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Great Barrier Reef Tours | Scuba Diving

Cairns Dive Trips, Great Barrier Reef Tours - Cairns Snorkel Tours - Port Douglas, Scuba Diving 

When visiting Cairns, Palm Cove and Port Douglas make sure you go out to see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on a dive tour and try an Introductory Scuba Dive on a day tour or an overnight liveaboard dive trip. If you are a Certified Scuba Diver you will really enjoy the night dives on the reef in some of the best scuba diving reef locations of the world.

Cairns and Port Douglas are world reknown as the bucket list destinations to see some of the most spectacular snorkeling, scuba diving and marine life you will ever see in your life. They are the gateways to the Great Barrier Reef tours and offers the fastest easiest access for scuba divers to be on the reef in under an hours boat ride.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of our world today and certified and introductory divers flock to Cairns and Port Douglas annually to see it's sheer beauty and majesty. 

Great Barrier Reef Size

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living coral reef system composed of over 2 900 individual reefs and 900 islands, stretching for over 2 600 kilometers over an area of approximately 344 400 square kilometers. The Great Barrier Reef is located in the warm waters of the Coral Sea off the Coast of north Queensland Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is also the oldest living organism that is actually visible from outer space. Buzz Aldrin one of the Apollo 11 Astronauts has visited Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and has confirmed that he has seen the reef from his space rocket windows in 1969.

The best way to view the reef is to take a snorkel tour to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns or Port Douglas and go on a scuba diving tour for the day or for the absolute piece de resistance spend a few days on a liveaboard dive boat exploring some of the most famous of all dive locations in the world the like the Cod Hole, Osprey Reef, and the Ribbon Reefs just to name a few of the standouts.

Cairns Snorkel Tours Great Barrier Reef 

Cairns snorkel tours on the Great Barrier Reef tours also depart from Port Douglas and cater for those that are not wanting to scuba dive. They take guests to reefs where they can snorkel the same locations that you can dive with just as much fun and visibility of the coral and marine life.

Snorkeling is very easy: It is the practice of swimming while equipped with a mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel that stays above the water level and delivers fresh air to your lungs via breathing through your mouth. Swim fins are also provided making you move through the water faster and more agile. Life jackets or pool noodles that you can put under your arms or belly are also available for beginner swimmers or those that just want to float about.

We have a saying at the Tour Specialists that if you are a snorer you are already a snorkeler as it is simply a matter of changing from breathing through your nose to breathing through your mouth with the mouth piece and snorkel all in one.

Cairns Scuba Dive Tours, Great Barrier Reef Trips, Cairns & Port Douglas 

For the more adventurous ones, scuba diving is a must try activity on the reef. No need to be experienced to try an introductory dive, it is so easy. Scuba diving is a self contained underwater breathing apparatus that divers use to stay under water for longer periods of time and provides oxygen via hoses connected to a tank that is strapped to your back by a harness.

Cairns Introductory Scuba Diving Tour

On the boat ride out to the reef a professional dive instructor will teach you how to maximize your first scuba dive experience as well as go through all the safety instructions you will require. All introductory scuba divers are required to pre-read the safety rules and regulations before booking an introductory dive.

For those with known medical conditions we suggest you visit a qualified dive doctor for clearance prior to booking your Great Barrier Reef tour. 

As a qualified scuba diver you will also be required to fill in a medical questionnaire each time you dive to ensure you have not had any changes in your medical history since your last scuba dive.

As an introductory scuba diver you really need to concentrate on this teaching session and read up on the safety procedures before reaching your diving location on the Great Barrier Reef to ensure you have all the dive signals down pat so that you can communicate underwater and really enjoy the experience.

The number of introductory diver’s ratio is usually 4-6 divers per qualified dive instructor and you are all required at first to scuba along underwater arm in arm to ensure everyone keeps up and is comfortable. Once you are comfortable you can then just keep up with the group and follow along.

Other scuba diving instructors will be in the water keeping an eye out for any introductory divers that need extra assistance or those that would like to resurface and let the group go on.

Scuba Diving Depths

On your first introductory scuba diving experience the depth of the water can be anything between 7 to 10 meters and the duration of your introductory dive is approximately 30-40 minutes dependant on how fast you breathe and use up your oxygen. By breathing slowly you will preserve your oxygen and lengthen the time of your introductory dive to get maximum enjoyment of your first diving experience.

