1. Where is a good place to learn to dive in Australia?
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the best places to learn to dive in Australia as the water is very clear and shallow in places. This means you do not have to dive down very far to see some amazing marine life which is perfect for beginners. There are also a wide number of different diving schools operating out of this area so you should have no trouble finding day trips and week-long live aboard offering diving tuition.
2. When is the best time to go on a diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef?
You can dive all year round at the Great Barrier Reef but the best time of year is between August and December. There is plentiful marine life around at this time of year and it is warm and dry. If you are interested in the big pelagics such as whale sharks then March and April are good times to visit the Great Barrier Reef as these creatures are attracted by the coral spawning at this time of year. Although January through to March is the warmest time of year it is also the wettest and this can affect diving conditions.
3. What is the best diving spot in Australia for seeing marine life?
Australian waters are known for their amazing diversity in marine creatures. There are many wonderful diving spots for those divers who want to experience underwater life. If you are interested in shore diving then one of the best sites is Navy Pier in Western Australia. This area extends around 300m from shore and has a number of interesting inhabitants including scorpion fish, octopus, white tipped sharks and rays. Many divers actually prefer Navy Pier to the Great Barrier Reef as it can have a greater variety of life and humpback whales have even been known to come in close to the pier.
4. What dive sites are available in Cook Island Marine Park?
Cook Island Marine Park offers some of the most diverse coral and reef marine life on the east coast of Australia. The warm east current converges with the cooler currents from the south creating a fascinating mix of tropical, subtropical and temperate water marine life including fish, molluscs and crustaceans of all shapes and sizes. There are also a number of rare and protected species here including the grey nurse shark, giant Queensland Groper and green turtles.
Diving around the island is available all year round and no matter which way the wind is blowing you should be able to find a sheltered spot for diving. There are 13 moorings around Cook Island Marine Park and each one offers a slightly different topography. For example the North Wall provides a sandy bottom which attracts turtles and grey nurse sharks and the South Side of the island has a number of colourful corals which teem with marine life.
5. What is the typical water temperature for dive trips in Australia?
It will depend on the time of year and the area you are diving in. Southern Australian waters have a slightly cooler current which can dip down below 25 degrees centigrade in the winter months. However there are some tropical currents in Eastern Australia which are typically around 28 degrees centigrade most of the year round.
6. How many dives can I do in one day?
If you are going on a diving day trip then it is typical for two dives to be planned. You would dive in the morning, stop for some lunch and a break and then dive again in the afternoon. Diving is a physically demanding sport so two dives a day should give you time to have a good explore without wearing you out too much. If you are an experienced diver with a good level of fitness you can do up to four dives in a day, including a night dive if you have rest stops between each session.
7. What depth dive trips are available?
Diving schools and groups will provide dive trips for many different kinds of depths from 5 metres down to over 30 metres. There are a number of challenges and risks associated with deep diving so you should only attempt this if you have taken a deep diving certification.
8. What are drift dive trips?
Drift diving involves diving in waters with a strong current. The boat will drop off the dive group and then you simply drift in the current and explore large areas of open ocean. Drift diving can allow you to see vast shoals of fish and large marine creatures such as whales and dolphins that you may not see when you are diving close to shore or around reefs and wrecks.
9. What diving gear do I need to take on a day trip?
You do need to check what you need to take with you when you go on a diving day trip. Some diving schools will be able to provide equipment such as regulators, air tanks and BCD vests. This means all you will need to take is your dive mask, fins, snorkel and wetsuit. Other diving trips will require you to have your own complete diving gear including tanks and weights. You should also take with you a towel, change of clothes, bathing suit, waterproof jacket and sunscreen. This will help to keep you comfortable when you are travelling to and from the dive site.
10. Are night dive trips available?
Night dives are very popular as you can see a whole different side of the ocean when you are out at night. There will be many elusive marine creatures to see at dusk and night time so this is a great opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to spot different species. Night dives do have some specific challenges and risks so will normally be arranged at the discretion of the divemaster/tour leader with conditions permitting.