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 a higher crew to passenger ratio than any other 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?

The Great Barrier Reef is a once in a lifetime activity for most, so you want to ensure that you get the amazing experience that you have always dreamed of.  Exceptional customer service, top quality equipment and vessel, amazing locations and low numbers.  Like all business, you get what you pay for.  It really 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 cost offsets the fact that we only take a maximum of 12 passengers,  with 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. We cater our experience for the needs of our customers on a day to day basis.

On top of that, many other tours have hidden extra charges.  We are all inclusive with nothing extra to pay.  When you add up the extras charged on other boats, we are even cheaper than many.  We include your reef tax, your equipment hire (incl. suits and prescription masks), soft drinks and even free professional photographs of your day – many guests see these included photos as a major attraction to our tour.



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).

We also take many groups with mixed experience, in which case we ensure that we visit sites that are suitable for all levels, whether they be snorkeling or diving.

If you are concerned or inexperienced, you may even wish to pay a little extra to have a private guide to look after you or your group alone.


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.  We opt to send a diver in and place an anchor.  This minimises damage to the reef, allows us to moor up at exclusive reef sites that others are unable to access and also means we can view excellent reef just a few metres from the boat!

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.  However, in the summer months, we do provide lycra suits for protection, which are included in the price (other tours may charge for the use of these). 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, professional 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. ALL INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

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 (please note: no alcohol prior to scuba diving activities).

We also have Gluten Free, Vegetarian & Vegan Options.


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: 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, please request upon booking.

Q: How do you handle first time divers?

With care! Firstly by not mixing beginner divers with certified divers, secondly, by offering a small group 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.

If you are nervous, maybe consider booking a private instructor so that we can do things at your own pace and take as much time as you need. Anybody can dive, it is just breathing and looking around, some people just take a bit longer than others to get comfortable.


Q: How many dives are available in a day?

We plan our dive days around our customers, their experience and their wishes.  Many people come to The Great Barrier Reef to dive and so we allow for three dives in a day.  However, some people may need more time to get comfortable, like more time to relax, or even the chance to snorkel with loved one in between dives and may opt to do two dives (or less).  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 and as a small company cannot offer discounts for bringing your own gear. However, divers often prefer to 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?

Locations firstly are always chosen based on the prevailing weather conditions.

When we have customers with multiple day bookings we always try to offer as much variety of dive & snorkel locations as possible



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!

If it has been a while, why not consider hiring a private instructor to ensure you are looked after to your needs.

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.

You may even wish to hire a private instructor to guide you at your own pace.  Remember, anyone can dive, some people just take a bit longer to get comfortable than others.

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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