Program Details

  • Program Type: Volunteer
  • Location: Australia
  • Starting Price: EUR 2,347.94

Become part of our dedicated team and make a genuine contribution to marine conservation. Your efforts will make a difference for future generations.

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Project Details :

  • Location : Cairns, Australia
  • Duration : 6 to 12 days
  • Program starts : 7 times a year, program starts on a Thursday

Our Marine Conservation Program has been developed to allow people with little to moderate reef experience to be involved in the marine conservation effort.  Assisting us with an established GBRMPA monitoring program called “Eye on the Reef– Rapid Monitoring” your efforts will help a dedicated team of Marine Biologists and other industry professionals in monitoring long term coral health on the Great Barrier Reef. 


Day 1   Welcome to Cairns

Arrive to tropical Cairns and transfer to you hostel. Enjoy your day discovering Cairns by foot.

Day 2 – 3   Open Water Course – Training Center

Over the next 2 days you will do the first part of your scuba diving adventure. Put all the theory into use in the pool during your practical sessions where all your underwater skills are honed under the watchful eyes of your instructors. After lunch on day 3 it is time for your theory test and a briefing of the upcoming days out on the Great Barrier Reef. At 18:30 on day 2 you will attend the Reef Teach presentation, an insight into the magical world of the coral reef. (Certified Divers have the option of doing their Advanced Course and/ or Nitrox)

Day 4 – 6   Great Barrier Reef

Depart on day 4 on your Great Barrier Reef dive adventure. After arriving get briefed by your dive instructor and begin exploring the underwater world on this magnificent natural wonder. Over the 3 days you will do a total of 9 dives out of which 4 will be your final step to becoming an Open Water Diver along with 4 fun dives and 1 night dive. Return to Cairns late afternoon on day 6. (Advanced Open Water and/ or Nitrox students will do their course during this trip)

Day 7   Great Barrier Reef Day trip – Reef Conservation tasks

Today you will take a day trip to enhance your marine conservation experience. Under the guidance of your reef expert you will undertake a selection of activities on the day – one diving, one snorkelling, being Rapid Monitoring surveys and a species count to be entered into Great Barrier Reef Marine Park’s Eye on the Reef Sighting’s Network (number of activities could vary depending on conditions). With the Project AWARE foundation, you will receive a certificate of recognition for your contributions to protecting the world’s marine environment with an AWARE Coral Reef Conservation recognition and/or a Project AWARE Specialist recognition. Return to Cairns late afternoon and free time.

Day 8 – 10   Great Barrier Reef – Reef Conservation tasks

Get picked up early and transfer to the port before departing for the Great Barrier Reef. Traveling out to the outer reef you will be briefed by your expert reef guide on the Rapid Monitoring Surveys and species count you will be undertaking over the next 3 days. Preceding each dive you will be briefed and findings discussed post-dive. Throughout the 3 day trip you will have a total of 11 dives of which 6-8 will focus on data collection and the remainder will be recreational dives. All date recorded will be entered into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park’s Eye on the Reef Sighting’s Network database. On your way home you will be presented with your certificate on a job well done!

Day 11   Fitzroy Island

This morning you transfer by ferry to Fitzroy Island where you will meet the volunteers working at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on the island. You will assist the team with a Rapid Monitoring Survey on the local reef and then learn about the work done by this organisation, meet some of the patients and, possibly, go behind the scenes to lend a helping hand.

Day 12   Cairns

Today is the end of your tour. Check out and transfer to the airport for your onward or homeward journey. Safe Travels!

Monitoring Program Tasks

Participants will be required to complete the following set tasks on each set dive:

  • Timed swim (minimum 10 minutes on each dive) - underwater monitoring and species count on the Great Barrier Reef (i.e. corals, marine life species).
  • 360-degree survey of sea bed on the dive site – Objective is to clearly identify the animals and plants observed in each section
  • Recording of any impacts on coral being observed (i.e. coral bleaching or damage noticed).
  • Note:  A nominated member of the group will take photos to support observations for all findings.  An underwater camera will be provided for this purpose each trip for the group.

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  • Asmus

    I was on the marine conservation program. It is highly recommendable for all the people out there, who would like to both learn to dive and understand the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Not only did I get to see the Reef, I also met some fantastic new friends. I had a great time which I will never forget.


  • 10 nights hostel accommodation at Nomads Serpent (6 nights for option 2 : starts on day 6)
  • Meals as per program
  • 2-hour Reef Teach educational session
  • 5-day PADI Open Water Dive course OR Advanced Open Water OR Advanced Open Water (12 day program only)
  • 3 day/ 2 night reef monitoring live aboard trip with a dedicated Pro Dive Rapid Monitoring guide
  • 21 dives total on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Day trip to Fitroy Island and visit at the turtle hospital, with possible hands-on activities (subject to change)
  • Day trip on Passions of Paradise with a dedicated reef conservation guide, Project AWARE Specialist Certificate
  • Conservation program participant certificate and t-shirt
  • Tour coordination and assistance

Not included

  • International and domestic flights
  • Visa fees to Australia (if applicable)
  • Airport transfers
  • Reef taxes and levies (2 x $60 per reef trip)

Prior to commencing your Dive Course you are required to complete a self-assessment Student Diver Medical Declaration. A positive response to any question means that there is a pre-existing condition that may affect your safety while diving and you must consult a medical practitioner preferably with experience in diving medicine to obtain a dive medical certificate that states that you are fit to undertake recreational diver training.

Cancellation policy

  • No refunds within 1 week of program commencement
  • Cancellations made within 1 – 2 weeks will incur a 50% cancellation fee of total price
  • Cancellations made 2 – 3 weeks will incur a 20% cancellation fee of total price
  • Cancellations made 4 weeks or more prior to program commencement will receive full refund
  • No shows will incur 100% cancellation fee

We have teamed up with leading scuba diving and outer reef operators in Cairns, with a high commitment to environmental sustainability, to offer our Marine Conservation Program run on the Great Barrier Reef combining firstly the adventure of scuba diving with the opportunity to help us help the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) monitor and identify reef health indicators on the Great Barrier Reef.

We will be working together to ensure each marine conservation volunteer walks away with a great deal of self-fulfillment from participating in our unique Marine Conservation Program, involving diving, adventure and volunteering, on the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. Your involvement will contribute to the reef’s long-term protection and provide GBRMPA with additional data helping to identify and monitor reef health indicators.

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Photo Gallery

  • en AUS12 Eye on the Reef Rapid Monitoring 4
  • en AUS12 divers firefish
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  • en AUS12 Eye on the Reef Rapid Monitoring 21