Frequently Asked Questions

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General

The warm waters of Tropical North Queensland are ideal for year-round diving. Water temperatures vary from 22° to 30° Celsius (75° to 86°F). (TABLE)

Yes, there are sharks in every ocean, and 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 most infamous Australian shark, the Great White, prefers the cold water of the Southern Ocean and does not visit the waters of Tropical North Queensland.

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, they 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. Pro Dive Cairns provides full length lycra suits for protection from marine stingers. The jellyfish season in North Queensland is from November to April.

Reef tax is a compulsory fee for the Government Environmental Management Charge or EMC. 

Pro Dive Cairns provides complimentary hotel/hostel transfers from Cairns and the Northern Beaches, as far north as Palm Cove. We do not pick up from private addresses or AirBnbs but can collect passengers from the nearest hotel/hostel or designated pick-up point. Please note we do not pick up from the airport.

Liveaboard

Our vessels can carry a maximum of 32 passengers and 6 crew. There will be a mix of skill levels onboard: snorkellers, certified divers and students completing diving courses such as Open Water, Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster.

We are limited in catering for certain dietary requirements as we use cooks onboard our boats (not qualified chefs), so food substitution can be tricky. We serve buffet style meals during the liveaboard trip with plenty of fresh fruit and salads, so there will be a variety of foods available. We do have gluten free bread and pasta and soy milk onboard. If you are vegan or gluten free we recommend bringing your own snacks which don’t need to be refrigerated (refrigerator space is at a premium on the boat). The cook will be happy to speak with you once onboard about your diet, they will be able to show you what foods they will be cooking with and discuss how they can best accommodate your dietary requirements. Please notify the reservations team of your dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Yes, your friend/partner will be buddied with another certified diver onboard while you complete your 4 Open Water training dives. After that you will have the opportunity to complete 5 pleasure dives together. There will be opportunities throughout the trip to snorkel and socialise with a non-diver if you are travelling with someone who doesn’t dive.

All three vessels have 14 twin share bunk bed cabins and 2 double bed cabins available at the same cost. All cabins are for 2 people only. Double bed cabins are allocated on a first come first serve basis. There are 8 shared bathroom/shower facilities throughout the vessel. For clients travelling alone, we will arrange a twin share cabin with another person of the same sex. 

Please take two towels - one for swimming and one for showering. Please also pack swimwear, comfortable clothing for three days including something warm, a hat, toiletries and marine safe sunscreen. We recommend packing a small bag as space is limited on the boat. Any excess luggage can be kept safely in storage for you at our retail shop.

Yes, Pro Dive Cairns does not sell alcohol onboard the boat. You are more than welcome to bring alcohol onboard, but in moderation as there is limited space on the boat. Please note once any alcohol has been consumed, you will not be permitted to enter the water again until the following day. Pro Dive Cairns encourages responsible drinking.

Diving

There will be other customers travelling alone and the dive crew will assist you in finding a dive buddy once onboard. Throughout the trip, you are more than welcome to change your dive buddy.

Yes, as long as evidence of certification can be provided eg log book or verification letter from your certifying dive company. You can do this by contacting your original certifying organisation. Some training agencies do offer online certification verification.

It is not common practice in this region to offer individual guided dives. The reefs that we visit are easy to navigate for all levels of divers. 

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 offer an orientation dive with an instructor on the first dive of the trip for those that are unfamiliar with the diving conditions, or for those who have not dived for some time. This will assist you in becoming familiar with diving on the Great Barrier Reef. First time night divers will be guided on the first night dive of the trip. All other dives are unguided buddy dives.

The Great Barrier Reef is generally not a deep dive destination. 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 diving can be done in depths around 10-15 metres (30-50 feet).

No. Pro Dive Cairns includes all required equipment you may need for any dive or snorkel package. 

The gear we provide includes:

  • Technisub stratus full foot fins
  • Tusa Liberator Masks
  • Aqualung Wave BCDs
  • Aqualung Calypso regs with compass and Suunto Zoop computers
  • 5mm Neptune ¾ leg, long arm wetsuits 
  • 3mm Neptune/Aqualung hoods (seasonal)
  • torches for night diving
  • hooded lycra suits (seasonal)

If you are interested in purchasing gear, you can stop by the retail shop the evening before your trip between 4:00 – 6:45pm to gear up.

Medical

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 Entry Level Student Diver Medical Declaration. A positive response to any question indicates 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, preferably in English, which states that you are fit to undertake recreational diver training. This medical certificate must be valid within 90 days of course commencement. If you are unsure about a specific medical condition please check with your doctor prior to making your reservation.

If you fail your dive medical, you can still go on the liveaboard trip as a snorkeller. Alternatively, you can cancel your course with no charge from Pro Dive Cairns. If you have booked through a travel agency, there may be cancellation fees.

Some medical conditions may prevent you from diving. If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions below you will need to consult a doctor and provide us with a medical certificate stating you are “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?

Yes. Please note the following restrictions for divers with diabetes at Pro Dive Cairns. Diabetic divers must have an up to date dive medical from a doctor stating that they are fit to dive with their medical condition. Following guidelines set out by the South Pacific Underwater Medical Society (SPUMS), diabetic divers are limited to 2 dives per day and must use a minimum surface interval of 2 hours between dives. 

For more information please see the Forms for Diabetics on our website: 

SPUMS Medical 4th edition – July 2011

Suggested assessment for divers with Diabetes 2016

After reviewing these documents please click the link below, complete and sign the document and bring a printed copy with you for your trip with us.

Statement regarding Diabetes and diving 2016


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 indicates 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, preferably in English, which 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 prior to making your reservation.

Pro Dive Cairns recommends that you allow 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 the last day of the liveaboard trip, so flying the next day anytime after noon should be fine. Other activities to avoid are sky diving, hot air ballooning and going to Kuranda.

Dive Education

You will need to bring swimwear, a towel, a dive medical if required, passport or Australian driver's licence and cash for lunch.

The maximum in-water student to instructor ratio is 8 students to 1 instructor.

The 5 day course is the most popular option as it provides a greater overall experience because you will complete the course with the same group of students and instructors. Students have the opportunity to sleep out on the reef in comfort, complete nine dives including the guided 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 is better suited to those customers with time constraints that don't allow them to stay overnight on the reef. The 4 day course consists of two day trips out to the reef with a different group of students and dive instructors. 

Pro Dive Cairns offers learn to dive courses in German on Tuesdays and Fridays, Japanese on Thursdays and Chinese on Wednesdays. We are able to offer PADI manuals in a number of different languages such as Italian, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and Korean.