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Australia - Great Barrier Reef Conservation

Explore the deep waters and make a difference in marine conservation at the Great Barrier Reef! Visit a turtle rehabilitation center and collect data for important research all while receiving your diving certification!



$2,350

 

Fast Facts

Location of ProjectGreat Barrier Reef, Australia
Project Length12 days
Arrival AirportCairns Airport (CNS)
Volunteer WorkDiving, research, marine rehabilitation
Number of ParticipantsUp to 8 volunteers
Age18 - 80
Important Note This project requires a minimum of 4 participants, anything less and the project will not take place.

What's Included

AccommodationShared rooms in a hostel and a boat
Food2-3 meals per day
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersAirport pickup upon arrival
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
Transportation Transport to/from the dive school and boat
Dive requirements According to PADI Dive regulations people with asthma, diabetes and serious respiratory conditions will not be medically cleared to dive.

What's Not Included

Flights, reef taxes and levies ( $60 and an additional 4 x $15 for each trip to the reef), personal expenses, visa (if required)
* If you have your Open Water certification and Advanced Open Water certification.
 

Location

Cairns is a tropical location in North Queensland, Australia.  Located on a coastal strip between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range, it offers great access to diving at the Great Barrier Reef.  From Cairns it is easy to travel to the nearby islands, Green and Fitzroy.  While diving is the main attraction, there are many other exciting attractions nearby such as the Atherton Tableland and Cape Tribulation.  

 

About the Project

Composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.  Known to be the world’s largest coral reef system, The Great Barrier Reef is home to many endangered animals, including over thirty types of whales, dolphins, 1,500 fish species, and much more.  This project aims to restore and preserve while protecting its species in the marine ecosystem.  Coral reefs, in particular, provide various marine animals with food, protection, and shelter, but because of human impact, these ecosystems are becoming vulnerable and are in great need of conservation.  By teaching volunteers how to scuba dive and then training them to use these skills for the preservation of coral reefs, they gain a deeper understanding of the environmental issues facing the marine ecosystem.

 

Volunteer Work and Contribution

Your time at the expedition is divided into two stages: 
 
The first six days will be dedicated to achieving your Open Water certification.  If you already have your Open Water certification then you can work on your Advanced Diving Certification.  Days will be spent both in and out of the classroom and pool in order to improve your diving skills and knowledge.  After this segment of training, you will travel to the Great Barrier Reef to dive a total of nine dives.  Four of the dives will be your final steps in achieving your Open Water certification, while the rest will be fun dives, including a night dive. 
 
Once you have obtained your certification, the next six days will be spent on conservation efforts. Over four days you will travel every day to the outer shelf of the Great Barrier Reef. Here, you will do a total of eight dives, with the majority of them focusing on conservation.  While diving, you will collect data, observe the coral reef conditions, and survey the animals and plants surrounding the reef. You will also have the opportunity to go snorkeling recreationally or to do further surveys. During the four days you will complete your PADI Project AWARE Specialty. On the last day you will have the opportunity to go to a nearby island to learn about turtle conservation at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.  You will learn about the organization, meet the turtles currently at the center, and participate in other educational activities as well as enjoying free time to explore the island. 

 

Living Arrangements

Accommodations: Participants will stay at a hostel in shared facilities during most of the program.  Participants will also spend two days living on a boat in shared facilities to access reefs further off the coast.  

Food: 2-3 meals are available per day

Internet: WIFI is not available on the boats.  WIFI is available at the hostel for an additional cost.

Laundry: There are laundry facilities available in the hostel for an additional cost. There are no laundry facilities on the boat.

 

Travel Highlights

While the expedition is packed full of amazing adventures in Cairns and at the Great Barrier Reef, traveling around Australia or to nearby Papua New Guinea are wonderful options for before or after the project.  The nearby cities of Brisbane and Sydney are only 2-3 hours flight away and also offer exciting cultural and recreational attractions.  Don’t forget the magnificent beaches for relaxing and snorkeling, the incredible hiking trails, and the surfing hotspots scattered throughout the rest of Australia. 

 

Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum age is 18 years old
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Completed PADI medical form (If “yes” to any medical statements, a doctor must sign approval for the program.)
  • Must have at least 4 participants registered for the project 

 

Important Notes

The fee includes becoming an Open Water Diver (OWD) or Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD), including training and certification paperwork.

If you already have the OWD and AOWD certifications, then you can start the program on day six and receive a discount of US$600. 

Participants that are only doing their AOWD certification  can spend the first three days exploring on their own or participating in organized activities (for an additional cost), since the training for these courses begins early on day four. 

 

 

Here's an excerpt of Leah's experience:

  "All of the staff on the boat was very friendly and helpful. You could tell this is something they all really enjoy and love to share with others. They made sure to let us know where the coolest things to see were and if there were any special things in our dive sites. There was one fish that was a regular visitor. His name is Wally and we saw him most days out on the reef. He swims right up to divers and it is definitely an experience to see how much he likes to hang out with people."
Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog

 

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