Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

Cairns Swimming Lagoon

Cairns Swimming Lagoon

This is an elegant and free public pool in the City of Cairns on the eastern coast of northern Australia.  There is a good reason the City invites the public to swim here, rather than the ocean that surrounds it:  box jellyfish.


On one of those searing hot Australian summer days, there is nothing more inviting than the surf.  Driving up and down the highway, you see white sandy beaches frequently, and they’re calling.  But when you look closer, you see signs like the ones below, or you see large net enclosures.


It’s usually children who are killed by this jellyfish, and usually within minutes.  Other times the stings are not fatal, especially in adults.  But there’s enough danger and pain that Australians and the government too, take this sea creature seriously.  There are certain times of the year that Chironex fleckeri gather here, usually October to May.  And they prefer calm water and light breezes, but they congregate in all conditions.  More about the box jellyfish here.


A very lovely pool that you enter as if you’re walking into the sea–gradually with a sandy bottom, then you get to the deep end and can look out over the vast ocean.  It’s a very sweet and comfortable way to avoid deadly stingers, which I think is a great way to live life.

Top photo:  Athena Alexander

Jellyfish/stinger net enclosure, Ellis Beach, Queensland, Aus., Wikipedia


from Wikipedia, Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Aus.

Box jellyfish. photo: Guido Gautsch, Melbourne, Aus., Wikipedia




46 thoughts on “Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

  1. The jellyfish in parts of the world are very toxic more than others where they are abundant and large but less toxic when they sting. It’s great that they thought of installing these barrier netting and keep the public safe. Thanks for the post Jet! 🙂

    • Ouch. I’ve heard their sting is really painful. And even if they are dead on the beach they can still sting! yikes! Australia can be tricky. Thanks so much Joanne, I’m glad you’re okay. 🙂

    • Lucky you, Sherry. The flying fox bats in the Sydney Botanic Gardens might be something you’ll like — espec. being the bird watcher of Central Park that you are. I hope you have a wonderful time! 😀

  2. What a nice pool and go-around for the deadly stingers. My son came in touch with s jellyfish in the waves of the Indian Ocean when he was 7, but luckily it wasn’t this boxy one but something of a kinder type. He got sick for days though. Very interesting post, Jet!

  3. We have Man-o-War on the Gulf Coast — stings like the dickens when one hits you. But it’s no box jellyfish. I’ll take OUR little stingers, thank you! What a beautiful little cove to frolic safely; I’d rather people (or bird) watch from the doldrums of the sand dunes.

    • Texas is no slouch for stinging, biting critters, but Australia has some lethal ones worth looking out for. lol. Thanks so much for stopping by Shannon. 🙂

      • I always enjoy coming by your blog, Jet, though I don’t always have time for a good long read these days. You can be sure I’ll come back, like a good stray kitty. Thanks for being one of my top five favorite blogs. 😀

  4. I have read about these jelly fish and certainly have no desire to run into any. We are considering a trip to Australia next year of which I seem to be trying to pack far too much in. Cairns is currently on the list so will keep your warnings in mind.

  5. Luckily I have absolutely no desire to immerse myself in salt water. Other than debris from Japan’s nuclear disaster, I’d say our shores are relatively safe here.

    • Well I can recommend a mystery I wrote, pc. lol. It is set in northeastern Australia and has all kinds of crazy critters in it: Wicked Walkabout by Jet Eliot, on Amazon. Thanks so much for your frequent visits pc, I really appreciate them. 😀

    • Yes, I think so too, Nan. I’ve seen a lovely exhibit in the Monterey Bay Aquarium of jellyfish, and they are truly beautiful. But yikes, best behind glass or as you say, from afar. Great to hear from you dear Nan. 😀

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