North Queensland is hot.
Yep, she sure gets warm up here. Can get a little humid too.
And when that happens from November to March, you need to swim in Stinger Net Enclosures to minimise your risk of being stung by a jelly. But still, the water of the beaches gets hot.
By the afternoon, most pools feel like bathwater.
It's too humid to be outdoors for any extended period of time without some sort of relief from the sweat.
There. Now that we've established that it can get a little uncomfortable for a couple of months of the year, let's take the "Glass-Half-Full" approach to the tropics.
The ultimate refreshment can be found at any of the freshwater water holes in and around Cairns! That water is COLD! You'll put your big toe in and hesitate, but once you are under there is nothing more revitalising. And the water is fresh, so no need to worry about the sting of salt and cholorine. The water holes are also bloody beautiful, set in amongst the lush tropical rainforest abound with waterfalls. And the choice! Why not take a waterfall-trail? Head south of Cairns to the Babinda Boulders, followed by Josephine Falls (which even has a slippery steep rock which you can utilise as a waterslide!). Head up to the Tablelands and use Milla Milla Falls as a shower as you float on under the pounding water from above. Then there's Lake Eacham, a paddle-boarder's dream! Head on out to the middle where it's really deep and whenever you get too hot just jump off your board, beautiful!
Or if you've got all day, head two and a half hours south to Cardwell, where a whole new trail of waterfalls await including the Cardwell Spa Pools - which as it sounds, offers a natural bubbling spa (without the heating!) flowing in to the turquoise blue pools.
If you're heading north, Mossman Gorge is the place to be. Also a visitor centre run by a local Indigenous community, you have the opportunity to learn about Australian history & culture as well as the Daintree Rainforest as you take a bus up to the entrance of the Gorge ($9 per person).
Can't get out of town? No worries! Crystal Cascades is only a fifteen minute drive from the CBD, but you'll feel like you're in the middle of the rainforest once you get amongst the waterfalls and boulders. Likewise Stoney Creek is also nearby, but you'll need to prepare for a walk to get to this one (but, it will be worth it).
So, who cares that the pools are hot & the beaches are warm? Underneath the shade of a rainforest canopy, cold fresh water swimming holes await.
And if you don't feel like getting wet, get out early to watch the sunrise (or late, to watch the sunset), outside of the heat of the day. Enjoy air conditioned attractions such as the Cairns Aquarium. Jump in your car (most cars these days have air con!) and take a drive along the scenic Great Barrier Reef drive. Spoil yourself with a massage or a manicure at one of the many spa's and salon's around town.
And if the humidity is still too much and the heat is getting unbearable, just remember, a North Queensland Summer beats a Southern Australian Winter any day!