48 Spence Street, cnr Sheridan and Spence Sts, Cairns, Cairns District, 4870, Australia
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Forum Posts

Scuba Diving vs Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

by digthegoat

For those uncertified, novice divers who have 1 day to visit the Great Barrier Reef, would it be better to snorkel, or are the first-time dives worth it?

We're staying in Daintree so we'd like to do some Jungle Canopy Surfing as well. But diving might make that activity impossible (time-wise). Should we just go with snorkeling? Or would that just be missing too much of the GBR's beauty?

Re: Scuba Diving vs Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

by Gillybob

I really enjoyed my snorkelling at the GBR but also had the opportunity to go in a mini submarine which gave me more to see. From my personal experience, I would say its a big disappointment if you don't 'get on' with the diving, as was my experience (could cope with hearing myself breathe under water). The snorkelling wasn't as good as diving, I'm sure, but find a trip that gives you the mini-sub option and its less of a problem.

Re: Scuba Diving vs Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

by Eggboy

I did the introductory dive course and we got instruction and two dives and it was awesome. Two words: Do it. i spent a week in Port Douglas (Just north of Cairns) and only did 1 day on the reef.
The rest of the time was at the daintree rainforest, Atherton tablelands, Kuranda, Port Douglas, Mt Molloy and Mossman Gorge. Awesome part of the world IMHO.

Re: Scuba Diving vs Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

by lynnehamman

The reef is so magical that snorkelling is adequate. I myself have done the scuba- but quite honestly have to say that the most beautiful corals and fish seem to be nearer the surface.
Its possible to do an 'escorted dive'with an instructorwithout a certificate. You do, however, have to have ahealth check, which is done on board the dive-boat. All equipment can be hired. Daintree is a must see too, so try and fit it in.

Re: Scuba Diving vs Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

by AllOverRover

Unfortunately I am unable to dive (although I have tried very hard :( ). I have snorkled on the reef before and I agree with the previous poster. There is so much activity close to the surface that you can't possibly be disappointed with snorkelling. Obviously I can't compare it to diving, but rest assured that you will still see some stunning sights if you choose to snorkel.

Travel Tips for Cairns

Catamarans from Cairns.

by Sharrie

Or, alternatively, you can learn from me...
Take one of these high-speed catamarans operating from Cairns & will undertake to transport you to pontoons moored at different sections of the Outer Reef.

Lake Eacham

by aussirose

Not far from Lake Barrine is Lake Eacham, another volcanic crater. This one is a great place if you have a picnic or bbq lunch. They have bbq's there and nice grass. Looks like a lovely place for a swim too :o)

Very pretty.

A place you must eat at in Palm Cove

by richard8 about NuNu at the Outrigger Resort

Great location looking over the Ocean through Palm trees. You are made to feel very welcome from the moment you walk in. Exciting menu that includes local seafood and asian themed dishes including Masman Duck Curry and a Seafood Laksa. The friendly service matches the great ambiance and excellent food. Seafood Laksa was a huge meal chock full of local mussels, baby clams and Morton Bay Bug tails. It also included hand rolled noodles in a rich and spicy broth.

Take a day trip up to Cape Tribulation

by pacific_sol

A day trip up to Cape Tribulation and to the Daintree Rain Forest is an awesome experience. The tour we took (through a company called Cape Trib Connections) brought us to Alexandra Lookout and one of the botanical boardwalks in the rain forest. It was amazing to think that some of the most primitive plants in the world still exist in this place. The beach at Cape Trib was nice - not the prettiest I've ever seen but it's very peaceful and you could have the whole beach to yourself. On the way up to Cape Trib from Cairns, we also stopped at the Daintree Mangroves Wildlife Sanctuary, and on the way back, we also went on a Croc spotting tour in the Daintree River, as well as had a quick swim at Mossman Gorge. It is a lot to do in one day and you don't get to spend as much time as you want in certain places (we were only at Mossman Gorge for a half hour) but it is a great introduction to why much of the area around Cairns is World Heritage listed. The majority of the people in our group were also backpackers like we were, and this particular tour was highly recommended by our hostel.

Kuranda Skyrail & Scenic Railway

by ettiewyn

Kuranda is one of the most important tourist attractions although the more interesting thing about it is how to get there! You can go by skyrail or railway, or up with one of them and down with the other - which I would recommend as both trips are very nice and exciting.
Going by skyrail you go above the stunning green roof rainforest - it is just amazing! During the ride there are some spots where you can get out and have a short walk around the forest before jumping on again.
The railway is a historic track from the days when Cairns was part of the goldrush. It is great to go through the rainforest, see the trees and a lot of waterfalls and also the great Barron Falls.
Up in Kuranda there is a lot of stuff to do. The main thing is shopping. Kuranda was an important place for hippies and that is where the market tradition comes from. Unfortunately, a lot of it is usual tourist stuff nowadays, and the place is just overcrowded with tourist which somehow destroys the atmosphere. However, you can still find some lovely craftwork and original aboriginal art there.
There is also a zoo and a butterfly sanctuary which you might want to see instead of going only shopping.


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