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#1 opie

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:51 PM

Has anyone here ever dived in Australia? I'm going up the gold coast from Sydney to Cairns in Sept and am curious how good the photo oppurtunities will be (i.e. will there be clear blue waters and lots of fish and colourful stuff to photograph) I'm mainly planning on doing beach dives since I'm short on time and not certified.

 

Is visibility there good? I read one guide that said visibility is 15-30M on the great barrier - but I don't know how a picture would look under such conditions. Is it easy to find fish when you are diving - or do you have to actively search for them? I'm keen to try u/w photography but I'm leery I might just come back with pictures of a bunch of rocks because I'm totally new to this :P



#2 MortenHansen

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:28 PM

Hey Opie! 

 

I used to work on the Barrier (a few years back) on a liveaboard based in Cairns. Did about 1200 dives up there.  

 

Beach diving, I would not recommend it, to see the cool stuff you will have to take a boat out, at least for a day-trip, better options is to go for a liveaboard. 

 

What I would do is this: 

 

1: You find a good, reputable diveshop with a good instructor, it does not have to be big and fancy looking, as long as the instructor is good and the gear is looking good (new'ish/wellmaintained), go for it, SSI, PADI, its all the same, good instructor is the important thing!

 

2: Do your confined water lessons on land (hehe, in a pool of course).

 

3: Finish off the open water part of your course on the barrier for a 3 day trip where you live aboard a dive-boat, (us divers simply call them "liveaboards")

 

That way you will get your course done quickly and you can go to the cool dive-sites! 

 

Colorful fish and photo opportunities? Hehe, don't you worry about that, its the Great Barrier, if its the first time for you on a coral reef, you will have your mind blown! 

 

Another question is if you want to bring a camera scuba diving or not, see my reply in your other thread for that one! :) 

 

 

Hope you have an awesome trip! 

-Morten



#3 opie

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:22 PM

Thanks for the advice Morten - one question for you about doing my PADI - when it comes to doing the open water portion of my course - do I have to do all my dives at once in the same place? I'm travelling with a tour group working its way up the gold coast from Sydney to Cairns on a fixed schedule - so would I be able to do my dives on seperate day trips in whatever places I find myself in?



#4 Pete L

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 01:50 AM

I live in sydney & there are some very nice dive sites between sydney & the gold coast & even on the gold coast.

I would recommend you do your dive course before you start your trip if you are time poor, plus that way you can dive on your trip if you have the time.

Some of the better places going north are, hmas adelaide at terrigal, port stephens, forster, south west rocks, solitary islands, byron bay & cook island.

Hope that helps.

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#5 MortenHansen

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:28 AM

Thanks for the advice Morten - one question for you about doing my PADI - when it comes to doing the open water portion of my course - do I have to do all my dives at once in the same place? I'm travelling with a tour group working its way up the gold coast from Sydney to Cairns on a fixed schedule - so would I be able to do my dives on seperate day trips in whatever places I find myself in?

 

Well, you can do a referral, this way you only pay for the lessons you take at a certain diving center, and then you can continue the course with another diving center further north a few days later.

 

I would however not recommend it, if you change instructor constantly, say 2-3 times during your course, then you will not learn nearly as much as doing the course with the same guy/girl.

 

The thing is, and here I'm speaking from my own experience as an instructor, I need to see someone in the water at least once, then I know where they need to improve and then I can teach them how to dive properly. If you only do the required skills and your instructor wont have the chance to get to know you, your strengths and weaknesses, then you will be a diver who is very good at doing skills, but who can't actually dive that well. That is sort of the best way I can explain it, hope I got the point across! :)

 

Here is my suggestion to you:

If you are going to Australia in September then you have loads of time to do your course, or at least part of it before you head out.

Find a local dive-club, if you live near any body of water, ocean, lakes etc and in the vicinity of a city with more than 30.000 people, chances are you will find a local dive club/shop!

 

Make sure your instructor is experienced in teaching and is passionate about what he does and then you do at least all theory and pool skills before you head out, also do a few extra lessons in the pool with them, just training buoyancy and swimming until you feel at home underwater, then when you come out to australia you will already have a good feeling for the diving and it will all be a thousand times more chilled for you! This way your course will only take you 2 day-trips, which should preferably be done with the same instructor. 

 

Pete is by the way totally right, there are some gorgeous sites down south as well, but in september the water might be a bit chilly, I admit that I am a huge girl when it comes to cold water and chances are that you wont be nearly as cold as I get! :D

 

Hope this helps you, and will be looking forward to seeing some pictures up on here when you are back from your trip! :)

 

All the best, Morten 



#6 DamonA

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 09:59 PM

Has anyone here ever dived in Australia? I'm going up the gold coast from Sydney to Cairns in Sept and am curious how good the photo oppurtunities will be (i.e. will there be clear blue waters and lots of fish and colourful stuff to photograph) I'm mainly planning on doing beach dives since I'm short on time and not certified.

 

Is visibility there good? I read one guide that said visibility is 15-30M on the great barrier - but I don't know how a picture would look under such conditions. Is it easy to find fish when you are diving - or do you have to actively search for them? I'm keen to try u/w photography but I'm leery I might just come back with pictures of a bunch of rocks because I'm totally new to this :P

 

In september the viz will be good to very good as a generalism. You can shore  based dive/skindive at sydney, I suggest manly's shelley beach-

here's how to find the place http://www.manly.nsw...lly-beach-walk/

 

To learn to dive with a great instructor, shore based from the gold coast seaway(great fish site) I would strongly recommend John Gransbury-

 

http://www.professio...ervices.com.au/

 

From Brisbane upwards you are basically limited to boat based dives- Byron bay sundive is the best valued boat dives in australia at $55/dive if you have your own kit- other wise it is $70/dive.

On the GBR I would recommend this guy to book any dives-

http://www.aquaprodi..._day_trips.html

 

Take your time and enjoy diving, the camera makes it more like your working....so for fun's sake leave the camera at home, this time- put the horse before the cart!

 

good to hear your skindiving first!!!

 

 


Edited by DamonA, 14 June 2013 - 10:02 PM.