ABC Scuba Diving Port Douglas – Frequently Asked Questions

At ABC Scuba Diving Port Douglas we specialise in the smallest groups of any daily dive boat from Port Douglas.  To assist during your research and planning, we have prepared the below list of Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers), which you may find useful. Please note that we’re more than happy to answer individual questions; in fact, we prefer to provide personally tailored responses, as we understand each case or concern can often be unique. As such, please feel free to contact us directly on phone (07) 4099 6243 or email

General Questions

Q: Are you comparing Apples with Bananas!

Abc Scuba Diving Port Douglas achieves unique dive & snorkel days on the outer Great Barrier Reef.

The quickest way to verify our reef locations, visibility, fish life, or the amount of divers in the water, is to check our photographs.

Please look at our Website, Facebook, Instagram or Trip Advisor …..

A picture is a thousand words!

Note: It is impossible to compare ‘Apples with Apples’ as no other operator in Port Douglas offers a day even similar to ours or more importantly with so few passengers and such a high crew ratio.

Q: What does guided diving and small groups mean?

All diving with ABC Scuba Diving Port Douglas is privately guided with the smallest groups, and more crew to passenger ratio of any boat from Port Douglas. You are assured the very best attention and service. One of the underwater guides will also be a professional underwater photographer. Any images taken on your guided dives are included with no additional cost. Extremely small number of divers on a small boat, means small numbers in the water!

NOTE:- Even though we only run with a handful of passengers you could always consider a private charter.
Example: If there were two couples taking a private charter the cost is not that much more than paying individually, then you can choose who wants to do what and when, this option is the best of all worlds and great for small groups & families.  More on Private Charter Boat Pricing



Q: Are your prices comparable with larger boats / other Great Barrier Reef dive trips?

You want a great, unique experience. Like all business it is a numbers game, the more people you take to the reef the lower the price, the less people you take the higher the price. Small exclusive groups comes at a small premium. Our higher costs offset the fact that you have small numbers,  and a personalised service and experience.

That being said, we are not the most expensive dive centre in Port Douglas. But we are the only PADI dive centre using our own dive boat offering spectacular diving at uncrowded, exciting, new and different locations. With unlimited dive times and an open dive deck policy, this means our certified divers can enjoy the freedom to maximise their dive day.

Conversely first time beginner divers are not under pressure from certified divers.

We are a personal dive center who maintains high standards of customer care and safety. Fuel prices are high around the world and especially in remote locations such as Far North Queensland. Here in Port Douglas, whilst we are lucky to be placed in the best and closest location for some of the best diving on the Barrier Reef and the world, all our dive areas are a minimum of 25km (and up to 60km) away from Port Douglas. We calculate our prices very carefully and offer you the lowest possible prices that we can, whilst still maintaining our high standards of safety, customer service, guaranteed small dive groups, quality dive vessel and our local extremely experienced dive guides and instructors.

Q: Can I bring my partner, friend or kids on the boat to snorkel or just for a boat ride?

All are welcome aboard ‘Independence 1’, but we do not recommend our boat for young children. Our boat does have shaded areas and we carry lifejackets for children (although not for infants). Our boat crew are very friendly, but, they will be busy throughout the day so we cannot offer a babysitting service. However, we are happy to split the day’s diving between parents, or recommend your children snorkel with one of our guides whilst you are diving. On some occasions (according to availability) we can help you to access an experienced babysitter who would be paid independently and can watch your children in your resort, or join you on the boat (as we take such limited numbers on our day trips partners, children or friends are required to pay for their space on the boat).

Partner Snorkeling (your partner dives and you snorkel?)

You need to be confident in the water.


Q: Do you visit the same dive spots daily on the Great Barrier Reef? What is a mooring?

ABC Scuba Diving Port Douglas’ whole dive philosophy is about adventure and excitement; no two days are ever alike. As the ocean currents and tides change, so do the destinations we visit to suit. We also vary the dive locations to suit different skill levels of divers.

A mooring is a floating buoy on the surface of the water tethered to large concrete blocks on the ocean floor. These are mostly used by larger vessels and tour operators.

Q: Do we need to worry about the jelly fish?

This really is more of an issue for beach dwellers than divers diving off shore; we have prepared a simple fact sheet on Marine Stingers.

Q: How does ABC Scuba Diving Port Douglas’ underwater photography work?

Simple, we take high quality underwater photographs of our clients whilst guiding and diving with you. We edit these images post dive and upload them to Dropbox then forward the link to your email.

Q: Can I book on-line? Is your website secure for me to leave my credit card details?

Yes & Yes – We now offer a complete on-line booking service simply: Go to our price page select what you would like to do and add in a date window…… follow the prompts

For more complicated bookings please complete your details on our contact form then we can quote you for your specific booking. We then send you a Gateway link to a secure server where you can leave your credit card details on our secure internet gateway. It is totally safe and secure.

Q: Do you serve food, snacks, soft drinks or alcohol?

We serve snacks and refreshments throughout the day, our ‘menu’ varies from day to day but may include: fresh fruit, biscuits, cakes, ice creams, chocolate, fish/meat/cheese salads, canned soft drinks, filtered fresh water, tea, coffee and other special little treats. Lunch is normally a buffet arrangement, with cold meats and various salads. You are also welcome to bring your own nibbles or alcohol.

Q: What do I have to bring on the day?

