Important Information

Medical Questionnaire for Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire before participating in any snorkeling or scuba diving activities as part of our safety management protocol and is a pre-requisite on all tourist dive boats in the state of Queensland. The purpose of this questionnaire for snorkelers is to determine whether additional flotation or assistance may be required in the water. Please examine the sample medical questionnaire shown below. For scuba divers, if you would answer YES to any of the questions you will NOT necessarily be disqualified from scuba diving, however, this will indicate the need for a medical assessment. A scuba dive medical assessment must conform to Australian Medical Standard AS4005-1 and be performed by a qualified physician. For more information, see ‘Medical Questionnaire

All scuba diving tours in Queensland reserve the right to refuse any person to participate in scuba diving activities based on a health assessment.

Flying after Scuba Diving

You should not travel to a high altitude (fly or visit a mountain area etc) within 12 hours of completing a single dive or 18 hours after multiple dives. It is recommended to wait 24 hours, if possible, before doing so. This is important information if you were planning on flying out of Cairns or visiting the Tablelands within these time periods.


Your itinerary and locations may change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Each day the captain will assess weather conditions and other technical issues to determine the vessels location for that day.


All child prices and family packages are based on children age 4 – 11 years. Under 4’s travel free. 12 years and above are adult prices.

Children must be a minimum 12 years of age to participate in scuba diving.

Introductory or Resort Dives

Introductory scuba diving requires no previous diving experience. If you are able to swim and you are in good physical health you can probably dive. An introductory scuba dive is performed in small groups and is conducted under the careful supervision of a fully qualified Dive Instructor. This type of dive will give you an unforgettable dive experience on the Great Barrier Reef without having to attain a certification.

You will be required to fill out some paperwork, including a medical questionnaire. Please examine the sample medical questionnaire shown below. If you would answer YES to any of the questions you will NOT necessarily be disqualified from diving. However, this will indicate the need for a medical assessment that conforms to Australian Medical Standard AS4005-1, by a qualified registered physician prior to diving.

Before entering the water you will be given a 30 minute briefing that will outline the basic information required for a safe and enjoyable introduction to the sport of Scuba Diving.

The Scuba Dive Instructor will carefully take each person in the group to a level just below the surface where they will assess your comfort level and your understanding of the basic procedures. If for any reason you are not comfortable, you can return safely to the dive platform.

Once comfortable, your Scuba dive Instructor will take you on an underwater guided tour of the Great Barrier Reef.

Children can also participate in an introductory scuba dive if they are at least 12 years of age.

Learn to Scuba Dive Courses

We offer personalised SSI Open Water Dive Certification programs on Reef Encounter. Our Personalised Open Water Dive Course is ideal for people who wish to attain a dive qualification.

All Open Water Diver students will be required to complete an online training module prior to your trip. Depending on your understanding this can take numerous days to complete, so please allow enough time. Once you have registered online for your training, it may be completed offline on any computer,smartphone, tablet or other device.

If you have any current medical condition – or a previous condition that is of concern to your dive leader – or are taking any medications, you will require a Dive Medical which has been performed in accordance with Australian Standards (AS4005.1) Please be aware of this! A medical examination performed outside of Australia must be conducted by a registered physician in accordance with Australian Medical Standard AS4005-1 and must clearly state this on the top of the medical certificate. If your medical certificate does not state that it conforms to Australian Medical Standard AS4005-1 it is likely that you will have to acquire another medical certification in Australia that is compliant. Please contact our office if you require assistance in acquiring your medical.

Certified Divers

Qualified (certified) divers are required to provide proof of their certification level. or your tour agent can help verify your diver rating in the case of lost/missing licenses but must be contacted in advance of your travel date. To contact us, please call +61 7 4051 5777 or email If you have attained your scuba certification please check that all your information is correct and up to date. Please remember to bring your certification credentials with you. If you forget your qualifications we will endeavor to verify your information, however, if we cannot verify your certification we reserve the right to refuse a person to dive without proper accreditation. If you are SSI or PADI certified, we may be able to look you up in our online dive check system. If you are certified with any other organization, you will need to contact your original certifying organization and have them provide us with proof of certification. This can be done via fax, email or phone prior to your date of travel.

Prior to diving, you will be asked to fill out a Medical Questionnaire. The purpose of the questionnaire is to determine whether you should be examined by a doctor. There may be a pre-existing condition that has not stopped you from diving in your own country, but one that Australian laws do not allow; or perhaps there could be a new condition developed since you became qualified to scuba  dive which may well affect your safety while diving now.

