Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the best snorkeling and underwater destinations in the world. Thousands of travellers head here every year to dip below the water’s surface and explore the vibrant world that waits for them underneath.
Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef isn’t just for the pros, though. People with no experience at all can hit the water and get up close and personal with the region’s fascinating marine life, with most snorkeling companies providing all the proper equipment and safety briefings. Basically, anyone who can swim can snorkel – it’s as simple as that – but to ease your mind, here are some top tips for beginners.
First thing first, you need to get comfortable in the water. This means splashing about in the shallows and getting used to using the snorkel equipment before you head out into deeper water. It’s just like swimming, but you float on top of the water with your face down, breathing through the snorkel.
If you get water in your mask (which shouldn’t happen often as they are fitted snugly around your face), you simply have to lift it away from your face and drain the water out of it. If water gets into your snorkel, or the breathing tube, blow into it to push the water out the other end.
Fitness and Safety
Although anyone who can swim can snorkel, it’s advised that you have fairly good fitness levels especially if you plan on exploring the deeper waters. Staying afloat can be tiresome, though many tour companies will give you floatation devices to help you out.
The Great Barrier Reef is set in a tropical location, which means temperatures can get seriously high. In order to stay safe in the sunshine, be sure to wear protective, waterproof sun cream and drink plenty of fluids.
When it comes to marine life, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and vibrant spots in the world, but this also means there are some creatures that are best avoided. Marine stingers – better known as jellyfish – make themselves at home here, two of which are poisonous to humans. They tend to hang around between November and May, but to avoid any pain or discomfort, wear one of the lycra suits the tour companies offer.
Finally, Have Fun!
Snorkelling is an incredible opportunity, especially in this part of the world, and you want to make the most of it. Take a friend, stay safe, and discover fascinating sea creatures and majestic underwater landscapes.