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Great Barrier Reef Marine Conservation Program - Certified Divers


Great Barrier Reef Marine Conservation Program - Certified Divers


Below is the itinerary for your 12-Day program.

Day 1 Welcome to Cairns (Sunday)

Welcome to tropical Cairns. Enjoy your day discovering Cairns. Points of interest include a stroll along the Esplanade, the Botanic Gardens, a swim in the Lagoon and the CBD. A group briefing will be arranged on this day after midday at a time TBA.

Note: Participants should arrive in Cairns by midday in time for the briefing. Briefing time & place to be confirmed by your local host.

Days 2 - 3 Free time in Cairns

Participants doing recreational dives on the live aboard (Certified Divers) can enjoy free days. There are a lot of optional activities to choose from in Cairns. We recommend you check in at the Pro Dive Shop to fit your equipment on Day 3.

Days 4 - 6 Great Barrier Reef

Depart early morning on day 4 on your Great Barrier Reef diving adventure. All participants will complete their respective courses over the next three days and you will enjoy up to 11 recreational dives on the Great Barrier Reef. Once you arrive on the Great Barrier Reef, begin exploring the underwater world on this magnificent natural wonder. Return to Cairns late afternoon on day 6. Transfer back to your accommodation and free time.

Note: Certified divers will enjoy 11 recreational dives during the live aboard trip.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.*
*No dinner on day 6.

Days 7 - 8 Cairns/ Fitzroy Island & Turtles

Your conservation adventure continues with a day trip to the turtle hospital on Fitzroy Island (either day 7 or 8 - TBA. See Note.). You will meet a Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre rep at the Reef Fleet Terminal in the morning in time for your ferry transfer to Fitzroy Island in the morning, 45 minutes from Cairns, where you will meet other volunteers working at the turtle hospital on the day. You will learn about the work done by this organization, meet some of the patients and, possibly, go behind the scenes to lend a helping hand. Tasks may include feeding turtles, cleaning tanks and other task associated with the centre. Return to Cairns at midday or alternatively stay on the island for the afternoon. If the latter enjoy free time. Do one of the walks on the island, relax on the beach or swim and snorkel. The afternoon ferry returns to Cairns approx. 17:45.

Note: The experience at CTRC will take place either on day 7 or 8. The maximum number of our participants at CTRC at one time is 4 persons. Should the Marine Conservation group size exceed 4 persons we will be splitting the group into two, with one group visiting CTRC on day 7, the second group on day 8. This is at the request of CTRC and is to keep the turtles’ stress to a minimum, limit the number of people behind the scenes and in turn allow you to have the best possible and most fulfilling experience on the day.

Too many people = stressed turtles and we do not want that😊😊
No snorkeling equipment provided on the island. You can hire equipment at your own expense or bring your own.

Program Tasks:
Possible tasks at the Cairns Turtle Rehab Centre tasks may include:
- General cleaning and maintenance, food prep and cleaning tanks, or other if advised by the staff. Participants will be asked to complete the following set tasks on each set dive (days 9 & 10):
- Timed swim (minimum 10 minutes on each dive) - underwater monitoring and species count on the Great Barrier Reef (i.e. corals, marine life species).
- 360-degree survey of sea bed on the dive site – Objective is to clearly identify the animals and plants observed in each section - (macro-algae, live coral, live coral rock, coral rubble and sand).
- Recording of any impacts on coral being observed (i.e. coral bleaching or damage noticed).

Days 9 - 10 Great Barrier Reef Day trip - Reef Conservation tasks

Over the next 2 days you will be onboard Passions of Paradise, a locally owned premier operator promoting sustainable day trips to the Great Barrier Reef to enhance your marine conservation experience. Under the guidance of your designated Master Reef Guide you will undertake a selection of activities each day while diving (2 x dives per day), being Rapid Monitoring surveys and a species count to be entered into Great Barrier Reef Marine Park’s Eye on the Reef Sighting’s Network (number of activities could vary depending on conditions). Optionally you may also carry out Coral Watch surveys while snorkelling. Each day you will need to check in at the Reef Fleet Terminal by 07:30 and return to Cairns late afternoon. Free time each afternoon.

Lunch is included.

