Scuba divers information and medical questionnaire.

Queensland, Australia, has some of the world’s strictest scuba diving rules and the safest scuba diving record. We have a passion for showing you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.  The Queensland Government Code of Practice regulates us, and we 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 before 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 Medical Declaration form. Please note if you answer “YES” to any of the questions and you wish to do a resort dive, you will need to supply a doctor’s certificate in English stating you are medically fit to dive.

If you have signed up for our SSI Open Water Course, you will be required to complete an SSI Medical Questionnaire before commencing your Dive Course. If any of the following applies to you:

a) if you answer “YES” to any of the questions in the SSI Medical Questionnaire (have or have had a medical condition mentioned in the questionnaire)

b) are over 45 years old


c) have a body mass index of more than 30 and a waist circumference of more than 102cm for males or 88cm for females

You WILL NEED to provide us with page 3 of our SSI Dive Medical Form signed by your GP or a dive practitioner. The SSI Medical Form will need to be signed and stamped by your Physician/GP, stating you are medically fit to dive. If your Physician/GP is not specialised in diving medicine, we recommend you share with them the RSTC – Diving Medical Guidance – English.


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, 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.

Suppose 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 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’. Therefore, they 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 must fill out a Standard Queensland Medical Declaration form.


For children, this form must be filled in and signed by 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 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.
The minimum age for scuba diving or participation in scuba diver training is 12 years in Queensland, Australia.
The 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

Certified divers must be Open Water Diver level or higher and bring proof of their qualification with them to be checked by 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 scuba 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.  Travel insurance should include 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 planned activities – including all scuba 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.  Changes may occur without notice but will fully consider safety. Each day the Captain will assess weather conditions and other technical issues to determine the vessels location.

Flying after scuba diving

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 of 24 hours whenever possible.

Alterations to booking

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.