One of the things that make Australia stand out and attract visitors is its amazing seaside. Australian beaches are breathtakingly beautiful and people go there to swim and surf alike, but also to do some windsurfing, go scuba diving, and learn to sail. Because the country is surrounded by oceans, it gives people a special chance to learn to master the wild waves, but it’s also the reason to be extra careful when trying a new activity. If you’re hoping to do some scuba diving in Australia and don’t have a lot of experience in the field, here’s what you should know:

Are you fit enough to dive?

First things first: are you absolutely sure that you’re fit enough to dive? Before you actually put on your gear and dive, you need to get a certificate. Certification is necessary for several reasons: before you’re allowed to dive in the first place, you need to get proof that you can actually do so. There is also the matter of insurance policy you need to pay before you dive. While some might see this as a sign of bad luck, it is actually nothing more than a simple (and necessary) step of precaution. The bottom line is that diving is incredibly difficult and it’s much more taxing on your body than good old swimming, which is why you have to pass a medical examination first.

Cover the basics

Even though it might look simple enough, diving is more complicated than it looks. There are many things you need to pay attention to and your safety should be your top priority. When you’ve obtained your certificate, you need to find good scuba diving gear and not be swayed by different frugal options you might find. When you’re properly equipped and you know that your gear is in pristine condition, you can be sure that you’ll be safe underwater. Another thing you should do is learn the basics and try diving in a swimming pool first. Afterwards, you should do your first ocean dives in warm and clear (and shallow) water until you feel that you’re ready for deeper and colder waters.

Take deep breaths

Getting underwater for the first time can be exhilarating and, as a result, people often start taking shallow breaths. This is understandable – it’s difficult to wrap your mind around the fact that you are breathing underwater, but you should really force yourself to breathe deeply instead. Looking around and seeing the beauty of the underwater world with your own eyes for the first time can also be overwhelming, yet taking slow and deep breaths is essential. The most important thing is to keep breathing and never, ever, hold your breath underwater. Holding your breath while scuba diving can cause an air embolism which can lead to a serious and perhaps even fatal injury.

Don’t touch anything

Even though everything you see when you dive might look magical and harmless, you should never touch anything. Not only is this a great practice for protecting the coral reefs, but also a great way to stay safe while diving. You wouldn’t believe how sharp corals can be, and you don’t want to find out by cutting yourself. What is more, some marine plants are poisonous while many creatures will not hesitate to bite you if they feel threatened by your presence. When you keep your hands to yourself, you will ensure that all of you stay safe.

Don’t push yourself too hard

Even though scuba diving is referred to as an adrenaline sport, in reality, you should be very calm and relaxed while diving. When you swim fast, you miss the chance to see interesting marine plants and creatures, so the slower you go, the more you’ll be able to see. Not to mention that swimming fast will leave you tired and out of breath. In case you do feel tired, get your diving buddy and signal them that you want to rest for a while (on a coral-free rock, of course).

There are a lot of impressive tourist hotspots in the Land Down Under and it doesn’t come as a surprise that people want to try something new. While scuba diving is fun and exciting, it can also be dangerous if you don’t stick to the rules, which is why it’s a good idea to prepare well for your first dive. This is especially important if you don’t have experience or background in scuba diving. Take time to learn a thing or two about it so you can enjoy it safely.