About the Reef
With over 2900 coral reefs, 400 species of coral,
hundreds and hundreds of species of fish and other brilliantly colored
marine life, ranging in size from barely visible crustaceans to
Humpback whales the Great Barrier Reef is truly an amazing place.
Cairns is the most popular gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The
reef here is close by, in less than an hours’ boat ride from
Cairns you can be in the water and seeing it for yourself. More
distant parts of the reef are reachable only by liveaboard boats,
which stay out on the reef for two to fourteen days.
If you come here, don't pass up the chance to see this amazing and
beautiful ecosystem. If you want to learn more about we recommend
you attend Reef Teach,
a great evening seminar on the Great Barrier Reef.
Are you a certified diver planning on diving on the Great Barrier
Reef? Cairns is the ideal starting point, as there are more dive
operators and dive trips to choose from than other other place.
There are trips ranging from one to 12 days in length, trips for
budget backpackers, and full-on luxury trips….something perfect
suited to you is offered by some dive operator in Cairns.
We don’t have space here to describe to you the opportunities
you have, someone has already done that. Check out DiveTheReef.com;
they have indexed the complete range of dive trips, as well as other
adventures. Great website!
Most boats here cater to both snorkelers and divers, so snorkellers
have an equally great opportunity to see the reef. Nearly all operators
also offer introductory scuba dives for a modest extra charge; a
great thrill and easy way to try scuba diving.
Learn to Dive
There are four dive schools in Cairns, and competition between the
schools keeps the value high and the prices low. The dive industry
here has an excellent safety record, and thousands of backpackers
get certified to dive here annually.
Dive courses take from four to six days. The first two days are
spent in the classroom and pool learning the theory and skills.
The following days are spent diving on the reef, you will make a
minimum of four training dives, followed by any recreational dives
you make by a newly certified diver. Once you have earned your dive
certification you can dive anywhere in the world.
Interesed in learning to dive? Be sure to check our our page
on dive courses.