Introduction to Diving in Cairns

If you have never tried SCUBA diving before and you have arrived in Cairns there are a few ways you can see the Great Barrier Reef from underwater.

There are 2 options where you either commit to taking an Open Water Dive course which gives you a lifelong license to dive with a buddy (someone else) to a depth of up to 18m (56ft), or alternatively you can just try a dive or two on the Reef with an instructor. This is the most popular and easiest way to get that experience.

Introductory diving (sometimes called Discover Scuba Diving, or Resort Diving) is for those who have not completed a dive course and want to try it with an Instructor. Introductory dives are carried out on shallow water (no more than 12 meters) in a group of no more than 4 people per instructor.

You don’t even have to be able to swim – but it helps! As long as you are over 12 years old and can satisfy the medical questionnaire, you should be able to dive. Some conditions like asthma, epilepsy etc. may prevent you from diving, so please check the medical questionnaire (see here), drop us a line, or better still ask your doctor at home. We would hate for you to be disappointed.

You will first fill out some paperwork (liability releases and medical declaration) then sit through a short (about 10 mins) briefing covering basic diving theory. This will run through basic hand signals for underwater communication, demonstrations of the equipment you will be using, a little bit of dive theory, and basic skills.

Once completed it’s onto the dive itself! Some boats start in shallow water on a sand cay or island, others a platform off the back of the boat. Either way you will first perform a few basic skills to make sure you feel comfortable, then off for a dive with the instructor. This usually lasts around 30 mins or so. The group size is limited to 4 and you will be in contact with the instructor and other participants at all times.

The first dive you do is actually the same dive as the Open Water course and can count towards it! Also worth noting if you decide to dive again and try more Introductory dives then you can show your certificate, and at the dive instructors discretion, you will not necessarily have to repeat the skills again.

What trips offer Introductory diving?

You can usually take 2 or 3 Introductory dives on the trips to the Outer Reef trips out of Cairns, and although Introductory dives are normally dived on day trips, there are options for a dive package on live aboard vessels. 5 intro dives over a 3 day 2 night boat trip. Contact Us for details.

Introductory diving is not available on the longer overnight trips that visit the Ribbon Reef areas like Mike Ball or Spirit of Freedom or the Yongala day trip. These trips are for certified divers only.

Please note that you should wait 24 hours before flying after diving, so please make sure you leave enough time in your schedule.

Are there underwater options if I can’t dive?

Yes, there are! It depends if you were unable to dive due to medical conditions or just not keen on the SCUBA experience. If its medical then you will need to seek out medical advice, but if you wanted to try underwater experiences other than SCUBA then there are Helmet Diving and SCUBA Do which is an underwater scooter you sit on, or SeaBob which is unique to Reef Magic and is like an underwater scooter that you hold onto and it propels you around.

These options are available on trips like Reef Magic or Great Adventures all of which take you out to a large pontoon where you can get off of the boat.