Scuba Diving off The Great Barrier Reef

Scuba Diving off The Great Barrier Reef

Go Scuba Diving Off The Barrier Reef With A Whitsunday Dive Adventure

A must do for anyone in Australia, whether you are a resident or visiting from overseas is to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Even if you have never done scuba before, it is well worth doing. Sure, you can snorkel and this is still a great way to see parts of the reef but it doesn't give you the freedom that scuba does.

The Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world and was World Heritage listed in 1981. It is said that it can be seen from space. And no wonder. The reef starts near Fraser Island and ends in the Torres Straits just south of Papua New Guinea. This makes it approximately 2600km long. It is made up of 2900 separate reefs and 900 islands. It is the home of diverse marine life... like a safari park under the sea.

A good place to start your Barrier Reef adventure is Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach is possibly one of the closest coastal spots to the reef. It is located in the Whitsunday region of Queensland. Many scuba diving schools, charter boats and other tourist industries have been set up there. It also has it's fair share of pubs and night spots to reflect on the day over a meal and drinks. You will also find plenty of buskers on the streets if you want more spontaneous entertainment.

If you decide that you want to see the reef, the best thing to do is to go to a scuba school and get qualified. Generally a course may take one or two days of theory and pool instruction and then more instruction in the ocean.

The first day teaches you the physics of diving and culminates in a multiple choice test that you have to pass before you can get into the pool (You can fast track this part of the course by doing it online before arriving in Airlie Beach if you have the time).

Once in the pool, you have to swim a distance of 200 metres to show that you are a decent swimmer and comfortable in water. After that, you are instructed on using the scuba gear, communicating underwater and other skills that you will need to be a competent diver. (This is called the confined water section of the course).

Most of these dive adventure courses include a boat trip onto the reef where you continue your dive instruction (This is where you learn the open water skills needed to qualify as an open water diver).

Depending on what you want to do, the trip can last a few days or longer (It takes around 4 days to do all the qualifying dives to get your open water certification). You live on the boat and get to cruise around the various islands and reefs.

During this time you will go on numerous dives. The initial few dives will be further instruction. The group will go down with an instructor and go through various skills and safety exercises. For instance, you learn to share your air tank with someone else, how to swim in the most efficient way and other skills. You will put your theory into practice by determining how long you can stay down based on depth and the last time you dived. As you do more dives, you will generally be allowed to go deeper.

One of the dives that many get excited or concerned about is a night dive, which is an interesting experience. You see things in a different way and for many it gets one out of your comfort zone.

As you get more experienced, you will be given more independence.

This means you can go off with your buddy and discover your own little part of the reef. It is quite an amazing experience. You will come across all sorts of animals from turtles, manta rays and even the odd white tipped reef shark (small and harmless).

The funny thing is that the fish come out to have a look at you. They must be thinking what are these weird looking creatures with bubbles streaming out of them.

When you are not diving, you can relax on the boat as it cruises round the various islands. It's not unusual to be joined by Dolphins who will surf or get a back rub by the wake that the boat makes as it is moving.

At the end of your cruise, you will have gained a Padi Open Water Certification which means you can continue your scuba diving adventures on the reef or anywhere else in the world. If you don't fancy doing the full course or don't have the time to go on a dive adventure, you can do a one day trial dive.

The trial dive involves some formal instruction, and learning the basics of the gear and then generally a 30 minute dive in the ocean. You will be accompanied by an instructor throughout this dive and never go any deeper than 10 metres. This will still give you a great opportunity to see plenty of marine life and is a great taster of what you can do as a qualified open water diver.

Posted By mick

Updated : 20th October 2021 | Words : 882 | Views : 7125 | Comments : 1

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Scuba diving Whitsunday adventure is a must do activity in Whitsunday.

Posted By Scuba Diving Whitsunday on Thursday 7th February 2013 @ 15:50:13