Beginner diver looking for advice diving in Cairns!


Beginner diver looking for advice diving in Cairns!


Welcome to our latest article about a beginner diver looking for advice diving in Cairns! This article is for the newly certified diver looking to come to Cairns and go diving on The Great Barrier Reef!


The great news is Cairns has a range of fantastic day boat diving companies that specialise in accommodating the newly certified scuba diver.


Cairns also has a range of multi-day liveaboard dive boats that specialise in taking newly certified scuba divers to the reef.


Where to start and how to choose the best dive trip?


Ok so the next step is where do you start, with so many options it can be very hard to choose a day dive trip. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself a few questions like!


1 – Do you want to go out diving on a day boat, generally they start around 8:00am in the morning and return to Cairns around 4:30pm in the afternoon.

2 – Do you want to stay out on the reef overnight? You can do a 2-day/1-night or 3-day/2-night liveaboard dive trip. Doing an overnight liveaboard gives you the chance to go night diving! Something you cannot do on a day boat. The cost of diving also comes down because you generally get allot more dives in than doing 2 1-Day dive trips.

So to answer the first question you want to go diving on a day boat:


Cairns has about 26-day boat operators, but just keep in mind not all dive boats are equal! What sets them apart you may ask?


The major factor that separates the different Cairns dive boats is the locations they travel too, their reef permits! That’s right, every Cairns dive boat company has a different reef permit. This means they are only allowed to take you to the reefs where they have a valid permit.


So that means they all go to different parts of the reef! Now if you have lots of money and lots of time we recommend, go on all of them! What! you may be saying to yourself!


Well the idea of diving especially now that you are a newly certified diver is to keep exploring. If every reef boat goes to a different part of the reef, then at the end of the day, if money was not an issue go on all of them. That’s the only way to see as much of the Great Barrier Reef as you can! Unless you have your own boat and a spare year or two to explore!


But we understand you probably only have a one or two days where you can go out on a day trip, and more than likely you are on a budget and would like the best value day dive boat. Thats where the next part of this article will help you to decide which is the best day dive trip from Cairns.


1 – Silverswift Dive & Snorkel Cairns.


This day snorkel / dive boat is one of Cairns nicest day boat dive companies for the beginner diver. Not saying the other companies arnt any good. Its just Silverswift are the only day boat in Cairns to visit 3 – Outer Reef locations in the one day! That means you get the chance to dive 3 different reef sites in the one day!


Another factor why this is a great dive boat for the beginner diver is all diving on Silverswift is guided by a professional instructor. This is actually a compulsory rule on this boat. Because they get so many first time divers or newly certified divers.


Because of this rule, they give excellent reef site and gear briefings. The dive instructors will give you a complete run down on your dive gear, everything is included in the price. They will explain your dive computer, regs, bcd and even the basic hand signals. All to help refresh your dive knowledge.


After this mini refresher course you will feel relaxed and comfortable you are back in dive mode again. The dive guides / instructors specialise in taking first-time divers on a regular basis.


Because of this rule that all diving must be guided. Silverswift as an excellent choice for the beginner diver. Especially those wanting to dive on The Great Barrier Reef on a day trip from Cairns.


2 – TUSA T6 Dive & Snorkel Cairns.


TUSA Dive and Snorkel Cairns are another day boat worth taking a close look at. TUSA visit 2 x Outer Reef Locations in the one day and they give you the option of diving by yourself in your own buddy pairs. Now if you are a newly certified diver this might sound a little daunting. But relax you can get a dive guide for just $10 extra per dive per person.


If you are a little bit more adventurous or perhaps you have completed a bunch more dives and you feel more confident in the water. Then try TUSA because they are one of the very few boats in Cairns that will let you dive by yourself in your own buddy pair.


TUSA cater to the beginner and then the more advanced diver, because they let you dive in your own buddy pairs. This is great for underwater photographers, you and your buddy can take your time and spend as much time as you like trying to get that perfect shot! Note: As long as you make it back to the boat in time and with at least 50bar in your tank.


TUSA have a good reputation of being one of the best dive companies in Cairns. If you are a little more confident in the water and would like a little more freedom of diving by yourself in your own buddy pair, you should look at TUSA T6.


