Travel with us to the Great Barrier Reef and become a Marine Conservation Volunteer. No Limit Adventures has teamed up with a dive operator in Cairns, with a high commitment to environmental sustainability, to offer a unique marine conservation volunteering opportunity. Spend your volunteer holiday in Cairns and enjoy our 12-day program that combines the adventure of diving with marine conservation on the Great Barrier Reef.


This unique dive and marine conservation program, comes under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) powerful monitoring program called Eye on the Reef. It is designed for people interested in scuba diving, volunteering, environmental sustainability and marine conservation.




Learn to dive and become a certified diver on the Great Barrier Reef. Once you are certified and as a marine conservation volunteer, complete a number of underwater Rapid Monitoring surveys with your dedicated Eco-guide. Your task will be to collect valuable information on reef health, marine animals and incidents on the Great Barrier Reef. As a result information you collect will help the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) build their knowledge of the health and resilience, and the risks to that resilience, 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 on the Great Barrier Reef. Your involvement will contribute to the reef’s long-term protection.

marine conservation Great Barrier Reef
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Prices are based on a group of min. 2 persons.

Option 1

AUD 3290 per peson

Full 12-day program includes Open Water Dive Course,
Advanced Open Water Dive Course or Nitrox Dive Course

Option 2

AUD 3465 per person

Full 12-day program
includes Advanced Open Water Dive Course and Nitrox Course

Option 3

AUD 3460 per person

Full 12-day program
includes Rescue Diver Course
(Dive course subject to availability)

Certified Divers

AUD 2090 per person

7-day program for already Certified Divers

Turtle Conservation
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Day 1 Welcome to Cairns

Arrive to tropical Cairns and transfer to you hostel. Enjoy your day discovering Cairns by foot. Points of interest include a stroll along the Esplanade, the Botanic Gardens, a swim in the Lagoon, the port and the CBD. Group briefing late afternoon/ early evening at a time TBA.

Note: Marine Conservation Volunteers should arrive at the hostel by 16.00 in time for the briefing. Briefing time to be confirmed by your local host.

Day 2 – 3 Open Water Course – Training Center

Over the next 2 days you will do the first part of your scuba diving adventure. Get picked up by the dive school early morning and transfer to the training center, where you will commence your theory on scuba diving with your qualified instructor. 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 2 it is time for your theory test and a briefing of the upcoming days out on the Great Barrier Reef. Transfer back to the hostel late afternoon each day. 

Note: days 2 – 3 Open Water students only. Free time for all other participants.

Rescue Divers: your course commences on day 3 at the training centre with theory. Travel to the Great Barrier Reef on day 4 and complete your course over the next 3 days.

Day 4 – 6 Great Barrier Reef (Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Nitrox, Rescue courses *)

Depart early morning on day 3 on your Great Barrier Reef dive adventure. Travel time to the first dive site is approx. 3 hours. 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 5. Transfer to your hostel and free time. (B,L,D*)

Note: Advanced Open Water, Nitrox and Rescue students will do their respective courses during this trip. Certified divers have the option of doing a live aboard trip incl. 10 recreational dives. *No dinner on day 6.

Day 7 – 8 Cairns/ Fitzroy Island & Turtles

Your conservation adventure continues with two consecutive day trips to the turtle hospital on Fitzroy Island. Transfer by ferry to Fitzroy Island in the morning, 45 minutes from Cairns, where you will meet other volunteers working at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on the island. You will learn about the work done by this organization, meet some of the patients and, possibly, go behind the scenes to lend a helping hand. Tasks may include feeding turtles, cleaning tanks as well as a beach clean up. Return to Cairns at midday or alternatively stay on the island for the afternoon. If the latter enjoy free time. Do one of the walks on the island, relax on the beach or swim and snorkel. The afternoon ferry returns to Cairns approx. 17:45.

