Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record.   

We have a passion to show you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.  We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules including medical as is the law.

To avoid disappointment on your day of travel we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our ‘Can I Go Diving?’ medical questionnaire below, prior to booking as some medical conditions, age and / or medications may prevent you from scuba diving.  Age restrictions will also apply to any diver training courses.

On your day of travel ALL passengers are asked to complete our Standard Queensland Medical Declaration form

It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.  We are very happy to help you with any questions you may have.  Please contact us

Or alternatively, you may like to consult your own Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms AS4005.1 Reef Encounter Questionnaire

Complete the questionnaire below to see if you are eligible to scuba dive according to queensland, Australia Regulations


Flying and Scuba Diving

You should not travel to a high altitude (fly or drive above 8000 feet) within 18 hours of completing a single scuba dive or 24 hours after multiple dives OR after any ‘deep’ dive. (A deep dive is any dive over 18 meters/60 feet).

We recommended leaving a minimum of 24 hours after your last scuba dive before flying. You can fly and then dive the same day – but not dive and then fly. On the last day of your liveaboard scuba tour, your final dive will be finished by around 12 noon.

Please consider this when arranging ongoing travel plans which include flying or driving to altitude. Flying any time after 12 noon the following day is recommended.

If you have booked a helicopter transfer back to Cairns as part of your Great Barrier Reef liveaboard tour – lucky you! It’s a fabulous way to end a Great Barrier Reef adventure. Our helicopter tours are low flying scenic excursions over the coral reef that are designed to be a safe activity after scuba diving. You may book a helicopter transfer back to Cairns on the final day of your stay with us, even if you have scuba dived that day.

Terms and Conditions for Scuba Diving Activities

  • All scuba divers booking a tour with Reef Encounter accept that they have read and agree to the ‘Scuba Divers Important Information’, and therefore are aware of the age, medical and health requirements for scuba within Australia and all other terms and conditions of the trip
  • At the start of your tour with us, all persons are required to fill out a Standard Queensland Medical Declaration form. For children, this form must be filled in and signed buy a parent or guardian. All questions must be answered honestly, as it is a legal document. Your safety is our primary concern. For snorkelers, this information will simply help us advise you accordingly regarding snorkelling safety. For scuba divers, some medical conditions and/or medications and/or health issues (both past and present) may prevent a person from participating in scuba diving activities
  • Minimum age for resort scuba diving or participation in scuba diver training is 12 years in Queensland, Australia
  • Minimum age for certified divers is 10 years
  • All junior divers must either be accompanied by a certified parent or guardian or must dive with a dive professional at an additional charge
  • No refunds will be offered for uncompleted dives
  • No refunds will be offered for uncompleted dives due to medical restrictions
  • Certified divers must be ‘Open Water Diver’ level or higher, and bring proof of their qualification with them to be checked by the the Dive Supervisor. If unable to verify your certification level we reserve the right to refuse a person scuba diving as a certified diver
  • Guided dives are available at every reef location for certified divers who choose to take a guided tour (additional charge) – otherwise divers will be buddied together to go scuba diving. Certified divers remain responsible for following safe diving practices and for their own safety
  • Non-qualified divers will be accompanied by a dive professional at all times – with a maximum of four persons to one Scuba Instructor
  • If divers require private scuba tours, they must book their trip with the ‘Top Deck Club’ – which includes a personal crew member solely assigned to your booking party for the duration of your liveaboard stay
  • All passengers are strongly advised to purchase comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation insurance, evacuation and medical cover for scuba diving. Please read the wording of your insurance policy carefully and ensure it covers you for all intended activities – including all scbua activities. In a medical emergency, any evacuation, vessel relocation, medical or other expenses are the financial responsibility of that passenger
  • We reserve the right to change locations, prices, vessels and itineraries due to unforeseen circumstances and without notice, but will full consideration of safety. Each day the Captain will assess weather conditions and other technical issues to determine the vessels location
  • For a single no decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive.  For multiple dives you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive.  If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive.  We recommend waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible.
  • A minimum of 48 hours’ notice is required to make amendments to prepaid tour components; including equipment hire, guided tours or course fees. No reimbursement will be offered if persons choose not to complete the tour as booked in its entirety, once the tour has commenced