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Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
63 posts
3 reviews
Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

Hi everyone,

I am making my first visit to the Great Barrier Reef in about two weeks. I am flying into Cairns, staying in Port Douglas. I have never been snorkeling or diving and would love to see the Great Barrier Reef. I am realistic in my abilities and I probably am not going to be the best at either snorkeling or diving.

I'm looking for recommendation on good tours (Port Douglas or Cairns) that would feature snorkeling and even diving, but the diving would have to be supervised based on my lack of experience. Am I stuck with the really big tour companies like Quicksilver? Or are there more intimate tours that would still provide me with support for my lack of snorkeling/diving skills.

Would love your thoughts!

Cheers,

Mike

9 replies to this topic
Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
12,148 posts
54 reviews
1. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

What are your swimming abilities like? If you are a strong swimmer, then someone like Wavelength would be fine, and the staff will help you get used to the mask/snorkel and they can supply a pool noodle for a bit of extra floatation.

If you are not a strong swimmer, then yes, Quicksliver would be a safer/easier option for you.

Chees.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
Level Contributor
31,325 posts
2,127 reviews
2. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

www.wavelength.com.au from Port Douglas

Sydney
Destination Expert
for Croatia
Level Contributor
17,979 posts
170 reviews
3. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

As suggested, Wavelength if you are a reasonable swimmer. If you can stay afloat fro 1 hour at a time, you should be fine. Take noodles for some support. I was never a very strong swimmer and after an accident, I don't have full us of my right hand and arm. I did Wavelength last October. I used a noodle and was fine. You can always stop if you feel tired as you are never far from the boat.

Otherwise, Quicksilver. However, the reef is in much batter condition where Wavelength goes. They stop in 3 different spots for snorkelling.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,120 posts
125 reviews
4. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

Note: If you want to do an introductory dive, then don’t choose Wavelength. They are a snorkel-only boat and don’t offer any diving.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
63 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

Thank you! Good to know that Wavelength doesn't offer diving. I'm on the fence about the diving, however I have had a few people mention that they have tours for first time divers where you are connected/secured to the boat so it works well for newbies.

Sydney
Destination Expert
for Croatia
Level Contributor
17,979 posts
170 reviews
6. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

When we were on Quicksilver last year, my daughter and 2 teenagers wanted to do a dive. After listening to instructions for about 20 minutes, they walked out. Apparently, it was just so cumbersome and confusing that they decided to just enjoy the snorkelling.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
15,120 posts
125 reviews
7. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

My daughter had a similar experience with the intro dive on another boat. She said it took a lot of time to go through the instructions and to get all the gear on. Then they had to stay attached to the instructor for the (relatively short) duration of the intro dive. After it was over, she said that she would have seen a lot more if she had just spent that time snorkeling on her own. (Fortunately, the intro dive on this boat was free, so neither she nor I were out any money!)

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
63 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

Oh wow! Thanks for letting me know! I only have one day for the GBR and don’t want to waste it.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
63 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Port Douglas/Cairns - snorkeling diving tours for novices

Thanks for the info! Definitely don’t want to spend the day in a lesson.

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