Snorkeling or Diving in Cairns

Old Dec 5, 17, 9:52 pm
  #1  
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Snorkeling or Diving in Cairns

Hi,

I'm headed to SYD and CNS in early February. I've just started planning our trip so things are still moving. I've never been to AUS and have never been snorkeling or diving. I'm not sure if this requires some sort of training or any license. I just want to see the reef!

We'll have ~5days in SYD and wanted to see what are some of the "must dos" in SYD. For CNS, we'll have 2-3 days there, and the main goal is to see the reef. Is there a company/tour that you guys would recommend? I was recommended by friends to go wit "DayTripper" for smaller tours or "SeaStar" for bigger tours. Does anyone have any experience with them?

Thanks
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Old Dec 7, 17, 8:26 pm
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I would recommend just snorkeling. If you were an experienced snorkeler, then some kind of dive might be fun- but IMO it will be overload to deal with 'fins,mask, breathing, flaoting, LOOKING on top of all the scuba stuff. For standard diving you need a certificaiton and medical release. (There may be a limited dive you can do without a cert, but again not worth the expense and stress.)

There will ABSOLUTELY be plenty to see as a snorkeler.

We were up on the reef two years ago, and went out snorkeling (or diving) twice a day, 5 days! (We were on an island that made it a pretty easy off the beach undertaking, when we werent headed out on a dive boat.)

Ive never done an 'organized/paid snorkel'- my expectation is that they will have a release/medical form, then do training on the ride out. Perhaps split up a group into novice/experienced?

Do it. You will be amazed.

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Old Dec 14, 17, 6:31 am
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I would just snorkel. You might consider an intro dive, but only if you are really interested about learning to dive. You won't see much more, if anything, on an intro dive that you can't see snorkeling.

I did a tour with three stops. First stop was snorkeling, second stop was an intro dive, and third stop was your choice. I went snorkeling the third time, it was way more fun, less work, less stress, and I can go down for a fair time holding my breath so I didn't see anything different vs. the dive.

Your time in CNS seems short. Keep in mind bad weather might cancel your reef boat trip. You are traveling during the rainy/cyclone season. Also, it is not recommended to fly until 12-24 hours after you dive (depending on who you ask), so you need to keep that in mind too. If I were you, I'd add a day.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Dec 14, 17 at 6:40 am
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Old Dec 18, 17, 12:54 am
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
I would just snorkel. You might consider an intro dive, but only if you are really interested about learning to dive. You won't see much more, if anything, on an intro dive that you can't see snorkeling.

I did a tour with three stops. First stop was snorkeling, second stop was an intro dive, and third stop was your choice. I went snorkeling the third time, it was way more fun, less work, less stress, and I can go down for a fair time holding my breath so I didn't see anything different vs. the dive.

Your time in CNS seems short. Keep in mind bad weather might cancel your reef boat trip. You are traveling during the rainy/cyclone season. Also, it is not recommended to fly until 12-24 hours after you dive (depending on who you ask), so you need to keep that in mind too. If I were you, I'd add a day.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll probably just go with the snorkeling as suggested. Do you have any tours you'd recommend? Any hotel recommendations? Was going to just stick with the hilton properties.
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Old Dec 19, 17, 1:38 am
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It's been 8 years since my trip, and I stayed at a hostel, so I don't think I can be much help there. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Dec 22, 17, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
It's been 8 years since my trip, and I stayed at a hostel, so I don't think I can be much help there. Enjoy your trip!
No worries. Thanks for your help!
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Old Dec 23, 17, 11:51 am
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I used Quicksilver many years ago (good to see they are still trading I guess!!). We only had 2 nights in Cairns. Flew up one day and there was a heavy tropical storm on. The roads were flooding from the airport to our hotel.

The next day we were picked up by a coach from our hotel and taken to the boat. On board as we headed out to the reef we had a lessons on how to use the equipment and watch several safety videos. Because of the storm the day before the water wasn't particularly clear. I had an issue with my ears not equalising and pressure building up so the guide had to take me the 20 or so meters back up to the top, leaving the others on a ledge below. My partner enjoyed it even though because of the storm you couldn't see too far but they did see some good things. I think we may have gotten some sort of dive certificate too!

One tip - avoid having a big breakfast from the hotel buffett. That and trying to watch a tv screen in choppy waters made me seasick!
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