Did you know that Australia has a rainy season? Well, I knew that this time of year is cyclone season by past experience because Steve and I were stuck on Bedarra Island in the Great Barrier Reef for three days due to one passing through nine years ago.
So, it rained a bit in Sydney and it poured in Brisbane; our excursion to Whitsunday Island in the Great Barrier Reef was canceled due to rain and rough water as was our visit to the rainforest via locomotive just outside of Cairns because they had such heavy rains the night before that it was too dangerous to attempt the trip. In fact the main highway was closed due to flooding and we found ourselves stuck in a huge traffic jam which took an hour and forty five minutes to travel 10 miles but the highlight of traveling so slowly was that we were able to see some wallabies jumping through the fields.
Going further north we visited Thursday Island and our guide happened to mention that it was getting close to the end of the monsoon season which lasts six months and would continue at least until the end of April. Thursday Island was named by Captain Bligh as he passed through the Torres Strait (and he also named Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday Islands after the day of the week he spotted them). Thursday Island was a strategic area during World War One and Two because it is located across from New Guinea which had been conquered by the Japanese.
I learned some other interesting facts. Salt water crocodiles (and stinger jellyfish) are everywhere in tropical Australia and people are forbidden to swim in the sea unless there is a specific roped-off area that is designated as being safe for swimming. After learning this, we thought that we should see the crocs and we decided to do that while we were in Darwin (where it was also pouring). The Northern Territory is well populated with them so we were able to see quite a few and watch them jump out of the water. They are quite intimidating.
St Barth has no rainy season, no crocodiles nor stinger jellyfish and you can swim from its gorgeous beaches! (Not that there’s anything wrong with Australia.)