Note: no snorkeling equipment provided. You can hire equipment at your own expense or bring your own. The amount of tasks and the opportunity to do hands-on work at the Turtle Rehab Centre are subject to number of volunteers present at the centre

Day 9 – 10 Great Barrier Reef Day – Reef Conservation tasks

Over the next 2 days you will be onboard Passions of Paradise, a locally owned premier operator promoting sustainable day trips to the Great Barrier Reef to enhance your marine conservation experience. Under the guidance of your designated Eco-guide you will undertake a selection of activities each day while diving (2 x dives per day), 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). Optionally you may also carry out Coral Watch surveys while snorkelling. As a PADI dive centre, Passions of Paradise has the ability to offer divers and snorkelers special recognition for their conservation efforts during your conservation experience. Utilising 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. Each day you will need to check in at the Reef Fleet Terminal by 07.30am and return to Cairns late afternoon. Free time each afternoon. (L)


Day 11 Cairns/ Plastic sorting with local marine conservation organization

This morning you join the team of a local marine conservation organisation, where you will be given the task of sorting and segregating rubbish collected at organised beach clean ups. It is one thing to clean the beaches, but the next task is to get the ball rolling with the upcycling process and this is what your manpower will provide today. If the weather permits and the dates align, you might also be part of a local beach clean up. Here you can expect a day of fun, education and feel-good action. Learn about the impact of marine debris on our oceans, ask the expert conservation coordinators where the rubbish originates from and find out what steps we can take to fight the war on plastic.

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

marine conservation program cairns

  • Accommodation at Gilligans Backpacker Resort (or similar):
      • Options 1 – 3: 9 nights dorm accommodation
  • Meals as noted in the program (B,L,D)
  • Dive course as stipulated in options 1 – 3. All dive courses include 3 day/ 2 night live aboard reef trip
  • 2 x day trips on Passions of Paradise with a dedicated reef conservation guide doing Eye on the Reef – Rapid Monitoring and other Marine Conservation tasks
  • Project AWARE Specialist Card (all participants)
  • Number of dives:
      • Open Water Course + Passions of Paradise: 13 dives on the Great Barrier Reef (pending weather conditions)
      • Advanced Open Water Course/ Nitrox + Passions of Paradise: 15 dives on the Great Barrier Reef (pending weather conditions)
      • Rescue Course + Passions of Paradise: 15 dives on the Great Barrier Reef (pending weather conditions. Rescue Course is subject to availability)
  • 2 x day trips to Fitzroy Island and visit at the turtle hospital, with hands-on activities (subject to availability on the day)
  • Conservation program participant certificate and t-shirt
  • Tour coordination and assistance by No Limit Adventures
  • International and domestic flights
  • Visa fees to Australia (if applicable)
  • Airport transfers (see Note)
  • Reef taxes and levies (approx. $80 for the 3D/2N reef trip and $20/ day with Passions of Paradise. TOTAL Reef Fees: AUD$160)
  • Dive medical costs (if required)
  • First Aid and CPR Certificate cost (only required by participants doing Rescue Dive Course)
  • Costs of personal nature
  • Optional activities
  • Dive Course only – 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.
  • Dive medicals and medical clearance to dive are the responsibility of the participant.
  • Rescue Diver course commences on Sundays and finishes on Wednesdays.
  • Program starts on day 1, being a Sunday
  • Gilligan’s offers all guests a free one way airport transfer from Cairns airport to the hostel between the hours of 8am to 8pm. For those wanting to take the FREE airport transfer please go to bus bay 6 outside the domestic and international terminals. A booking is required – to do this please go to use discount code gilarr57 to ensure you are not charged for the transfer. Maximum of 7 passengers per booking. Please remember to print or save your ticket to present to the bus driver.
  • Single room upgrades available at the hostel, pending availability and at extra cost (approx. AUD$95 per night)

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 – (macro-algae, live coral, live coral rock, coral rubble and sand).
  • Recording of any impacts on coral being observed (i.e. coral bleaching or damage noticed).

(Personalised departures are available anytime upon request with a min. of 4 pax.)

  • 30% deposit required to secure place
  • Full payment must be made no later than 31 days before program commencement
  • No refunds within 30 days of program commencement
  • Cancellations made within 31 – 42 days will incur a 50% cancellation fee of total price
  • Cancellations made 42 – 60 days will be charged an administration fee of AUD$150
  • No shows will incur 100% cancellation fee


Dates 2021
  • 01 – 12.08.2021*
  • 05 – 16.09.2021*
  • 03 – 14.10.2021
  • 07 – 18.11.2021
  • 05 – 16.12.2021


Dates 2021
  • 06 – 12.08.2021
  • 10 – 16.09.2021
  • 08 – 14.10.2021
  • 12 – 18.11.2021
  • 10 – 16.12.2021


Program Partners