An introductory diver is allowed a maximum of 2 dives per day and the Australian Safety Standards minimum age for diving in Australia is 12 years old.

Cairns Dive Tours - Certified Scuba Divers

A certified diver is recommended to allow for up to 3 dives per day or more dependant on how long and how deep your dives are. So always keep in mind that when diving, the number of safe dives is measured by each individuals dive depths and length of time under water. The more time a diver spends at high pressure and at deeper depths the higher the risk of DCI otherwise known as Decompression illness.

If scuba diving at deeper depths you must also not take to the surface too quickly and ensure you keep an eye on your dive computers or your manual decompression tables to ensure you stay at the required safety levels for your decompression safety stops.

As a precaution for diver errors or computer malfunctions most certified scuba divers do an extra safety stop which is typically 1- 6 minutes at around 3 to 6 meters just to ensure they safely eliminate absorbed inert gasses from the body before surfacing to avoid decompression illness.  

It is always advisable to brush up on how to use your manual dive tables and ensure your dive computer is in top working order prior to undertaking any scuba diving expeditions.

All of the Cairns and Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef tour operators provide a guided dive with a dive instructor or a dive master, so you will have access to the best locations on the Great Barrier Reef, with no time wasted to find your way underwater.

Scuba Diving Medical Conditions for Australia

It is important to mention that scuba diving is an underwater recreational activity that is subject to specific medical conditions. The dive master will provide you with a Dive Medical Questionnaire that must be completed prior to departure.  The medical questionnaire contains a series of questions that will determine if you are suitably fit medically for scuba diving.

Risk factors for scuba diving include: Asthma, recent heart surgery or heart attack, diabetes, cholesterol, serious lung or chest disease, epilepsy, high blood pressure, hemophilia, bleeding or others blood disorders, hernia, fainting, seizures or black outs, chronic bronchitis, chronic sinus conditions, ear or lung disease, back, arm or leg problems following surgery, injury or fracture, pregnancy, recreational drug use or alcoholism, etc… Some of these medical problems may be temporary; the dive instructor will determine if the scuba diver is considered fit to dive.

Safety Rules For Scuba Divers in Australia:

Scuba divers are to always check for new safety regulations regarding scuba diving and it is a recommendation currently that you wait at least 12 hours after completing one dive before altitude flying or 18 hours when multiple diving with 24 hours being most preferable.

A dive with decompression stops is definitely no flying for at least 18 hours minimum.

Cairns Learn to Dive - How to Become a Certified Scuba Diver in Cairns

It is very easy to become a certified scuba diver. Cairns in Queensland Australia has an international reputation for providing the highest quality of safety standards and the highest level of courses to get a scuba diving open water certification from introductory level to certified, to dive master, dive instructor to rescue diver and lots more.

Our Cairns scuba dive courses are available all year round and also in foreign languages on request. Some example languages are German, Swiss, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, and Mandarin.
These courses are usually PADI or SSI recognized.

Cairns Dive Courses - There are 6 steps for scuba diving courses:

Step 1: Learn to dive-Open water diver: It usually takes 4 days to obtain your open water license. 2 days of classroom and pool and training and 2 days diving on a liveaboard dive trip on the Great Barrier Reef to practice your skills (4 dives).

Step 2: Referral Learn to Dive Course: If you started your scuba diving course at home but wish to complete it in Cairns Queensland Australia.

Step 3: Advanced Open Water Dive Course: It is designed to expand your scuba diving skills. Through experience and knowledge a scuba diver will gain confidence and enjoy the pleasure of scuba diving.

Step 4: Rescue Diver Course: This course is a transition between recreational diving and expanding your knowledge about emergency situations and stress management rescue.

Step 5: Dive master course: Dive master is the first level of the PADI professional rating. This qualification allows you to supervise recreational diving activities and to become an instructional assistant.

Step 6: Scuba diving instructor: It usually is a 2 weeks program.

What makes scuba diving so enjoyable apart from the feeling of being underwater is the variety of marine life and trips you can experience. Reef tour companies in Cairns offer different options if you want to go snorkeling or diving. You can choose a daily trip (Spend the day on a boat and visit different locations during the day or a pontoon if you are looking for something more stable) or an overnight dive trip which would include spooky night diving (Between 2 and 7 days depending which locations you want to visit).

