A visit to Cairns gives you the chance to experience one of the most awe-inspiring adventures on the planet: scuba diving on The Great Barrier Reef.
Acclaimed as one of the world’s top scuba diving locations, The Great Barrier Reef is teeming with marine life, sea birds, and spectacular corals.
A World Heritage Site, the reef covers 350,000 square kilometres and is the only life form visible from the moon.
This wonderland is within easy reach of Cairns, making it the perfect location to learn scuba diving.
Scuba Diving – Your Options
Whether you’re a beginner wanting to get your dive licence, a veteran diver, a pro wanting new skills for your CV, or simply want to try a one-off ‘resort dive’, your choices are many.
Scuba diving is a way of life in the coastal Far North, so Cairns boasts a myriad of dive shops, scuba diving schools and scuba diving expedition operators. Many are locals with outstanding knowledge of dive sites and the reef’s ecosystems.
If you’re a beginner, a five-day learn to dive course is the way to go. You’ll spend several days in the pool learning the fundamentals, then head out to the reef for an overnight stay on a boat. Staying out means more fun and more dives – including an unforgettable night dive. This is not nearly as scary as it sounds.
Once you’re qualified, you’ll be a certified recreational scuba diver, with a licence that’s recognised the world over.
For experienced divers, there’s a huge range of day tours, private charters, and live-aboard dive expeditions ranging from one night to many.
Scuba Diving Highlights
The Great Barrier Reef has the greatest concentration of life on earth and fantastic underwater visibility.
The thrill of being transported to another world is made all the most exciting by close, crystal-clear encounters with amazing creatures and magnificent marine landscapes.
You can expect to see dolphins, huge sea turtles, various sharks, dugongs, incredibly beautiful giant clams, and even whales during their seasonal migration. Plus over 350 types of wildly coloured corals, and countless dazzling fish – around 1500 species all up.
Many fish don’t seem at all perturbed by humans and will happily swim around you. Monster Gropers, metres in length, might even try to make friends.
Scuba Diving Health & Safety
The North Queensland scuba diving industry is considered one of the world’s safest and best run, thanks to high levels of professionalism and tight regulations. You must pass the local Dive Medical before you can do a dive course or participate in some advanced scuba diving expeditions.
Find out about the Dive Medical.