Australia is surrounded by coral reefs with thousands of species of fish and other marine life, making it the perfect destination for diving enthusiasts. Of course, everyone knows the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, but there are many other lesser-known but equally beautiful diving locations in Australia. For a diving holiday, a number of preparations have to be made, such as applying for an Australia visa and possibly taking diving lessons to become a certified diver.
Preparing for a diving holiday in Australia
If you do not have a diving certificate yet you can get one before leaving for your holiday, but there are also plenty of diving schools in Australia that offer certificates for tourists. To be able to dive in Australia you need an internationally recognised "Open water" diving licence, for example the PADI licence. PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors, a dive training organisation which offers various courses, such as open water diving, scuba diving or specific courses for advanced divers. A course usually lasts about four to five days and consists of a medical examination, theoretical lessons, practice lessons in a swimming pool and at a diving site.
In addition to a diving licence, you need a visa for a diving trip to Australia. The eVisitor visa Australia is suitable for tourists and can therefore also be used for diving. This visa can be applied for quickly and easily online and is generally granted within five working days.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is perhaps the most famous diving spot in the world. With a length of more than 2,000 kilometres, it is certainly the largest coral reef in the world. The reef is located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland in north-eastern Australia. It has been on UNESCOʼs World Heritage List since 1981 and is also referred to as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The reef is home to rays, sea turtles, sharks and dolphins.
In recent years, the Great Barrier Reef has been severely damaged by the presence of human activity. Increased fishing, climate change and the many tourists who visit the area each year pose a serious threat to the reefʼs survival. In the past 25 years, the size of the reef has almost halved. The Australian government has therefore started projects to improve the water quality. Divers are therefore asked to be careful when handling the reef and not to touch or take away any coral.
The Ningaloo Reef
The Ningaloo Reef is a lot less known than the Great Barrier Reef, but many divers find this reef equally or even more impressive. The Ningaloo Reef is located on the west coast of Australia. Like the Great Barrier Reef, the reef has been on UNESCOʼs World Heritage List since 2011. More than 500 species of fish live here. In June and July, it is possible to spot whale sharks and humpback whales.
The entrance to the Ningaloo Reef is Coral Bay, a small remote town about 1,150 kilometres north of Perth. The reef lies in Coral Bay, so you do not have to go far out to sea by boat first. Another coastal town on the Ningaloo Reef is Exmouth, about 150 kilometres from Coral Bay.
Applying for an Australia visa
An important part of the preparations for a diving trip to Australia is applying for a visa. British and Irish tourists are generally eligible for an eVisitor visa Australia. This visa allows you to stay in Australia for three months per trip. This gives you enough time to go diving in the Great Barrier Reef and the Ningaloo Reef and, if necessary, take diving lessons in Australia to obtain a diving certificate.
Apply for your Australia visa directly with the online application form. After filling in the form and paying the fees, your application will be processed immediately. Once your application is approved, you will receive your visa by e-mail, on average within five working days. All you have to do is print it and take it with you on your trip to Australia. Do you need your visa within a few days? Then submit an urgent application. Emergency visa applications are generally processed within one hour.