PALM COVE WEATHER
Palm Cove is situated in the tropics and has a fabulous year round climate, perfect for outdoor enjoyment. There are two distinct seasons - the 'Wet' season and the 'Dry' season that typically brings hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters. However any time of year is good for a visit, you can do anything and everything in the tropics!
WET SEASON - DECEMBER TO MAY
Here are some unique features of our wet season that's worth keeping in mind when planning your holiday:
The wet season begins building up around December, with hot, humid conditions in anticipation of the rain. Summer temperatures reach over 31 degrees during the day, however it often feels a lot higher due to the humidity levels that reach over 75%. It is common for 35 degree days over the Christmas period, when air conditioning is an absolute must!
After the intense build up the rain follows, usually peaking during the months of February, March and April. If you want to see the topics at their best then come in the wet season when everything is green and lush, and all the creeks and waterfalls running to capacity. An advantage for holidaying in the wet season is that the region is not as crowded, low season rates apply, and quite often you'll get to experience superb sunny weather inbetween the rain showers.
Water temperature during the summer is like a bathtub at 29 degrees; low wind and ideal water clarity provide perfect conditions for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Don't worry if it happens to be raining, quite often you'll find that it could be raining all day in Cairns, but completely clear, sunny and fine at the reef, as the rain tends to draw towards the mountains. Night time temperatures in Cairns during summer drop to a balmy 24 degrees and the thunderstorms that roll in provide a spectacular sight. All in all, our wet season is an exciting time for nature lovers and photographers when the tropics are at their most beautiful, and our waterfalls and rainforest come to life!
DRY SEASON - JUNE TO NOVEMBER
Here are some unique features of our dry season that's worth keeping in mind when planning your holiday:
Peak Tourist Season
The most popular season for visitors is the cooler dry season months from June to November. This is the peak tourist season, especially during the June and September school holidays. Whilst it's cold in the southern states we're enjoying pleasant weather - low rainfall, comfortable temperatures during the day, and cool nights. Even though this is the coldest time of the year for us in the tropics, it remains hotter than many other places around the world in summer!
July, August, and September are the driest months of the year, days are clear and fine, perfect for exploring the region. From July to September you may be lucky to see the humpback whales that migrate up the coast, or swim with inquisitive minke whales. The water temperature at this time of year will be at its coolest dropping to around 24 degrees. October to December is the best time to visit the reef because the trade winds have finished (May to August), so calmer waters improve visibility and make a pleasant experience for those usually prone to sea sickness. A number of resorts now have solar heated pools, taking that edge off the coolness at this time of year.
WHAT TO PACK
Being in the tropics its very relaxed up here with an emphasis on casual wear and in the evenings “smart casual” is the accepted dress in restaurants, hotels and clubs. There's no need to bring suit, tie or cocktail dress unless you're coming up for a special occasion.
November to April: Hot days and very warm nights typify the wet season so bring something light and cool - shorts, light-weight shirts, singlets, sarong, sandals, fully enclosed shoes for hiking, river walker sandles that can get wet if you're white water rafting and flip flops/thongs for the beach. Raincoats are not really necessary as its too hot, grab a poncho instead, most tour operators will provide umbrellas and usually you can find plenty of shelter to be able to freely walk around the city without getting wet.
May to October: The days throughout this cooler dry season are normally still pleasantly warm so again, light shirts, shorts, and tops are still all you will really need, with something a little warmer for night-time.
NB. Bring your SPF 30 sunscreen, hat, paw paw lotion and mozzie spray just in case.
Each Year between January and May there is a small chance the Tropical North will be affected by a Cyclone. This usually brings heavy rainfall and a chance of destructive winds depending on the path and severity of the cyclone. The Bureau of Meteorology tropical cyclone warning centre closely monitors and developments and plenty of warning is issued through warning advice and cyclone forecast track maps. For the latest weather warnings, radar information and forcasts see: www.bom.gov.au