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Things to do in Queensland » Blogs » The Great Barrier Reef Part 3: Scuba Diving

  • The Great Barrier Reef Part 3: Scuba Diving

    Posted by EDrury46 January 17, 2013 - 296 views - 0 comments - 0 likes

    So this week I wanted to look at what it is like to see the Great Barrier Reef from the point of view of a scuba diver. Now unfortunately I have never actually been scuba diving (I was too young at the time), but I did sit in the 'lesson' prior to the dive and have spoken to numerous people (including my father) about what their experience was down there.



    The general consensus was that the difficulty was found in the diving part, and not the breathing part. What seems completely unnatural in breathing through a mask was actually surprisingly easy. Also what some people found confusing was the 'scuba language', especially the use of thumbs up which in 'scuba' means 'get me up to the surface!'


    Aside from these, everyone I've spoken to about scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef has said that it was one of the best experiences of their lives. Unlike kayaking, where you see everything under water from above (and then everything above water as well); and snorkelling where you see everything fairly close up but still from above; with scuba diving, you are immersed into the underwater world entirely. Fish swim literally around you, above and below and even through you. Creatures and coral can be seen face on, and even from below. Some people I spoke to even compared it to a Disney creation. They were literally swimming around the world Disney portrayed in 'Finding Nemo'. Even without the camera crew lights which make the coral look extra colourful on actual television (not animated), many first time divers didn't expect to be able to see the 'intricate detail or the vibrant colours of both the coral and animals swimming in and out of the reef', but the clarity of the water made the experience far more than they had imagined. In talking to my dad, and even from my experience just snorkelling, it is incredible how the only particles in the water that you really notice are those of plankton or other such small, natural creatures that feed the reef's population - a very different experience from any I've had of swimming in the sea in other parts of the world.


    All in all therefore, scuba diving is a highly recommended way to see the Great Barrier Reef. And to that extent, not so much see, but experience. From the surface, or just below, the underwater world looks impressive, but - as Ian Moore told me - 'scuba diving and swimmingwith the fish gave their world a more incredible scale and colour'. 'From below you could watch their behaviour, shoals of fish swimming and floating in the gentle currents... And then there was the turtle, big, fully grown and oblivious to the presence of the divers, a real gentle giant of the reef'.


    Everyone I spoke to about scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef they all loved it and recommend it as an excellent way to see and experience true Australian sea life. A face-on meeting with natural mini-wonders and fish of all wonderful varieties can't be beaten by anything, I'm sure, and next time I go, that is first on my list of things to do.