Great Barrier Reef Diving: explore the most beautiful place on earth

“I can mention many moments that were unforgettable and revelatory.  But the most revelatory, 3 minutes, was the first time I put on scuba gear and dived into a coral reef.  It’s unbelievable that you can move inn three dimensions” – David Attenborough.

When you think of scuba diving, do you think of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef?  This iconic destination is the place that has sparked thousands of people’s passion for scuba diving.  It starts here!  Your love for scuba diving begins here!  Are you ready to give it a try?

The Great Barrier Reef is the biggest living thing on earth, with around 2,900 individual Reef formations.  It is a living, breathing wonder that is visible from space.  Read more about the Great Barrier Reef.

Scuba diving beneath the crystal waters gives you a glimpse into this flourishing underwater world of wonder!

Our Top Ten Scuba diving tips for diving the Great Barrier Reef

  1. Choose a reputable dive operator. Research the dive company and read reviews to ensure they are experienced and safety-conscious.
  2. Plan for the right time of year. The Great Barrier Reef has different diving conditions depending on the time of year, so plan your trip accordingly.
  3. Check your equipment. Make sure your scuba gear is in good condition and that you have everything you need for the dive.
  4. Take a guided tour. A guided dive tour can help you navigate the reef and ensure that you see the best spots while staying safe.
  5. Respect the environment: Do not touch or damage the coral or marine life, and do not remove anything from the reef.
  6. Be aware of your buoyancy: Proper buoyancy control is important to avoid damaging the reef and marine life, and to conserve your air supply.
  7. Monitor your air supply: Keep track of your air supply and return to the surface with enough air to complete a safety stop.
  8. Stay safe: Dive within your limits and avoid taking risks, follow the dive plan and listen to your dive guide.
  9. Keep hydrated: Drink plenty of water before and after your dive to avoid dehydration.
  10. Have fun: Enjoy the amazing experience of exploring one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse underwater environments.


The reefs, Reef Experience and Reef Encounter travel to are:

Norman Reef – features cascading Reef walls that stretch further than your eye can see.  They are vibrant and full of life and are the home of our friendly Maori Wrasse, Frank!  Read more about Norman Reef.

Saxon Reef – a shallower Reef with structures more scattered.  Weave your way through the coral bommies and witness the diverse marine life of this area.

Hastings Reef – a popular spot and a favourite amongst divers, famed for vibrant coral gardens and many giant clams.  Read more about Hastings Reef.

Breaking Patches Reef – a fantastic location with its rolling hills of spaghetti coral, a soft coral that flows and dances with the movement of the water.  Frequent Turtle sightings it is loved by divers and snorkellers alike!

What to Expect on your Scuba Diving Great Barrier Reef Cairns tour

Our tours are affordable, and our crew is highly regarded for their excellent customer service.

It will take around 90 minutes to get out of the Reef.

You will have an in-depth briefing in which you will be shown the equipment and talked through how it works, the effects of water pressure on the body and the different hand signals.  Our skilled instructors will answer all your questions and concerns, and they will guide you effortlessly and patiently through the whole experience.

Groups are kept small, four divers to 1 instructor.  You will need to complete two skills; a mask clear and a regulator clear.  These are done just a metre or two under the water on a bar that hangs from the boat.  Once everyone has completed the skills, the dive can begin.  Expect to be held on to by the instructor first while you orientate yourself in the water – think of it like being in space.  Suddenly, you are weightless, suspended in the water.  It’s a fantastic feeling!

Then you are free to explore, stay close to your instructor and follow their lead.  You can take a camera but don’t forget to be in the present, seeing it through your eyes, not just the screen.  Experience this ‘once in a lifetime opportunity, and it could be the start of a new passion, so don’t miss a second!

Mask, snorkel, fins, stinger suit (stinger season only), and dive gear are all provided for you!  Reef Experience also provides reef-friendly sunscreen. Breakfast, lunch, tea, and coffee are available all day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t breathe properly?

This question is common for introductory divers, so let us explain a little bit about how a regulator (the thing you will be breathing from) works.  The regulator works on a demand valve, meaning when you demand air from it by breathing in, it opens and gives you all the necessary air.  Once you breathe out, the valve closes, and the air you expel leaves the regulator through the bottom as bubbles.  If you feel you are not getting enough, relax, calm down and take longer and deeper breaths in and out.

What if I am nervous?

Feeling nervous is normal; however, once you see all the magic the reefs offer, it won’t feel so scary anymore.  It is a uniquely fantastic experience that will last in your memories for your lifetime.  So relax.

I can’t swim.  Can I still try scuba diving?

Absolutely!  Just let your instructor know; they will link arms with you and guide you throughout your dive.

How long is the scuba dive, and how deep will I go?

The first introductory dive will last approximately 20 minutes, usually between 5 and 8 metres, with the deepest you can go being 12 metres in depth.  Should you wish to go again, your second dive will take 30-40 minutes.

Do I need prior training or certification?

Not at all!  To complete an introductory dive, you must show up and listen to the briefing, jump in, and give it a go.  Have fun and enjoy yourself because a qualified instructor will be watching you the entire time.

See our Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling page for more information about marine life!

We look forward to seeing you on board!

Next, discover the best Great Barrier Reef Tours.