Deep blue water all around, colorful corals and an exotic set of fishes swimming by, all this seems ideal doesn’t it? If you’ve always been fascinated my marine life, then diving in the Great Barrier Reef should be moved to the top of your priority list. Although there are many world –renowned sites for Scuba Diving, nothing beats this UNESCO Heritage Site in Cairns. Read on to find out more about Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
Covering over 2,300 km space near the coast of Queensland (state in Australia), The Reef is the largest living ecosystem on Earth. Interesting part is, it is even visible from outer space, which makes it all the more beautiful to look at. To get to the Great Barrier Reef, you need to first go to Cairns, a city in Queensland. There are many tour operators there who organize day trips/excursions/1N-2D trips and live-boarding trips to the Reef which is just off the coast of Queensland.
Tip #1: Book a direct flight to Brisbane, Queensland and then take a train or a domestic flight to Cairns.
How to Book My Tour?
It’s advisable to research thoroughly before choosing a tour operator. Remember to check on reliability, reputation and the gear/courses provided. If you’re an experienced scuba diver, then you probably do not need to take a course. However, if this is your first dive, or you aren’t confident enough, it would be great to take a 5 day Learn to Dive course. The course usually gives you handy tip about breathing underwater, how to move around and emergency tips.
Tip #2: Always cross-check with your tour agent about your booking. Keep a printout of the confirmation, it might come handy.
Best Time to Go
Although, Australia boosts a climate that is suitable year-round for visiting the Great Barrier Reef, there are still some months that are favorable than the rest. The best conditions to dive are found in the months starting from late August to late December. The summer season in Australia usually starts from November onwards and lasts up till April.
Tip #3: Ideally speaking, September and October are the best months in terms of weather and waves.
What to Expect?
For first timers, the experience can be thrilling and slightly scary at the same time. However, choosing a shallow site with your operator can be useful if you’re scared to go too deep. The average depth of the water is about 50ft, which may seem a lot to many, but there are shallower coasts. It’s important to double-check your gear before diving to ensure you’re safely tied up. The reef boosts of hosting over 2000 various species of fish and 1500 species of turtles and other aquatic life. Some of the significant species you can expect to see are-
- Clown Fish: Our very own, Nemo!
- Cardinal Fish: Gill, the saving grace in Finding Nemo.
- Surgeonfish: Dory, our favorite character
- Loggerhead Turtle
- Various groups of Molluscs
Tip #4: Don’t touch the marine creatures, you’ll probably scare them off. Your eyes are the best means of enjoying the sights underwater!
What are the Safety Measures?
- Take medication for seasickness, since its common.
- Wear a stinger suit during the ‘stinger season’ between November and May.
- Protect your skin- apply loads of sun protection cream since the sun in North Queensland can be harsh and can cause serious damage
- Ask for a flotation device if necessary
- Remember to keep at least a 12-hour gap between flying and diving.
What is the Cost?
Prices start from about $200 for a few hours and can go up till $700 for a 1N/2D tour. It’s best that you book your package at least a few days in advance, especially during holiday season.
How to get to Cairns?
There are a few international airlines that fly to Cairns from Delhi, these include Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Virgin Atlantic Australia. If you are unwilling to travel the long hours, then you can fly directly to Sydney via Air India and then take a flight to Cairns from there after curing the jet lag.
For a thrilling Scuba Diving Experience, book your Australian Adventure Tour Package on GoFro and get great deals and discounts!