiles! everything is awake and growing.


The rain-forest grows at its greatest capacity. With plenty of water, hot humid air and tropical sun. Everything becomes dark green, thick tropical canopies cover the rain-forest skies.


Many rivers and streams blow there banks.  Once dry rickety river beads turn into gushing tropical rivers.


The Rainy Season is Alive!


The wind drops away to just over a 5 knots during the rainy season. So that means the ocean is still, calm tropical water, light sea breezes and thick tropical humid air.


Perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving on The Great Barrier Reef.


Remember, Cairns is the Gateway City for visiting the Worlds largest living coral system. The Great Barrier Reef.


So don’t get me wrong you can have rainy days but you can have amazing weather for diving and snorkeling on the reef.


If you are in luck and you catch a gap in the rains. My recommendation is to head straight out onto the reef, get out there as many days as you can. Enjoy it while it lasts.


Can I visit The Great Barrier Reef in the Rainy Season?


Yes – of coarse you can! You can dive to 20 metres in a t-shirt and shorts and still be hot with all that warm tropical water around you.


Visibility on the reef during the rainy season can sometimes close in. This is due to the large volumes of freshwater running into the river systems that feed the reef.


The fresh water and the salt water mix often producing a thermocline.


But don’t let the idea of coming to Cairns in Summer deter you. Because we have flat calm seas on the surface, and this makes up for any short falls in lower visibility on the reef.


In general people snorkeling on top of the reef  you wont be affected by lower visibility.


Due to the fact you are just swimming around in the shallower waters on top of the reefs.


What about Marine Stingers?


Do keep in mind that during this same rainy period.  The waters off Cairns receive marine stingers. The Box jelly fish and the Irukandji jelly fish.


Now these little beasties are dangerous, you don’t want to touch them. You don’t want there tentacles touching your skin.


In general these stingers hang around the coast line. So swimming at the beaches on the mainland is generally not a good idea.


But snorkeling and diving on the reef you are generally safe. For some reason the Jelly’s tend to spend most of there time hanging around the coastline.


But for added protection every Cairns Reef Tour company will offer you stingers suites. A thin 1mm lycra suit that adds extra protection just in case. It also prevents against sunburn!


In Conclusion:


So in general I dive and snorkel all year round, including summer! The rainy season can offer some of the best times of the year to be snorkeling and diving on The Great Barrier Reef.


Warm sultry days, super calm flat seas! You just have to be lucky to time it in when we get the gaps in the rain.


Did you find this article useful?


Please leave a comment below I will try answer any questions you may have.


Go on Ask a local!


Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll is the Manager of Cairns Tour Advice & Booking Centre. An adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll - Chief Travel writer and Scuba Diving enthusiast at Cairns Tour Info. Follow him on Twitter.

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