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Is it worth bringing all my own dive gear to Australia?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by FettSolo, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. FettSolo

    FettSolo Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lebanon, NH, USA
    221
    96
    28
    Hey folks,

    Been giving some serious thought to a three week trip to Australia in late August next year. I would definitely want to dive one of those weeklong GBR/Coral Sea expeditions with Spirit of Freedom or Mike's Ball, but the other two weeks would consist of terrestrial adventures (considering Uluru, driving the Great Ocean Road, Sydney...).

    So, my question: is it worth bringing all my own dive equipment? Obviously I love using my own kit, especially when it'd be a week of diving, but I'm also wary of having to drag this gear across the world (from New York City), and then having to bring it along as I visit other parts of Australia as well.

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! Especially comments upon the quality of Spirit's or Mike's rental gear.
     
  2. John A Lewis

    John A Lewis Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: DFW
    360
    99
    28
    I spent three months in Western Australia, and used my own kit while there. What I did was simple.

    Arranged to have it shipped and insured to my destination, then did the same in reverse. Just make sure that you have someone to receive it at both ends you will be able to trust.

    Yes, it was an added expense, but was worth it for me.
     
  3. WetPup

    WetPup Weedy Sea Dragon

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kiwiland
    1,106
    660
    113
    Bear in mind the baggage limits on internal domestic flights. Small planes (e.g. Dash-8's are common for flights to Uluru) can mean that they actually enforce limits sometimes. I would bring my own computer, mask, and wetsuit, but hire the rest.

    I had my dive gear bag go missing a few years ago (flight connection f-up by the airline, long story) on the way to Cairns for a Mike Ball lob trip. I had to hire everything as a result. Their rental gear was fine. I didn't like their wetsuits - it was July, water was not particularly warm, and their rental wetsuits were not warm enough for the conditions IMO. But that aside, their rental gear was acceptable qvuality.
     
  4. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,511
    1,779
    113
    Im with WP - I would bring your essentials and rent the rest. Rental gear in Aus is almost always in good condition - especially on LOBs out of QLD where the legislation is much more stringent.
     
  5. bowlofpetunias

    bowlofpetunias Oh no, not again! Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    12,609
    6,006
    113
    I've done a fair bit of travel with my gear. I'd leave behind the wetsuit unless you are an uncommon size or hard to fit. FWIW I'd carry Regs, mask, computer, and BCD/BPW. If you are going to do an internal trip where weight is an issue.. just ship your gear to the next port of call and pick it up there.

    Diving in Sydney is excellent as is the diving in Melbourne. Enjoy your trip and touch bases when your plans are more concrete perhaps you will be able to meet up with a few SB members
     
  6. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    1,393
    830
    113
    You could always ship a bag from Cairns after diving to your hotel in Brisbane/Sydney (or wherever you fly back from). We did a trip to Europe in 2013 and one week was diving at Scapa Flow in Scotland and a few days diving in England. We decided to take all dive gear with us and cart around for the other four weeks. This included very bulky drysuits and undergarments which of course you would not need.

    Personally I would bring everything as you should be able to keep the total to a reasonable weight and pay upfront for an extra bag on Australian internal flights.
     
  7. bowlofpetunias

    bowlofpetunias Oh no, not again! Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    12,609
    6,006
    113
    @clownfishsydney yeah I prefer to bring all my gear except tanks and weights of course. Nothing like having your own stuff you know fits and works for you.

    I have been told I am a bit obsessed with diving. When I travel to Canada to visit family I normally add a week to 10 days leg on the trip to dive in Calif or Florida or both. I have one bag packed with dive stuff and one with clothes and gifts. I figure every place I go has washing machines so how much clothes do I really need anyway :) I'd rather drag my gear around than regret leaving it behind. I have had to borrow wetsuit for diving in Canada tho. I don't have a 7 mil and I fine I need one for water temps in the 7 to 8C range. :cold:
     
  8. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,563
    5,520
    113
    I carry my own gear whenever I'll be flying to a single dive destination, or perhaps two. However, if I am including topside travel along with my diving destination or visiting multiple destinations, I usually rent my gear there. A royal PITA in many cases to keep carrying your dive gear with you.
     
  9. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,652
    17,191
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    I did three weeks in Australia two years ago, including a Spirit of Freedom trip. I brought my own gear. I had two buddies along, and they rented everything except mask, fins, and snorkel. Both plans worked.

    A lot depends upon what your gear is. If it is pretty much standard kit, then you might be more inclined to rent. If you (like me) prefer a BP/W, long hose regulator, etc., then it will be more worth it to bring your own. We also did a day trip (3-tank dive) out of Port Douglas, and I had to explain my kit to our DM. She had never seen anything like it before, and she was not sure it should be allowed. Throughout the day, other DMs stopped by my station to see my bizarre gear for themselves. None had ever seen or heard of it before.
     
  10. FettSolo

    FettSolo Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lebanon, NH, USA
    221
    96
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    My kit's fairly standard - my Zeagle is a little different from your standard rental BCD, but obviously not to the same extent as a true BP/W, and otherwise nothing too different.

    Thank you very much to everybody who responded - I know posting questions on SB will give me a nice range of responses, and this time was no exception. It is all extremely helpful as I think this over. :)
     

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