Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do You Have A Beginners Guide to Scuba Diving?
A. Yes, here.

Q. Are there sharks on the Great Barrier Reef?
A. Yes, there are sharks in every ocean. A variety of sharks inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. What we most commonly encounter are smaller species which pose no threat to divers or snorkellers. The shark that Australia is infamous for is the Great White shark, prefers cold water of the Southern Ocean and does not exist in Tropical North Queensland.

Q. I have heard about the stinging jellyfish. Can I still go diving?
A. There are 2 main types of dangerous jellyfish in our local waters. The Box Jellyfish is coastal dwelling and is never seen on the reef. They breed in estuaries and live their life on the shoreline, therefore do not pose a threat to divers. The Irukandji jellyfish is also predominantly a coastal dweller but is occasionally found on the reef. Divers are rarely troubled by either species but there is still a risk of being stung. Full body coverage is recommended when jellyfish are prevalent. The jellyfish season in North Queensland is from November to April.

Q. When I travel with Pro Dive Cairns, where will I be diving?
A. We have 16 exclusive dive sites on 4 spectacular outer reefs. The reefs: Thetford, Pellowe, Milln and Flynn are situated on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, south east from Cairns. These sites are rarely visited by other vessels, so divers and snorkellers get the exclusive opportunity to view magnificent corals and fish life without the crowds. We generally only ever do two dives at any one dive site - weather pending.

Q. What depths will I be diving to?
A. The Great Barrier Reef is generally not a deep dive destination – so more your shallow diving. Our dive sites have an average depth range of 10 - 25 metres (30-80 feet). As coral relies on sunlight for growth, some of the best snorkelling and diving can be done in shallow areas around the reef top.

Q. Do I need my own equipment?
A. No. Pro Dive Cairns include all required equipment you may need for any dive or snorkel package. If you are interested in purchasing gear, you can stop by the retail shop the evening before your trip between 4 – 6:45pm to gear up.

Q. What if I am travelling alone? Who will I dive with?
A. Before every dive, the dive supervisor conducts a detailed site briefing beforehand. We will arrange a dive buddy for you. We offer an Instructor in the water for the first dive to see if the certified divers are ok in the water and the first night dive will be offered with an Instructor.

Q. If a friend / partner is a certified diver or non-diver, can they come on the same trip with me whilst I’m on the course?
A. Yes, they will be buddied with another certified diver onboard while you complete your 4 training dives. After that you will have the opportunity to complete 5 pleasure dives together. There is plenty of time throughout the trip to snorkel and socialise with a non-diver if you are travelling with someone who doesn’t dive/snorkel.

Q. I have forgotten / lost my certification card / license, can I still dive?
A. Yes, as long as evidence of certification can be provided eg log book, verification letter from your certifying dive company. You can do this by contacting your original certifying organizations. We can provide assistance in this area if you are PADI affiliated.

Q. What accommodation facilities are available onboard ‘Scubapro’ vessels?
A. All three vessels have 14 twin share cabins and 2 doubles available at the same cost. Every two cabins share shower and toilet facilities. For clients travelling alone, we will arrange a twin share cabin with another person of the same sex.

Q. How many people will be on the boat?
A. A maximum of 32 passengers are on the liveaboard vessel. There will be a mix of skill levels on board – snorkellers, certified divers and people completing diving courses such as Open Water, Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster courses.

Q. Can you pick me up from my accommodation?
A. Yes. Pro Dive Cairns can provide complimentary transfers from Cairns & Northern Beaches, accommodation as far as Palm Cove. We do not pick up from private addresses but will collect passengers from the nearest hotel or pick up point. Please note we do not pick up from the Airport.

Q. What is Reef Tax – EMC?
A. A compulsory fee of AU$10.50 is collected for the Government Environmental Management Charge. A total of AU$60.00 per person is payable directly to Pro Dive Cairns. This amount incorporates the EMC as well as Port Departure Tax and administration costs. (Subject to change at short notice)

Q. What do I bring on the boat?
A. You will need to take along 2 towels - one for swimming and one for showering. You’ll need swimwear, comfortable clothes for three days, toiletries etc. Luggage needs to be kept to a minimum (small bag) as space is limited on boats. Any excess luggage can be kept safely in storage for you at our retail shop.

Q. Can I bring alcohol on board?
A. Yes, you are allowed to bring alcohol on board, but in moderation as we only have limited space on all of our boats. Please note once any alcohol has been consumed, you are not allowed to go into the water again until the following day. Pro Dive Cairns encourages responsible drinking.

Q. When can I fly next after diving?
A. PADI standards recommend you leave at least 24 hours after your last dive before flying. You can fly, then dive the same day, however not dive then fly. You will complete your last dive around 12 noon on your last day of the liveaboard trip, so flying the next day anytime after noon will be ok. Other activities to avoid are sky diving, hot air ballooning and going to Kuranda.

