We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

December Dive Trip

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
13 posts
1 review
Save Topic
December Dive Trip

We are coming to Australia for our first time this December. We will be spending most of our time in Sydney, but want to also visit the Great Barrier Reef as we (family of 4) are all certified divers.

I was planning to go to Cairns 27/12-31/12 and want to do a one day dive trip somewhere in there. However, I didn't realize how far north we will be. Will it be better for a one day dive trip to go from farther south? Or will we just have choppy water, stingers and a not so nice memory no matter where we begin due to the season? We had a not so nice dive session last year of Thailand, and don't wish to repeat it to ruin another Christmas holiday.

I've not made bookings so I could change to Brisbane or somewhere in between (hamilton island?).

Please advise! And thank you!

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
64 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: December Dive Trip

If you didnt want to go as far north as Cairns, I could recommend that you fly into Hamilton Island or Whitsunday Coast Airport in Proserpine (these airports service the same region, just that Hamiliton Island airport is obviously on Hamilton Island, whereas Whitsunday airport is on the mainland in Proserpine) .

If you choose to stay on Hamilton Island there are a number of companies that you can choose to take you diving, whether that be around the Whitsunday Islands or to the outer Great Barrier Reef.

If fly into Whitsunday Coast Airport I would recommend you stay in Airlie Beach. From Airlie beach you can access all the same diving tours as what you can from Hamilton Island. With the difference being that their is alot more variety of restaurants and accommodation at Airlie beach instead of Hamilton Island (and it's not as expensive).Airlie Beach also has it's "Lagoon" which is like a huge free public swimming pool, right in the middle of town which is great for the kids

If you go to this Whitsunday Island area, you can do a tour to Whitehaven Beach, which is one of the most famous beaches in the world, famous for its pure white sand. Companies do diving day trips not far from their. You should google it.....

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
13 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: December Dive Trip

Thanks for the information. Is there enough to do in the area of Whitsunday to keep jus bust for 4 days? It sounds lovely. Also, do you know how long it takes to get to the GBR from there? And will it be less chance of rain since farther south?

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
64 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: December Dive Trip

There is plenty to do for 4 days in Whitsunday area. Have a look at www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au. Under "destinations", have a look at "Whitsunday Coast" and choose Airlie Beach.

To get to the outer GBR from Airlie beach, a company like Cruise Whitsundays (www.cruisewhitsundays.com.au) would be perfect. The boat starts in Airlie Beach, picks up other passengers from the neighbouring islands (including Hamilton Island) and heads to the pontoon on the reef. The tour starts at 8am and you return at 6pm. From memory it was a couple of hours on the boat to get to the reef.

You could do this outer GBR tour on one day, and on another day do a tour that takes you to dive sights around the Whitsunday islands (including as i mentioned before, near Whitehaven)

Unfortunately there is no guarantee anywhere in Australia when it comes to rain, especially in the tropical areas of Queensland. So i wouldn't use the logic that it rains less the further south you are as the determining factor in your choice of where you go.

Sounds like a great trip!

Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
345 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: December Dive Trip

Some of the best days I have had on the Reef off Cairns have been in December so you can't really rely on the weather to make a decision for you.

The prevailing sou'easters that my husband curses all year tend to drop out during November - March each year and that's when we look to spend days out on the water.

While I cannot predict the pattern of the rains from one season to the next I can say that rain does not necessarily ruin a day out on the Reef.

All the best with your planning.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
Level Contributor
18,713 posts
182 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: December Dive Trip

December is a great time to dive IMHO..no wind, little rain so no turbidity/ But weather gods will do what they will

How old are the kids. Some places dont; take u/15 divers and bubble makers etc are certainly a no no

Re location..nup..better to go from Cairns or PD IMHO unless the island life is high on the wants,,, then Heron etc might be your best or restaurant choice etc Hammo or Airlie

Auckland Region...
Level Contributor
349 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: December Dive Trip

It would surprise me if a day trip operator wouldn't take a Junior Open Water certified diver. Most day operators cater for Discover Scuba (uncertified) and will therefore have dive sites suitable for 10-12m depth dives. And I think is only under 12 JOW divers that are restricted to 12m (not 100% sure).

Auckland Region...
Level Contributor
349 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: December Dive Trip

I meant to add:

When we dived from Port Douglas a few years ago 13 year old my son was JOW certified. We had no issues diving with the specialised dive boat (Calypso I think). But on Quicksilver (which we were on for 1 day as some of the family are non-divers) they did insist that he dived with the Discover Scuba group. That meant he was restricted to 10m and wasted about a third of the dive waiting for them to complete the mask clear and regulator recovery skills.

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
13 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: December Dive Trip

Thanks. I will for sure make sure we dive with a boat that lets the boys dive. They are 12 and 14 and have been diving many times.

9. Re: December Dive Trip

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:17 am, October 20, 2013