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Snorkelling and diving

Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

Marine parks in Queensland are great places to snorkel and dive. However in a few places, you'll need a marine park permit. Check the zoning plan for that area before you go. Be careful when diving and snorkelling around coral for your own safety and to protect the reef.


In Australia, the minimum requirement for a recreational diver is a current, open water SCUBA diving certificate issued by a recognised, accredited diving organisation such as PADI or NAUI. If you haven't dived for some time, take a refresher dive with a Dive Master or local dive school before you visit the Reef. Before snorkelling, take lessons from an experienced person such as a qualified SCUBA diving instructor. Practise in safe, shallow water before visiting the Reef. Be aware of strong currents around the islands. Stay away from areas where boats operate. The best idea is to look but don't touch. Some marine organisms can deliver painful and dangerous stings.


Spearfishing while using scuba gear is prohibited. If spearfishing while using snorkel gear, please be very cautious near other people. Remember: you must check the zoning plan to see where spearfishing is allowed. Spearguns are not allowed on a national park without written authority unless dismantled and securely stored in a boat or vehicle.

Caring for reefs

The majority of divers and snorkellers cause little noticeable damage to corals. Damage occurs most commonly from fins. If you are inexperienced, try to practise snorkelling away from living coral. Be aware of where your fins are and avoid touching anything with them. Don't rest or stand on coral. If you must stand up, make sure it is on sand, or use rest stations.

More information

Last reviewed
1 August 2018
Last updated
22 September 2017