Frequently Asked Questions

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

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).

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 extremely rare to see on the reef. They breed in estuaries and live their life on the shoreline, therefore generally 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. What if I am travelling alone? Who will I dive with?
A. Before every dive, the dive supervisor conducts a detailed site briefing. We will assist you to find 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. Guided Dives
A. It is not common practice in this region to offer individual guided dives. The reefs that we visit are easily navigable for all levels of diver. Prior to every dive, a comprehensive briefing will be given by the dive supervisor to assist with your navigation and direct you to areas of interest at each site. We do offer a guided dive on the first dive of the trip and the first night dive to assist guests with their initial orientation to diving on the Great Barrier Reef. All other dives are buddy dives.

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. 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 double cabins 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. Dietary Requirements
A. We are very limited in catering to different dietary requirements/allergies and can only guarantee to cater for restrictive diets as far as standard vegetarians go as we use cooks onboard our boats, not qualified chefs, so food substitution can be tricky. We do have buffet style meals on board the boat so there will be a variety of foods available. You are more thanwelcome to bring your own snacks onboard the boat but we have very limited space for refrigerated foods. The cook will be happy to speak with you once onboard about your allergy/intolerance and they will be able to show you what foods they will be cooking with. Please notify the reservations team of your dietary requirement at the time of booking.

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$65.00 is per person is payable directly to Pro Dive Cairns for the Government Environmental Management Charge or EMC. This amount incorporates the EMC of AUD$18.00 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?
- Minimum age – 12 years of age
- 10 minute tread water 200m swim or 300m with snorkel and fins

Q. Do I need a dive medical to complete the Learn to Dive Course?
A. Some medical conditions may prevent you from diving. You will be required to obtain a dive medical certificate if you have a positive response to any of the questions on the Student Diver Medical Declaration - This must be valid within 90 days of commencing the course. Your medical can be done prior to your arrival into Cairns or once you are in Cairns at the 24 Hour Medical Centre in Cairns ,no appointment is necessary, you can walk in for a Dive Medical up until 10pm, for further information please call 07 4052 1119.

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 cancel your course, you can cancel your course up until the end of the first day of the course and receive a full refund of all money paid to Pro Dive Cairns. There is no refund for cancellation fees.

Q. I am a certified diver, do I need a medical?
A. Please note – some medical conditions may prevent you diving. If you are affected by any of the points below you will need to consult a doctor and acquire a medical certificate, stating you are “fit to dive” prior to your dive trip.

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

Q. Can I dive with Diabetes?
A. Yes, although there are some requirements and restrictions that do apply to diabetic divers. Pro Dive Cairns follows the guidelines as set forth by South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS.) For full details please view the following documents:

  1. SPUMS Medical 4th edition – July 2011
  2. Statement regarding Diabetes and diving 2016
  3. Suggested assessment for divers with Diabetes 2016

Q. I am continuing my education as a diver, do I need a medical? (Advanced, Rescue & Nitrox courses)
A. Some medical conditions may prevent you from diving. You will be required to obtain a dive medical certificate if you have a positive response to any of the questions on the Continuing Education Student 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. This medical certificate must be valid within 12 months of course commencement. If you are unsure about a specific medical condition please check with your doctor or with us prior to making your reservation.

Q. What do I bring to my pool and theory sessions?
A. You will need to bring your swimsuit and a towel, your dive medical if required and $10-$15 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 in the ocean/open water.

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 with Pro Dive Cairns, followed by 2 x day trips to the outer reef with a different company TUSA Dive 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. 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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