A sense of adventure, towel, suncream/block, sea sickness medication (it’s preventative, better to take some ‘just in case’), something dry to wear for the return journey, camera.

NOTE:- Please just a small bag on-board (space is limited). As you can see from above you do not need much for a day on the water.


In Water Activities and Scuba Diving Questions

Q: What will the visibility and water temperatures be like at different times of the year?

Port Douglas is in the tropical part of Australia and has two main seasons: the ‘Wet Season’ November to April (water temperatures 28-32 degrees Celsius) and the ‘Dry Season’ May to October (water temperatures 22-28 degrees Celsius). Visibility varies between 15 and 30m+ throughout the year, the Dry Season usually offers the best visibility.

Q: What does an open dive deck mean?

We dive whenever you like; there’s no fixed time slot or schedule.

Q: I am an inexperienced diver and I use lots of air. Is this a problem and will I dive less than others?

No problem. The diving at our reef sites is relatively shallow which will reduce your air consumption and enable longer dives. We are happy to show you some techniques that will help you get the most from your scuba tank. We can also supply you with larger tanks.

Q: How do you handle first time divers?

With care! Firstly by not mixing beginner divers with certified divers, secondly, by offering a one-on-one instructional environment. As there is no fixed time slot for your dive, if you need longer for your dive preparation, you will not be hurried or rushed. We go through the first time dive process at your pace. If you want to leave and come back to it, then that’s fine too. More

Q: How many dives are available in a day?

Our dive days are about quality not quantity. Generally we have a 2 tank dive day (2 tanks per person), however, having an open dive deck means that if we get the opportunity to swap the day around a little and you and your dive buddies would like 4 shorter dives, then that’s your choice. Our dive days are about spontaneity and excitement! Maybe we have a group of photographers aboard and they all want to dive in a shallow fish bowl or lagoon, doing shallower longer dives. No problem, just let us know.

Q: Can we bring our own equipment?

Our dive pricing does include all dive equipment. However, divers often bring their favorite mask or dive computer, Fins etc. No problem. In this case we can supply whatever you require with no additional charges.

Our dive equipment is changed every few months, all is in as new condition.

Q: What are the current no-fly times after diving?

After scuba diving current PADI Flying After Diving guidelines say that you should not go to altitude (fly) within 12 hours of completing a single dive, or 18 hours when doing multiple dives.

Q: Will we go to different dive sites / locations if we book multiple days?

Absolutely, on these occasions we will go out of our way to show you as much diversity as possible, with different types of dive locations.


Q: Do I need a dive refresher?

Only you can be the judge of that, but it would be prudent if you have not been diving for a year or more to invest in a PADI Reactivate program. You can choose to refresh your dive theory with a short PADI eLearn On-Line session, or when you arrive in Port Douglas we can jump in a swimming pool to bring you back up to speed. Sometimes we may even be able to take you to the Low Islands, a stunning tropical location around 9 Nautical miles from Port Douglas, where there is an abundance of marine life, a sensational offshore sandy beach and some amazing snorkelling opportunities! Can’t think of a better way to kick off that Great Barrier Reef diving holiday!

Dive Course Questions

Q: If I am a nervous first time diver, can I try it in a swimming pool first?

Absolutely, in fact we encourage this approach. Nothing is more reassuring than having your feet firmly on the ground, while you lower your face into the water to take those first few breaths of compressed air from your dive tank. If you are nervous, or just not sure, then stand up. This enables you to progress at your own pace. Note: When you stay at our accommodation (Coral Sea Beach House) pool sessions can be done in the privacy of your own swimming pool.

Q: Do you provide Dive Computers on PADI Courses?

Yes, along with all dive equipment required for the start of your diving adventures.

Q: Do you offer the most up-to-date PADI courses with Computer Learning?

Yes. ABC Scuba Diving Port Douglas teaches the latest and most up-to-date versions of all PADI courses. This means, for instance, that the Open Water Course includes learning to use a dive computer; the Nitrox Course teaches you to set your percentage and find your maximum operating depth on a dive computer, as well as the Advanced Course Deep Dive making use of this technology.

Q: Can I get started with my dive course on-line? Do you offer PADI eLearning?

Yes, and we highly recommend the eLearning options. PADI eLearning allows you to start your training on-line in most languages, so you can complete all the theory and final exams before you come on holiday, saving you valuable holiday time. The on-line courses are valid for 12 months; this means you have 1 year in which to complete the course from when you start. The PADI eLearning courses have an additional cost payable directly to PADI, which allows you access to the on-line knowledge development program for one year, with lifetime access to the PADI Manuals on-line. It also means you can spend less time in the classroom and more time on the beach, while you’re on holiday! We then offer you a discounted rate to complete the practical part of the course, here in Port Douglas. More

Q: What are the medical considerations / requirements for diving?

Diving is considered an extremely safe sport and has a much better track record for injury than many other adventure sports. However, there are known health risks associated with diving, particularly if you suffer from certain respiratory or circulatory conditions. If you do, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot dive, but you will need to see a doctor to ensure diving poses no risk to your health. Please ensure you check out the PADI Medical Statement before enrolling.

Q: Can kids learn to dive? What's the youngest age my kids can dive?

Kids can learn to dive from as young as 12 years old and are often braver than their parents when it comes to taking the plunge! ABC Scuba Diving Port Douglas staff are comfortable, skilled and experienced in teaching children (some of us are parents too). We stock smaller equipment which is designed specifically for our smallest divers!

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