Great Barrier Reef Scuba Diving


When you visit the Great Barrier Reef you will realise that there is a whole new world underwater. Snorkelling is easy way to experience the wonders of the reef but scuba diving allows you to be underwater for longer and at deeper levels increasing the amount of marine life and corals that you will see.

Requirements for all divers

  • All divers must be able to swim at least 200 metres without fins and snorkel non stop.
  • All divers must be able to float and tread water for 10 minutes
  • All divers must complete a medical questionnaire about medical conditions that may prevent you from diving. If there are any issues you must visit a doctor for a signed medical form.
  • The minimum age for PADI Junior Open Water Dive Certification is 10 years old but many cruise operators will not take children younger than 12 years old on introductory dives. Please check with individual operator at time of booking.

    Introductory Diving

    If you have ever wanted to scuba dive then the Great Barrier Reef is a great place to learn. Many cruise operators offers introductory and no experience is necessary. The minimum age for dives is normally 12 years old but we advise to please check with individual cruise operators before you book a cruise as they may have different rules.

    You must pass the on board medical questionnaire and sit through the 30 minute safety briefing. Dives are conducted with qualified dive instructors who will keep group numbers small so they can give you personalised attention and ensure that you are feeling comfortable underwater. Introductory dives are conducted on board many cruise operators in the Great Barrier Reef and all equipment will be provided.

    Dive platforms are ideal for beginner divers to help divers feel comfortable in the water. Dives normally lasts for approximately 30 minutes. Introductory dives do not provide you with a certification. They merely give you a chance to experience a deeper dive under the instruction of qualified instructors.

    Certified Divers

    Divers must have an internationally recognised PADI Scuba certification which means that they can dive confidently on their own. Evidence of dive certification and medical certificates is required. The freedom of having a diving qualification is that you can go to more deeper depths and dives that require a higher experience level. Depending on the location that you wish to dive, you may be required to have your own equipment or hire them from local dive shops.

    PADI Open Water Dive Course

    Many visitors take part in a PADI Open Water Dive Course as part of their holiday. The certification normally takes four days to complete. The course has a theory component and a practical component. If you are short on time you can study the theory component online and then organise dive lesson through local PADI dive course providers. The instructor’s focus is on ensuring that you fulfil the requirements of the certification and that you feel comfortable, confident and safe to dive on your own.

    Certified divers can go to depths of 40 metres/130 feet whilst introductory divers will not go any deeper than 12 metres.

    General Safety Information on Scuba Diving

    Care needs to be taken when flying after a dive. If you have taken one dive then you should allow 12 hours before you dive. If you have conducted more than one dive than it is highly recommended that you allow 24 hours. Alcohol also impairs your concentration, perception and reaction time so no alcohol is preferred before a dive and many operators will not serve you alcohol until all dives have been completed.