Day 11 Cairns/ Plastic sorting with local marine conservation organization

This morning you join the team of a local marine conservation organisation, where you will hear about the organisation’s mission, meet the team on the ground and learn about their projects in Australia. You will discover what impact marine debris have on our oceans and you can ask the expert conservation coordinators where the rubbish originates from and find out what steps we can take to fight the war on plastic. This organization relies heavily on the help of volunteers, so you will assist with various tasks required on the day which may include maintenance of their facilities, assistance with admin or sorting and segregating rubbish collected at organised beach clean ups. It is one thing to clean the beaches, but the next task is to get the ball rolling with the upcycling process and this is what your manpower will provide today. If the weather permits and the dates align, you might also be part of a local beach cleanup or another community activity. Regardless of the tasks you can expect a day of fun, education and feel-good action. Your help is appreciated!

Program Tasks:
Possible tasks with local marine conservation organization:
- General cleaning and maintenance of facilities, plastic sorting or filed work if available and advised by staff


Day 12 Cairns

Today is your departure day and the end of your marine conservation experience on the Great Barrier Reef. Check out and transfer to the airport for your onward or homeward journey. Safe Travels!

What's Included

- Accommodation at Gilligans Backpacker Resort in 4- or 6-share dorms with ensuite
- Meals as noted in the program (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- Dive courses include 3 day/ 2 night live aboard reef trip on the Great Barrier Reef. Certified divers have recreational dives. Transfers to/ from the dive school are provided.
- 2 x day trips on Passions of Paradise with a dedicated reef conservation guide doing Eye on the Reef - Rapid Monitoring and other Marine Conservation tasks incl. total 4 dives
- Number of dives included: Certified Divers + Passions of Paradise: 15 dives on the Great Barrier Reef (pending weather conditions)
- 1 x return ferry transfer to Fitzroy Island and visit at the turtle hospital, with hands-on activities (subject to availability on the day) - SEE NOTE under Day 7 & 8
- Volunteering experience with local marine conservation organization including hands on activities
- Conservation program participant t-shirt
- Tour coordination and assistance by No Limit Adventures

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
Reef taxes and levies (approx. $85 for the 3D/2N reef trip onboard Pro Dive), Dive medical costs (if required)


What can I do on my free days?
Cairns offers a lot of fun, optional activities. Here are some highlights:
• Visit the Botanic Gardens & Centenary Lakes (free activity)
• Walk the Red, Yellow, Blue or Green Arrow tracks on Mount Whitfield (free activity)
• Visit Crystal Cascades or Stoneys Creek (free activity, transport required)
• Day trip to the Daintree National Park – the oldest rainforest in the world;
• Day trip to the Atherton Tablelands – nature, waterfalls and local food;
• Visit Kuranda including the Kuranda Scenic Train and Skyrail Cableway;
• Hartley’s Creek Crocodile Farm
• Cairns Brewery & Distillery Tours
• Jump on the Ultimate Party Bus
• Ask us for more recommendations


Accommodation at Gilligans Backpacker Resort in 4- or 6-share dorms with ensuite and 2 nights onboard Passions of Paradise.

Gilligans Backpacker Resort
The hostel has a 24h reception, a pool, a café, a kitchen area, a laundry and a big common area. Gilligans is also the number one bar & nightclub in Cairns. We include 4 or 6-share dorms with ensuite, which may be shared with guests from outside of the program. The included dorms are co-shared. Single gender dorms are available on request and subject to availability.

Passions of Paradise - Live Aboard
Cabins on the boat are twin-share. Where possible we will request you be matched with someone of the same gender.

Lokaal vervoer

1 x return ferry transfer to Fitzroy Island is included. Transfers to/ from the dive school are provided. Transfers on days 2, 3, 4 and 6 are included. The transfers are provided by the dive school. Transfers on days 7 -10 are not included. Participants are required to be at the Reef Fleet Terminal on those days by 07:30. There is a one-way transfer included on day 11 to the Head Office of the marine conservation organization.


As per itinerary. Not all meals are included. In case of any special dietary needs or requirements we ask prior notice is given. The boats always offer a meat and non-meat menu to cater for vegans and vegetarians. In case of allergies or intolerances, we will do our best to to make sure your needs are looked after where possible.

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