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Great Barrier Reef Conservation

Cairns, Australia show on map

Agency | GoEco

Make a difference in marine conservation at the Great Barrier Reef! Visit a turtle rehabilitation center and collect data for important research.

Cairns is a tropical location in North Queensland, Australia.  Located on a coastal strip between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range, it offers great access to diving at the Great Barrier Reef.  From Cairns it is easy to travel to the nearby islands, Green and Fitzroy.  While diving is the main attraction, there are many other exciting attractions nearby such as the Atherton Tableland and Cape Tribulation.  

Composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.  Known to be the world’s largest coral reef system, The Great Barrier Reef is home to many endangered animals, including over thirty types of whales, dolphins, 1,500 fish species, and much more.  

This 12-days project aims to restore and preserve while protecting its species in the marine ecosystem.  Coral reefs, in particular, provide various marine animals with food, protection, and shelter, but because of human impact, these ecosystems are becoming vulnerable and are in great need of conservation.  By teaching volunteers how to scuba dive and then training them to use these skills for the preservation of coral reefs, they gain a deeper understanding of the environmental issues facing the marine ecosystem.

While you are with us you will achieve your Open Water certification and hence, spend your time beneath the surface to collect data and survey the reef and its inhabitants.

Please note, that this project requires a minimum of 4 participants, anything less and the project will not take place.

Typical day

Your time at the expedition is divided into two stages: 
The first six days will be dedicated to achieving your Open Water certification.  If you already have your Open Water certification then you can work on your Advanced Diving Certification.  Days will be spent both in and out of the classroom and pool in order to improve your diving skills and knowledge.  After this segment of training, you will travel to the Great Barrier Reef to dive a total of nine dives.  Four of the dives will be your final steps in achieving your Open Water certification, while the rest will be fun dives, including a night dive. 
Once you have obtained your certification, the next six days will be spent on conservation efforts. Over four days you will travel every day to the outer shelf of the Great Barrier Reef. Here, you will do a total of eight dives, with the majority of them focusing on conservation.  While diving, you will collect data, observe the coral reef conditions, and survey the animals and plants surrounding the reef. You will also have the opportunity to go snorkeling recreationally or to do further surveys. During the four days you will complete your PADI Project AWARE Specialty. On the last day you will have the opportunity to go to a nearby island to learn about turtle conservation at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.  You will learn about the organization, meet the turtles currently at the center, and participate in other educational activities as well as enjoying free time to explore the island. 

Free-time activities

While the expedition is packed full of amazing adventures in Cairns and at the Great Barrier Reef, traveling around Australia or to nearby Papua New Guinea are wonderful options for before or after the project. The nearby cities of Brisbane and Sydney are only 2-3 hours flight away and also offer exciting cultural and recreational attractions.  Don’t forget the magnificent beaches for relaxing and snorkeling, the incredible hiking trails, and the surfing hotspots scattered throughout the rest of Australia. 

Water Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
Completed PADI medical form (If “yes” to any medical statements and a doctor must sign approval for the program.)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Good level of physical fitness
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with GoEco straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Suitable for


Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by GoEco.
Services by GoEco

Included in the fees are the accommodation, the food in form of 2-3 meals per day, our local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support as well as project-related transportation and an airport pickup upon arrival. 

Furthermore, a comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage is included. You will also receive a pre-departure kit with the full project details as well as all necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival.

Important Note:
The fee includes becoming an Open Water Diver (OWD) or Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD), including training and certification paperwork.
If you already have the OWD and AOWD certifications, then you can start the program on day six and receive a discount of US$600. 
Participants that are only doing their AOWD certification  can spend the first three days exploring on their own or participating in organized activities (for an additional cost), since the training for these courses begins early on day four. 

Airport Pickup at Cairns Airport

We provide an Aairport pickup upon arrival.


The participants of this program will stay at a hostel in shared facilities during most of their stay. However, they will also spend two days living on a boat in shared facilities to access reefs further off the coast.  

Youth Hostel
Food & Beverages

We provide you with 2 - 3 meals per day. 

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cairns Airport (CNS) in Cairns. We assist you to find cheap flights to Australia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Australia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Australia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Australia.
Costs (Prices in USD)
12 days (min. stay)
12 days (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Cairns/Australia between 12 days and 12 days. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. GoEco will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Australia.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with GoEco during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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