Liveaboard Overnight Dive Trips for the Beginner Diver:


So you have learnt to dive, you have completed your basic open water diver training and now you would like to do an overnight liveaboard dive trip. Cairns is the perfect location to join an overnight liveaboard dive boat.


Liveaboards offer the opportunity to enjoy a bunch of diving in a short amount of time. For example, when you wake up first thing in the morning, eat breakfast and then jump in and complete your first morning dive.  You will notice certain reef fish are already awake and going about their daily business.


Different marine species are active at different times of the day. For example, white tip and black tip reef sharks tend to sleep during the day and are very active at night.


For the beginner diver a 2-day/1-night liveaboard is a great way to maximise your time out on the Great Barrier Reef. You will be able to complete up to 5 x day dives and 1 x night dive! All meals, accommodation and full gear hire are included with most Cairns overnight liveaboard dive boats.


Which Overnight Liveaboard should you Choose?


So if you have thought about your dive adventure and you have come to the conclusion you would like to really experience the best of the Great Barrier Reef then you most probably are thinking about which Liveaboard dive boat should you choose.


We will list two options below and explain the main differences for you to be able to choose the best option for you!


1 – Reef Encounter Overnight Liveaboard Cairns:


This is a great liveaboard that departs from Cairns daily. They actually have a day boat that will bring you out to the mother ship. Onboard they offer 3 bed multi-share rooms and private double / twin rooms. Reef Encounter is a large spacious twin hull vessel that is very stable in the water. They offer all chef prepared meals and all dive equipment. Please note: Wetsuits you hire for $5 per day. This is mainly just a cleaning fee.


Reef Encounter travel to the Outer Reef systems from Cairns, commonly known as Norman, Saxxon and Hastings reefs. The skipper will move the boat twice everyday to always ensure fresh dive sites with new surroundings.


With a very experienced and fun crew you will enjoy up to 5 x day dives and 1 x night dive on a 2-day/1-night liveaboard trip. All the diving on Reef Encounter is unguided like most of the liveaboards in Cairns. But not to worry you can get a professional diver guide for just $15 per dive. So for the beginner diver we recommend to get a guide for the first 1 or 2 dives until you are feeling nice and comfortable underwater. You can easily organise this out on the boat.


So with a nice big stable mothership and excellent dive crew, also the fact that you can choose to do a 2-day/1-night dive trips or a 3-day/2-night dive trip. They depart every day 7-days per week. This makes Reef Encounter Cairns a great choice for the first time beginner diver looking for advice diving in Cairns on a liveaboard.


2 – Pro-Dive Cairns 3-Day / 2-Night Liveaboard Dive Trip:


Pro-Dive Cairns only offer 3-Day / 2-Night dive trips. This vessel departs and return to Cairns every 3 days. We put Pro-Dive Cairns as a second option for visiting the Great Barrier Reef on an overnight liveaboard. mainly because of their outstanding customer service but I would say even more importantly there reef permits. Pro-Dive Cairns spend all their time diving on Flynn, Milln and Pellowe reefs.


They move the boat twice everyday to keep the dive sites fresh, they include all meals and all dive gear is provided. Like all Cairns liveaboards they do not offer guided diving. They will complete the very first dive with you underwater to check you skills and make sure you are comfortable but after that you are on your own, in your own buddy pair.


Now this might sound a little daunting to the beginner diver but do not worry. The dive locations are very shallow, in fact nearly 18 metres and you will be swimming in the sand. The great thing why we would recommend this trip to the beginner diver is because number one the reef sites that they visit! Diving at Flynn, Milln and Pellowe reefs is spectacular! Pro-Dive Cairns are also a highly recognised diver training company so they really know their stuff when it comes to diving on The Great Barrier Reef.


In Conclusion:


So if you are thinking of doing a one or two-day dive trip to the reef from Cairns. Or if you would like to maximise your time out on the reef and try a liveaboard dive trip. Cairns is the perfect launching city, the diving from Cairns is both easy and fun and both Reef Encounter and Pro-Dive offer excellent diving options for the first time beginner diver looking for advice diving in Cairns!



Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll is the Manager of Cairns Tour Advice & Booking Centre. An adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll - Chief Travel writer and Scuba Diving enthusiast at Cairns Tour Info. Follow him on Twitter.

Do you need help choosing?

Can't decide? We have personally been on every Cairns reef and diving trip. We can help you choose the best tour, to suit your experience and budget.


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