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Scuba Diving in Cairns

Cairns plays host to some of the best snorkelling and SCUBA Diving locations to be found anywhere in the world. From the novice to the veteran the experience is unforgettable, due mainly to the excellent diving conditions of clear, warm water, abundant marine life and the diversity and colour of the coral.

All boats that visit the Great Barrier Reef offer snorkelling either as an optional extra or as an inclusion in the fare. If you have never snorkelled before it is very easy. Dive team members will show you how to fit your face mask, snorkel and fins. Good operators have stable dive platforms to make getting in and out of the water very easy. All you need to do is float on the surface and the fish will come to you. If you are not a confident swimmer stay close to the boat or ask for a flotation jacket to help keep you afloat.

Within a few minutes you will have the hang of snorkelling. Even if you don't think you will want to go snorkelling take your swimwear with you because when you get out to the reef and see the calm, blue water you may find it too tempting to resist.

Sunburn is a real problem in the tropics and when you go snorkelling you need to remember to put sunscreen on places that you don't normally - behind the knees, the back of the neck and shoulders. You will need to reapply sunscreen every hour or so when you are snorkelling. Even if it is cool or overcast you will burn, so if you have fair skin try wearing a t-shirt or wetsuit whilst in the water.

Don't be concerned about the Australian reputation for sharks and large groupers dragging divers away. Hundreds of thousands of people go swimming, surfing and diving around the Australian Coast every day. Attacks of this nature are very rare and statistically extremely unlikely. You have a far greater risk of being struck by lightening or hit by space junk than you have of getting attacked by a shark.

There are three main SCUBA Diving activities available in Cairns;

1. Introductory Dive Courses
These are for people who have never dived before. No experience is necessary. Introductory dive Courses are conducted on day trips to the Great Barrier Reef. A simple introductory theory lesson is given by a qualified diving Instructor followed by a 30-40 minute shallow dive, always in small groups and always under supervision. Introductory dives are a lot of fun, they are safe and they are an excellent way to decide if you would like to pursue diving as a sport. A certificate is issued at the end of the dive.

2. Open Water Dive Courses
An Open Water SCUBA Course provides the diver with a license to dive anywhere around the World. Open Water Courses are normally conducted over 4-5 days, normally on live-aboard specialist vessels. The course consists of theory, pool work and ocean diving.

3. Certified Diving
For those who are already licensed to dive, North Queensland has many specialist dive companies that cater for the experienced diver. Once again there is a choice of a one day cruise or extended live-aboard vessels. There are a number of excellent operators that offer dive trips comparative to experience levels. Advanced courses and specialty dive courses are also offered on most vessels. Night diving is exceptional on the Great Barrier Reef - if the opportunity arises take it!

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