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Cairns, Australia GBR info anyone?
TeachingOrlando - 7/16/2011 9:34 PM
Category: Travel
Replies: 4

Starting to plan our May 2012 vacation and seriously considering Cairns, Australia so we can dive the Great Barrier Reef.

Lots of good info on the web, especially about liveaboards, but I am hoping some of you have personal advice/suggestions for me :)
WCReefers - 7/18/2011 6:31 PM

You will Australia, My daughter lives in Palm Cove 27 km north of Cairns. I’ve been there 4 times already and it is great diving. My daughter has a lot of contacts there. If you want I can give her you email and you discuss with her directly.

badintexas - 7/22/2011 1:32 PM
I’ve never been but here are a few comments that I found about Cairns:

"Without doubt the best trips are the overnight boats that visit the Cod Hole and Ribbon Reef areas. These are the areas far north and take a bit of sailing to. Some operators fly you up one way and motor back the other, so you get more dive time. E.g. Mike Ball and Spirit of Freedom. These are the best 2 in my opinion. Taka motors both ways, and is a little cheaper because of this.
They run 4 day cruises (leave afternoon Monday or Tuesday and return Thursday or Friday afternoon) to the Cod Hole. If you also want to see the Coral Sea (shark feeds and excellent visibility (30m / 100 ft plus) then do the extra day.
If these are a little pricey then there are some excellent trips out of Cairns that offer diving on the Outer Reef areas.
Pro Dive who run Scubapro are very good. Great crew and good dive spots. They depart every day apart from Tuesdays and unlike Ocean Quest and Kangaroo Explorer (who stay on the Reef and have daily transfer vessels go out) they depart and return with the same passengers.
The trips like Pro Dive, Ocean Qust etc are great trips for beginners and cater for students, snorkellers and beginer divers as well as haveing some more advanced sites (deeper etc), so you will be in good company and not be diving out of your comfort zone.
Here is a link on our site that give s a few details of the live aboards mentioned above. Cairns Live Aboard Over Night Dive Trips To The Outer Barrier Reef, Cod Hole And Coral Sea. Also worth noting that its peak season now and most of the boats fill up very quickly (few months in advance) so its worth looking at availability soon, and dont leave it until the last minute."
My husband and I did the 3-day Cod Hole trip on Mike Ball’s Spoilsport right after getting certified. I was certified in a lake, so Cod Hole was my first ocean dive ever! "

"Boy, did they do a great job with new divers. Most divers on the boat were quite experienced, but if you weren’t they definitely went out of their way to make you feel comfortable. My husband and I, along with another newly certified couple from Spain, were paired up with an amazing instructor that we dove with for most of our dives. After gently giving advice on bouyancy, etc. the instructor then encouraged us to try a few dives on our own at sites we’d already dived with him."
darncat - 7/23/2011 2:21 AM
The thing you have to remember about diving in Australia, they are nuts about safety. Maximun dive time is 45 minutes, no exceptions. Be sure to have signal devices, audible and visible, for all divers....... Otherwise, it’s great.
Gabriela - 8/31/2011 8:50 PM
I’m curious where else you’re considering diving... I’m heading there in mid-november 2011 and I am looking for a place to dive where it’s a bit more advanced, hence more secluded from Scuba schools. Let me know if you’ve discovered any gems :)