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Ask the Experts: Best places to Scuba Dive

Welcome back to one of my favourite features on the STA Travel Blog – it’s time for Ask the Experts!

Every week, we pitch your travel questions to a panel of our most trusted Travel Experts, who will try to help put your travel plans in motion. Got a question? Email our Experts!

We’ve finally had a bit of sunshine in the UK, and it seems that it’s got one of our Blog readers all hot and bothered. She wants to cool off in style, and head into the depths of the ocean. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself; let’s hear this week’s question:

I’d like to learn to scuba dive; it doesn’t need to be the cheapest, but where do you recommend for a good blend of everything? Hayley in Liverpool

Can our Experts find Hayley a top diving course, in a location worth getting in a wet suit for? There’s only one way to find out…


Sarah Jones from STA Travel Covent Garden suggests…

Nice choice, Hayley! Scuba diving is one of the most out-of-this-world experiences you’ll ever do. Swimming next to eagle rays, whale sharks and amongst schools of fluro ball-eyed fish – Blue Planet eat your heart out.

There are numerous places worldwide that offer incredible underwater experiences but, in my opinion, nothing quite beats Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

 Dive into the Great Barrier Reef | Image by NASA | Wikimedia Commons

On the coast of Queensland, the mighty Great Barrier is one of the seven wonders of the world, boasts the world’s largest coral reef and can even be seen from space! There are 2,900 individual reefs in its realm and 1,500 fish species, a number being endangered. Yep, this place has ‘great’ in its name for a reason.

It also boasts some of the world’s top dive instructors, and has a number of operators dedicated to getting your PADI Open Water Certificate. We have a variety of 3 to 5 day courses based in Cairns, from a beginners ‘Learn to Dive’ course, to the ‘PADI Advanced Open Water Course’ giving you the most comprehensive training.

The Advanced course also takes you to 4 Outer Reef locations where you’ll explore completely unspoilt zones of the Great Barrier and witness some of the most spectacular sights on the planet. All courses offer 9 or more dives, night dives, and, for the more advanced, deep diving.

The Great Barrier Reef is the ultimate underwater empire and, quite frankly, the place to scuba dive.

Kim Lindsay from STA Travel Dundee ponders…

When I think of diving, Hayley, I automatically think of Thailand. Why is that?

Could it be the gorgeous weather and fantastic beaches, or the clear warm waters and colourful, tropical sea-life? Well yes, partly! But it’s also due to the professionally run dive courses, and the all important price factor.

Koh Tao is where you want to go for less time in the air and more time in the water. Check out our 6-night PADI dive course and save yourself the worry of choosing a safe and reputable dive company. The only thing that’s going to come up short with this choice is your bank statement!


If this week’s post has got you interested in doing a spot of diving, come in to one of our stores and talk to our Travel Experts! We’ve got loads of them just like Sarah and Kim, and they all love talking about travel. Remember, our Experts are here on the Blog every week – email us with your questions!
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