How to Dive for Free on the Great Barrier Reef
Everyone is looking for the next best deal and money saving options while travelling across Australia. Making your dollar stretch just that little further means more days out on the road, living the travelling life.
If you are dying to go out to the Great Barrier Reef but on a tight budget, we have found a solution – volunteer on the boat for the day. It’s much easier than you may think and gives you a free day out with no preparation beforehand!
My name is Diane and I lived for a few months in the beautiful Tropical North Queensland and like so many people who are living in Cairns (or travelling around this part of the world) I have my diving licence. I love swimming in the sea, chilling on the beach and looking at all the beautiful fish on the reef. Snorkelling and scuba diving are very popular activities up in Tropical North Queensland and it’s easy to see why.
If you’re running low on money, or want to save – volunteer! Many boat companies are looking for a hostie on a boat. A hostie is a volunteer who does jobs like cleaning dishes, preparing lunch, cleaning the kitchen, wiping crockery and other general tasks. Depending on which boat company you go with, you will usually get 2 free dives a day (and lunch as well!).
When I went I chose to go snorkelling in the morning, and diving in the afternoon. The snorkelling was almost just as good as the diving as there are as many fish at the top of the water as at the bottom. The water is so clear no matter where you go in this beautiful area of Australia.
If you are a dive-lover, you can also do multi-day trips not just one-day trips. On these options you’ll stay in the staff rooms overnight, and have the same type of tasks as the one-day trips. Note that you’ll have to be a certified diver to dive, but snorkelling is available for everyone who can swim!
I went out with Deep Sea Divers Denbut there are multiple dive and snorkelling companies in Cairns offering volunteer work just contact them and go from there.
To go out with the boat companies, you will need to give them your travel insurance details, fill in the relevant forms, and provide your credit card details (just in case you break something or cancel within 48 hours). Boat companies may ask you to buy their work t-shirt for the day. I paid $35 for the t shirt at Deep Sea Divers Den, but compared to the $200-300 a day out diving could cost I was pretty happy about it!
The most important thing to do is just to ask around. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Volunteering on boats is a great way to keep your budget in check and still experience all the awesome activities on the Great Barrier Reef!