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Dive Information

General Information

  • The minimum age for scuba diving is 12 years (there is no maximum age)
  • PADI standards recommend you leave at least 24 hours after your last dive before flying. You can fly then dive the same day, however not dive then fly. Other activities to avoid within 24 hours of diving are sky diving and hot air ballooning. Altitude is considered 300m/1000ft above sea level. This includes going to the Atherton Tablelands, so be careful when you are booking tours to follow your dive course/trip.
  • Some medical conditions will prevent you from diving. Some of the more common conditions are Asthma, Diabetes, Epilepsy and heart or lung conditions. Pregnancy is also a contraindication to diving. Some other medical conditions may also be a problem. If you are unsure about any specific condition please contact the Dive Company or check out the PADI website for more information.
  • All equipment is provided however if you have any of your own gear you are welcome to bring it along
  • The Great Barrier Reef is generally not a deep dive destination. Dive sites have an average depth range of 10 - 25 metres (30-80 feet). As coral relies on sunlight for growth, some of the best snorkelling and diving can be done in shallow areas around the reef top.
  • Stingers, also known as box jellyfish, are coastal dwellers and are never seen on the reef. They breed in the estuaries and live their life on the shoreline, therefore do not pose a threat to divers on the reef. The jellyfish season is from November to April.
  • Do not drink alcohol before diving or snorkelling for your own safety.


  • Snorkelling is suitable for people of all ages and abilities and is included in the cost of all reef trips.
  • Educational tuition, safety briefings and hands on assistance for beginners is available.
  • Snorkelling sites are supervised and flotation devices are available.
  • You do not need to pass a Dive Medical to go snorkelling or hold any dive certification however it is a good idea to practice snorkelling beside a platform, boat or shallow water before venturing into more open deeper water. Take into consideration your own limitations when snorkelling. If in doubt, wear a flotation device and always snorkel with a buddy.

Learn to Dive Courses

  • It is a course requirement that you be able to swim 200 metres and tread water/float for 10 minutes
  • A dive medical for Open Water Learn to Dive Courses is NO longer required in Cairns (Queensland) unless the traveller is found to have any medical conditions which will affect his or her dive skills. If you are unsure then you should consult a doctor prior to commencing the course
  • If you fail your swim test or simply don't feel comfortable underwater, many dive companies allow you to cancel your dive course at any time up to the end of day one and receive a full refund for any money paid to them. There is no refund for any reason after this time.

Introductory Dives

  • These are very closely supervised dives, conducted under strict PADI guidelines, for those who don't hold a dive certificate but want to experience the thrill of scuba diving on the reef.
  • No experience is necessary however the minimum age is still 12 years.
  • You do not need to pass a Dive Medical however you will be asked to sign a medical declaration form once on board the boat.

Certified Diving

  • It is an Australian Government requirement that your certification card be sighted by the crew on all vessels before you will be permitted to dive. You cannot dive as a certified diver without producing your card. If you have forgotten or lost your certification card/license you can still dive as long as evidence of certification can be provided. You can do this by contacting your original certifying organization. The dive company you book with can provide assistance in this area if needed. 
  • If you are travelling alone a dive buddy will be arranged for you and a dive guide is available on some dives.


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