If you would answer YES to any of the conditions listed on the Medical Questionnaire (see sample below), we strongly recommend you to see a physician for further assessment, and provide a certificate of assessment to the Dive Supervisor. It is strongly advised to visit a physician whilst in Australia to obtain a medical certificate that complies with Australian Standards (AS4005.1).

All scuba diving tours in Queensland reserve the right to refuse any person to participate in scuba diving activities based on a health assessment. All scuba diving tours in Queensland reserve the right to make diving with a qualified professional a mandatory condition of participating in scuba activities, at the discretion of the Dive Supervisor/s.

There have been many cases where a qualified diver has been disqualified from diving because of a medical condition or medication. The dive supervisor is controlling the dives, and your safety is their responsibility. If you are unsure about any medical condition please ask our friendly staff when booking your trip.

Medical Questionnaire

Severe Risks

A severe risk condition implies that an individual will be at a substantially elevated risk of serious injury or death compared with the general population, and should not scuba dive. The principle conditions in this category are:

  • Asthma within the last 5 years
  • Recent heart surgery
  • Serious lung or chest disease (particularly where surgery was involved)
  • Epilepsy, fitting, convulsions and seizures, or taking medications to prevent them
  • Diabetes requiring insulin.
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) even after a surgical procedure designed to prevent recurrence
  • Any neurological abnormality where there is a significant probability of unconsciousness
  • Pregnancy


Relative Or Temporary Risks

The following conditions are termed a relative risk and will cause a moderate increase in risk, which in some instances may be acceptable. A physician is required to make a clinical assessment of the diver to decide whether diving is contraindicated for this category of medical problem. Some of these medical problems may be temporary in nature, and the Scuba Dive Medical will determine if and when the diver can be considered fit to dive.

On the list of significant conditions that may disqualify you from diving pending a medical assessment are:

  • Breathing issues including frequent or severe attacks of hay fever or allergy, frequent colds, sinusitis or bronchitis
  • Behavioral health, mental or psychological problems (claustrophobia, agoraphobia, active psychosis, panic attacks)
  • Recurring complicated migraine headaches whose symptoms or severity impair motor or cognitive function, neurological manifestations, or taking medications to prevent them
  • Blackouts, fainting or partial loss of consciousness
  • Head injury with loss of consciousness in the past five years
  • Intracranial Tumor or Aneurysm
  • Frequent or severe motion sickness
  • Dysentery or dehydration requiring medical intervention
  • Past dive accidents or decompression sickness
  • Inability to perform moderate exercise
  • Clinically obese
  • Recurrent back problems, or back or spinal surgery
  • Back, arm or leg problems following surgery, injury or fracture
  • High blood pressure or taking medication to control it
  • Heart attack, heart disease, angina, heart surgery or blood vessel surgery
  • Sinus surgery
  • Ear disease or surgery, recurrent ear problems, hearing loss, or ear-related problems effecting balance
  • Haemophilia, bleeding or other blood disorders
  • Hernia
  • Ulcers or ulcer surgery
  • Colostomy or ileostomy
  • Recreational drug use or alcoholism, or treatment for these in the past five years
  • Regularly taking prescription or non-prescription medications (With the exception of birth control or anti-malarial treatments)

Being over 45 years of age and having one or more of the following:

  • Currently smoke a pipe, cigars or cigarettes
  • Have a high cholesterol level
  • Have a family history of heart attack or stroke
  • Are currently receiving medical care
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have diabetes mellitus, even if controlled by diet alone


Terms and Conditions

– Please inform of dietary or other special requirement prior to date of travel.

– Bus transfers are included from accommodation within the Cairns business area. Outside is an additional cost. Please inform our friendly staff of your pickup location.

– Locations, prices and itinerary are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances without notice but with full consideration for your enjoyment and safety.

– Travel and dive insurance are highly recommended.

Scuba Diving (applies to both certified and first time divers):

– No refunds on uncompleted dives.

– Ages 12+ years for all scuba activities

– You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire before participating in any scuba activities. Some medical conditions OR medications may prevent you from scuba diving unless a current Queensland Diving Medical Certificate can be shown to the Scuba Dive Instructor. For example: heart disease, asthma, epilepsy or diabetes. If you are unsure of a particular medical condition or medication, please check with the dive organisation before booking your trip. Passengers intending to scuba dive but restricted due to the aforementioned will not be offered a refund.

– Please remember you need to allow 24 hours from your last dive before flying.

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Have more questions about our Great Barrier Reef liveaboard tours please see our Frequently asked Questions

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