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lucy@veganonfoot.com

Vegan Dive Tour

Vegan Australian Dive Tour in Cairns? Possible? Good Food? Ethical?

Yes, yes, yes, and IMO, yes.

The Great Barrier Reef and Vegan are not oxymorons. In my opinion – it’s the pinnacle of the vegan experience if done right. Swimming along our fish friends in the wild and not hurting them, but seeing them naturally and not impacting their day to day is easily one of the coolest experiences I’ve done in my life. It’s why we do what we do in it’s best form. We are vegan because we appreciate life, whether it is our own or others. Vegan diving is seeing how other beings live with zero to no impact (environmental impacts of a boat tour aside).

Steps to Vegan Diving:

  1. Complete certification to dive in Australia. I got my PADI cert and recommend that as one of the stronger programs.
    1. You can do this directly in Cairns – the main dive town in North Queensland, or you can do it at home.
    2. I did a combination of the two thanks to living in Wisconsin and it being deep winter.
      1. You can do PADI Open Water Referral where you complete the pool and classroom work at “home” and then complete the open water dives on the boat. This maximizes time in Australia. If you have the time, you can complete the entire time in Cairns and probably be one of the best divers.
        1. Everyone on the boat already certified kept remarking on how much better this program was than what they did in the states. The states to be honest cuts corners, but this company in Australia did what it was supposed to. I felt very uncomfortable leaving the pool in Wisconsin, but felt 10 times better after the first dive in Cairns. Most likely the company, but the learning and safety I gathered in Australia was worth 10 times what I did in Wisconsin.
  2. Find a reputable dive tour to go with.
    1. I can’t speak to any other dive tour, but we went with Pro Dive Cairns, and it was absolutely amazing. We did a 3 day, 2 night tour. It was worth every penny.
    2. My instructor was amazing, and the vegan food was off the walls. Hands down the best tour food I’ve had. I honestly felt like I ate better on the boat than I did in Cairns proper.
  3. Enjoy!

Vegan Food on the Boat:

We confirmed with Pro Dive Cairns ahead of time that they could accommodate vegans. They told us they could, and that it would be no problem but that I should bring snacks. In my experience, that meant two things:

  1. They were going to make something completely separate for me (in a I don’t understand vegans type of way with just some iceberg lettuce and mushrooms)
  2. I was going to need strong snack game to not starve.

What I found:

  1. The vegan food they made was based off the similar meal of everyone else. I don’t care as much about fitting in (hello, vegan freak), but it was nice to be able to talk to everyone else about the food. Meals are about sharing, and it’s hard when you’re eating something 100% different.
    1. If folks had curry – they pulled out a side portion for me before adding in the meat. The cook on the boat quickly knew me and passed me the “starter” vegan plate with the key component with a similar vegan version, and then there were a good number of sides where 2-3 would be vegan. The cook would let me know which were vegan.
  2. There was always plenty of food that was vegan. I never left a meal hungry.
  3. I only needed snacks because:
    1. I like snacks and sometimes wanted to chomp on something outside of meals. My non-vegan brother and sister also brought snacks for this.
    2. I get seasick and snacks help settle the stomach.

Where to Get Good Vegan Snacks in Cairns:

The vegan grocery store in Cairns is easily the Healthy Hub. They had a plethora of vegan options. It was our people to the core. Trust me.

Seriously, get out there and go diving. I will never forget it. Learned a life long skill, felt great about actually seeing the beings I try to honor every day, and had a great time on top of it all.