Cairns has the Great Barrier Reef at its door step that is why the city has a worldwide reputation for some of the best scuba diving reefs. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is the largest World Heritage Area in the world.

It is an incredible place to visit and the eco system supports the greatest concentration of marine life on the planet: 400 different species of corals, 1500 species of fishes, sponges, giant claims, mollusks, rays, dolphins, turtles, sea snakes, sharks and even whales.

What Will I See Scuba Diving On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef?

Will I see a shark on the Great Barrier Reef? Yes you may. These beautiful creatures have been given a bad reputation over the years but are so graceful and generally harmless. The most common shark on the Great Barrier Reef is the smaller variety of White or Black Tip Reef shark. Diving and hand feeding big sharks is also a thrilling experience that you can experience on the Coral Sea on a live aboard vessel departing from Cairns but only if you are game.

Another amazing experience is whale watching: Whale watching in Cairns occurs during the months of June to September and this can vary on the water temperatures with the season either starting early or running into later months. The Great Barrier Reef is a safe haven breeding area for Humpback and Dwarf Minke whales.

They come here every single year to give birth in the safety of the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs in the natural pools that are formed by coral bommies where they hide to calve safely away from the eyes of predatory killers like Great White sharks and Killer Whales that prefer to attack in the open waters where the Humpbacks are easier targets.

To date the predatory Killer Whales have not been seen in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef but they are regularly seen following the pregnant female humpbacks and juvenile humpbacks up and down the Australian coastline in the more southern coastal waters as the Humpbacks migrate north. 

The female and her calf will stay in North Queensland for several weeks whilst the calf grows in size and strength to then begin its journey south to the Antarctic waters for the summer where the ice is beginning to melt and the krill and other food will be on tap like a smorgasboard.

Male Humpbacks will be showing up everywhere looking for mating opportunities wherever possible and one of the most famous male humpback whales is Migaloo the first white whale ever seen. The first recorded sighting was in 1991 on June 28th at Byron Bay New South Wales Australia.

There have been sightings of another white whale in recent years and it is smaller in size and has been named Bahloo. The smaller white whale Bahloo is suspected as being an offspring of Migaloo but it is yet to be confirmed with skin scrapings yet to be gathered by researchers to confirm his DNA.

As time has gone on more of Migaloo's offspring are showing up along the east coast of Australia during the annual whale migration which delights all who have the opportunity to see these rare wonderful animals.    

Thankfully whales have no fear swimming in the safe waters off the coasts of Australia and each year more and more tourists, scuba divers and snorkelers get to experience close encounters with whales by participating in whale watching tours, swimming with whale sharks and even swimming with Dwarf Minke Whales in Port Douglas Queensland Australia. Port Douglas is the only place in Australia where you can swim with these inquisitive cheeky 6-8 meter whales.

How You Can Help To Protect Humpback Whales And Other Marine Animals From Extinction 

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Please make a donation today to help these heroes of today that are saving our children’s future and our planet for tomorrow.

These wildlife warriors put their lives in the line of danger to protect our oceans and its creatures from the hands of human cruelty and over fishing.

Please donate as soon as possible and make a world of difference

Coral Spawning Or Sex On The Reef

 Have you ever heard about Sex on the Reef? It is an annual coral spawning orgy! This spontaneous and simultaneous mass spawning of corals happens at night and only once during the year.

Coral spawning usually occurs sometime between September and December around 3-5 days after a full moon. No-one to this date can predict the exact date or time as it is based on the full moons, water temperatures, light, currents and tides and maybe other indicators that have not been determined as yet.

Corals release their eggs and sperm into the water in spherical bundles visible to the naked eye and come in many colours. Coral spawning is an unpredictable event as it requires a combination of different factors to operate but marine biologists can make good predictions on the dates as it gets closer to the late spring early summer season.

Coral spawning is popular amongst snorkelers and scuba divers who can experience it on a night dive. Some boat tour operators organize these night dives especially for this amazing phenonomen.

Fish from all over the world seem to know this event is about to happen as they converge on the Great Barrier Reef for their own orgy and feeding frenzy on the coral spawn making it a great time for snorkelers and scuba divers to see the Great Barrier Reef really come alive with lots of action.

Cairns is definitely the place to be if you decide to visit the Great Barrier Reef as this is where all the action and adventure begins and ends.