Q. What do I have to do to complete my Learn to Dive?
A. Minimum age – 12 years of age. 10 minute tread water 200m swim or 300m with snorkel and fins. Prior to commencing your Learn to Dive Course you are required to complete the self assessmentEntry Level Student Dive Medical Declaration. A dive medical may be required.

Q. What happens if I fail my Medical?
A. You have 2 options: you can still go on the liveaboard trip as a snorkeller or you can obtain a full refund (available only up until the end of the first day of class). Some medical conditions that can preclude you from diving include heart disease, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.

Q. What do I bring to my pool and theory sessions?
A. You will need to bring your swimsuit and a towel. If you have not already completed your dive medical, bring some money to pay direct to the doctor. (AUD$60.50 cash or credit card) You will also need to bring cash on both days for lunch. We do not have an ATM facility at the Training Centre but this facility is available within a five minute walk.

Q. How many people will be in my class?
A. The maximum student/instructor ratio is 10 students to 1 instructor in the pool and 8 students to 1 instructor on the outer reef. The classroom numbers are capped at 16 students.

Q. Why should I do the 5 day Learn to Dive Course as opposed to the 4 day Learn to Dive Course?
A. The 5 day course is the most popular option as it provides a greater overall diving experience and is generally better value for money. For only a little extra, guests have the opportunity to sleep out on the reef in comfort, complete nine dives including the night dive experience, visit a greater variety of dive sights and have all their food and accommodation included for the boat portion of the course.

The 4 day course consists of 2 days pool and theory, followed by 2 x day trips to the outer reef where you complete your 4 training dives. Please be aware that the instructor on the reef trips will not be the same instructor you had for pool/theory. Please note that there are extra costs for the diving portion of the 4 day course payable direct to the operator for taxes and also transfers from your accommodation.

Q. English is not my first language, can I do my course in a different language?
A. Pro Dive Cairns offer courses in German on Tuesday and Friday, and Japanese on Thursday’s. PADI offer a wide variety of languages in the Learn to Dive manuals i.e. Italian, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Korean and Chinese. Please make your request at least 2 weeks prior to you starting your course and we will endeavour to obtain the correct manual for you.

Q. Do I need a medical to go diving?

Important Information For Course Participants continuing on with their dive education.

Prior to commencing your Learn to Dive Course you are required to complete the self assessmentStudent Diver Medical Declaration. A positive response to any question means that there is a pre-existing condition that may affect your safety while diving and you must consult a medical practitioner preferably with experience in diving medicine to obtain a dive medical certificate that states that you are fit to undertake recreational diver training.

To avoid disappointment we suggest that you complete the Student Diver Medical Declaration and if necessary obtain a dive medical from a doctor prior to commencement. (Any costs associated in this process are payable direct to the doctor).

Important Note: Student Diver Medical Declaration and Dive Medical (if required) must be completed within 90 days of commencement of your learn to dive course.

Help in finding a diving doctor.

Important Information For Certified Divers

You will be required to sign a Waiver Release & Indemnity Deed onboard the vessel.

Please Note: Some medical conditions may prevent you diving. You will be required to complete a waiver and medical statement prior to diving. If you would answer 'Yes' to any of the questions below you will need to consult a doctor and acquire a medical certificate stating that you're 'fit to dive' prior to your dive trip.

  • Since completing your last dive medical assessment have you suffered any illness or injury that may affect your ability to dive safely?
  • Are you currently suffering any illness or injury?
  • Are you currently taking any prescription medication other than the contraceptive pill?
  • Is there any other condition, fact or circumstance that may affect your fitness or ability to dive safely

Q. What is the best time of year to dive in Queensland?
A. The warm waters of Tropical North Queensland are ideal for year round diving. Water temperature can vary from 22° to 28° Celsius (75° to 85°F).

Summer (Dec-Feb)
Overall great marine life activity with plenty to see
Visibility - Excellent
Water temperature 29°C (85°F)
Generally calm sea conditions
Low to moderate rain - generally at night

Autumn (Mar-May)
Overall great marine life activity with plenty to see
Visibility - Good
Water temperature 25-27°C (80°F)
Calm to moderate sea conditions
Potential moderate rain

Winter (Jun-Aug)
Minke Whales & Humpback Whales
Visibility - Good
Water temperature 22-24°C (70°F)
Moderate sea conditions
Low rainfall

Spring (Sep-Nov)
Humpback Whales & Coral Spawning (Nov)
Visibility - Excellent
Water temperature 25-27°C (80°F)
Generally calm sea conditions
Low rain fall

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