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Weather in Cape Tribulation / Daintree region

Cape Tribulation's weather goes through a few extremes throughout the year, from torrential monsoonal rains to postcard perfect sunny weather.

Below is a guide to what to expect at what time of year to help you make a decision what the best time of year is for you to come and stay in Cape Tribulation, some like it hot, some like it cold!.

Cape Tribulation has a tropical climate with a average annual temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius.

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
32 31 31 30 27 26 25 27 28 30 31 32
90 88 88 86 80 79 77 80 82 86 88 90

One thing to remember is that you want to come to Cape Tribulation to see the rainforest, and rainforest can not survive without rain, and although places like Darwin might have a guaranteed dry season, in Cape Tribulation you could get a shower or a big downpour any time of year. If it does rain during your stay here don't let it ruin your holiday, enjoy it, the rainforest looks at its best during the rain, the leaves are shiny, the frogs croak, the creeks and waterfalls are roaring, it's all alive!
There is nothing more refreshingg than to go for a swim in a running creek in the rain, like at the swimming hole at Mason's shop. After all, you'll get wet when you swim anyway!

I'll try and give you some advice on the Cape Tribulation weather and when to come here, just from my personal experience over the 17 years I have lived here;

Personally I think the best time to visit is late August to early November, as by then the winter has passed, the south east trade winds have slowed or disappeared, and there is less chance of rain and conditions are perfect for snorkelling trips to the Great Barrier Reef and sea kayaking.

Somewhere in November the box jelly fish will arrive, so unless you have a stinger suit you are restricted to swimming in the swimmingholes in the beautiful freshwater creeks, the pool at your accommodation, or take a reef trip; box jellyfish only live near the shore so out there you are pretty safe. November and December are warm/hot and dry months, although many tourists think that the wet season has started then the opposite is the case, it gets so dry that most years many houses around Cape Tribulation run out of water! Towards Christmas it gets hot, but around this time we usually get the first refreshing showers.

nice sunny cape tribulation weather
A nice sunny day on Myall Beach

January continues to be warm to hot, with the occasional shower, during this time of November to February there is usually not much wind, creating the blue mirror smooth oceans that you always see on the postcards and brochures, a perfect time for scuba diving in the clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef and sea kayaking.

February and March are traditionally months where torrential rains can hammer down for days and days, but with the changing of climates worldwide the last few years this does not always happen and also these two months can have beautiful warm and dry weather most of the time.

April and May are harder to predict as anything can happen, normally the wet season is over by now but in the last two years we have had cyclones hitting the coast, too far from Cape Tribulation to do wind damage, but they did bring rain. Temperatures are dropping now.

June can also be quite a temperamental month, changing periods of sunshine and periods of rain can keep life interesting, temperatures are getting lower as we are getting closer to winter.

July and August is the peak time of year when most people come to the Daintree for their holidays, and unfortunately this is also a time when south east trade winds can blow and we can still get showers, if your work commitments allow try to put your visit off till September, as the area will be less crowded and the weather conditions will be better for beach and reef trips.

Below are some more useful links to current weather and historical weather data to help you find what you are looking for;

Click for Cairns, Queensland Forecast
The current weather in Cairns, the nearest city to Cape Tribulation

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a website where you can check the weather and warnings for Cape Tribulation and every place around Australia.

Weatherzone.com.au can tell you the weather in just about any location in Australia simply by typing the name of the location in this search box;

Click here for Cape Tribulation's current weather, and also a listing of historical data on minimum and maximum rainfall, temperatures, moon and sunsets etc.

Planning a snorkelling or scuba diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef?
Click here for the Cape Tribulation marine forecast, wind speeds, tides etc.

Click here to see a radar image of the north Queensland coast that will show you where it rains right now.

Cape Tribulation's average rainfall is normally around 4.2 metres, although we have had a drought year where it only rained just over two metres and in recent years we had close to 7 metres! (That is 275 inches!)
There are a few occasions in recent history where it rained a metre a day, in 1996 the upper catchment area of the Daintree river received 1.5 metres in 36 hours, which resulted in the river rising above the banks, the ferry cable broke on the northern side and by the time the waters went down again the ferry was sitting high and dry on the riverbank and it took nearly a week to get it back into action again. Also there was metres of river sand on the road on the southern side and sections of bitumen had lifted off the road and washed into the sugarcane fields.

After years of requests by residents the local council has finally raised the Myall Creek and Thompson Creek causeways at Cape Tribulation so these creek crossings do not flood during the wet season anymore, and works are planned to also raise Cooper Creek and Mason Creek in 2010. Previously just about every year a few cars used to get washed down these creeks in the wet season;

radical cape tribulation weather very wet cape tribulation weather

This is a landslide that happend a few years ago after heavy rain:

extreme cape tribulation weather

 

 

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