Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has reissued a high-risk stinger alert, announcing all Cairns beaches will remain closed over the Australia Day long-weekend.
Closures include Ellis Beach, Holloways Beach, Palm Cove, Clifton Beach, Kewarra Beach, Trinity Beach, and Yorkeys Knob.
SLSQ North Queensland Regional Manager Rob Davidson said the decision was made in the interests of public safety.
“We’re in our peak stinger season and unfortunately we’ve already seen quite a few stings over the past two weeks, and our lifeguards captured two Irukandji on Friday,” he said.
“We’d obviously love to reopen beaches for this weekend, but public safety is our number one priority and the conditions we’re experiencing at the moment means the stinger-risk is still extremely high in Cairns.
“Our advice for this weekend is clear and simple – please follow instructions from lifesavers, follow the safety signs, and stay out of the water at those locations.
“We know there’ll be some disappointed people out there, but please remember that we’ve made this decision in the interest of everyone’s safety.”
While Port Douglas beaches are likely to reopen this weekend, Mr Davidson said it was critical for swimmers to exercise caution in the water.
“If you head to Port Douglas, or other areas, it’s really important to understand there’s still a high risk of stingers in the water,” he said.
“Please only swim between the flags, within the stinger nets, and always wear an appropriate stinger-resistant suit.”
Mr Davidson also said the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon was another option for those looking to cool down with a swim, but encouraged swimmers to put safety first and keep a close eye on their children.