Andria Payne




I only got addicted to scuba on holiday in Australia from China. While hailing from the US, I now call Sydney home where I am constantly seeking the next adventure and new ways to improve myself as a diver and instructor.

What drew you into the sport of Scuba Diving?

Not only is it a whole new world, it’s a unique healthy lifestyle that allows you to escape for a couple hours a day. If I can breathe underwater, I can overcome anything!

What is your favourite dive site and why?

The Leap and Steps would have to be one of my favourite dive sites. I can never turn down an opportunity to find weedy seadragons, they’re just so beautiful. It’s also home to one of the best sponge gardens in Sydney, turtles, heaps of octopus, eels, and you even get the occasional dolphin and/or seal!

What is the most memorable dive you have done, and why?

My first dive as a tech diver on the wreck of the Valiant. Becoming a tec diver was a fraught decision for me – I loved deep diving and hated NDLs, but it was a much greater step than I had ever taken previously. After putting in all the effort and training, completing my first tech dive was very rewarding and only convinced me to further my tech diving training!

What do you love about being a Dive Instructor?

I love being able to introduce a whole new world and new passion they don’t even realise they’re about to have! That look of students feeling confident for the first time in whatever type of diving they’re learning is very rewarding.

Where can you see the sport of Scuba Diving heading in the future?

Rebreathers. Being able to take out the Hollis Explorer is like no other! The more accessible rebreather diving becomes to the general diving community, and as the technology continues to advance, it wouldn’t surprise me to see students learning on rebreathers in the not too distant future.

Visit me at: Abyss Scuba Diving

My Gear Locker

As an AUP Instructor Team Member I recommend these items when diving!

Oceanic VTX
Oceanic AirXS
Oceanic Excursion