1. When is the best time of year to dive the Great Barrier Reef?
Generally, Jan – March is considered our monsoon time with amazing feeding and marine life action following the breeding season. April – September is our winter, which can offer great visibility and beautiful weather but sometimes strong winds. October – December also has wonderful weather with lots happening under the water as most coral reef species breed during this time. Even though you may be visiting the Tropics, it IS cool in the winter (June/Aug) so bring that 5 mm wetsuit!
2. Concerned about seasickness?
For those extremely concerned, take Avil, Kwells, Scopalamine (patches available in USA) or similar tablets early on the day of travel. It is a good idea to try these tablets prior to travel to see how they affect you and to be familiar with any side effects that they may cause, normally slight drowsiness. There is also a natural ginger motion sickness tablets.
Upon departure it is very sensible to go to your cabin to sleep where you will start to adjust to the motion of the vessel. Sleeping in a prone position is the best, do not stay on the upper deck or lounge, or if feeling queasy, in the bathroom, these areas are the most likely to cause seasickness. The areas on the vessel that have the least movement are the lower deck cabins and the back deck. You will become familiar with when you need to take more seasickness tablets or you may even find that you do not require them having found your sea legs.
3. Flying, Ballooning or parachuting after diving?
Planning diving around a tight travel schedule? It is recommended that you should wait at least 24 hours after diving before you travel to more than 300 meters (or 1,000 feet) above sea level. Otherwise decompression sickness may result. Bear in mind that flying, ballooning, parachuting and even driving over a mountain range can put you over this altitude limit.
4. Marine life concerns in your diving area?
During the warmer months, (November-May) when participating in water-based activities, it is recommended that full body coverage in the form of Lycra bodysuits or wetsuits be worn to minimise the risk of jellyfish stings. Marine operators will have Lycra bodysuits and/or wetsuits available for hire. Out on the Great Barrier Reef there may be Irukandji present. These are small jellyfish that can cause painful stings and sometimes quite serious injury. They are rare to encounter…the chances of encountering them are around 1:150 000.
Yes, there are sharks in every ocean. A variety of sharks inhabit the Great Barrier Reef and reefs along the Queensland coast. What we most commonly encounter are smaller species, which pose no threat to divers or snorkellers. Various operators conduct controlled shark dives and research programs studying behaviour, movements, breeding and growth.
The infamous Great White Shark, does not reside in the tropical waters off the Queensland coast, but is found in the colder southern Australian waters.
Crocodiles are found in coastal estuarine waters in North Queensland – not near reef and island dive sites, so they are not a concern to divers or snorkellers.
5. Where is the nearest chamber?
The nearest recompression chamber to the reef is in Townsville, 450km to the south of Cairns, with a second chamber in Brisbane.
6. Power Adaptors for my appliances?
Australian domestic power standard is 240V @ 50htz, with 3 pronged power sockets. It is best to bring your own international power adaptor to use your electrical appliances or battery chargers
7. How safe is diving in Queensland?
Queensland has an excellent safety record and Queensland’s warm waters are ideal for year-round diving. Dive operators are required to conform to strict health and safety regulations specified by the Queensland Government. Your dive leader will brief you on any potential concerns you may encounter in a particular region.