The maximum student to instructor ratio is 10 students to one instructor during classes. There will also be Divemaster present as well to watch out for you. On the boat there is capacity for 32 people, and it usually operates to full capacity.
There are some opportunities in life too good to pass up, learning to dive on the worlds largest reef is one of them. The diving conditions are simply superb. From Nemos to wobbiegongs (yes really it is a type of shark), cuttle fish and octopus changing colours before your eyes, getting down onto the reef is an experience that really makes you proud to be alive!
Learn to Dive on the Great Barrier Reef: Trip Highlights
- Experiencing some of the best diving on the planet
- Class room instruction and in pool training in Cairns
- Includes a luxury liveaboard out on the reef
- Dive qualification in the end
- Meeting new people and learning to dive in a group
- 9 Dives in the worlds best underwater marine environment
- Plenty of time to chill, snorkel and experience the reef
- 2 nights on a multi million pound liveaboard vessel
- 4 nights in Cairn as a funky backpacker hostel
- Option for a night dive to see a whole new plethora of underwater life come out to play
- Great night-life in Cairns
Learn to Dive on the Great Barrier Reef Photos
8:00am Transfer to the training centre.
8:30am – Registration at the training centre.
8:45am – Academic training in the classroom.
1:00pm – Dive medical and lunch break (lunch not included)
2:00pm Dive training in the pool.
5:30pm Transfer to the hostel.
you7:30am – Transfer to the training centre.
8:30am – Dive training in the pool.
12:30pm – Visit to the dive retail shop.
1:00pm – Lunch break (lunch not included).
2:00pm – Academic training in the classroom and your final exam.
5:45pm – Transfer to your hostel.
5:45am An early start to the day, with a transfer to the dive retail shop.
6:15am – Check in at the dive retail shop.
7:00am – Depart Cairns for three days and two nights’ of diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. A light breakfast is served onboard.
11:30am – Your first training dive in the ocean.
12:45pm – Lunch – a hearty soup with an array of fresh salads, cold meats and bread rolls.
2:30pm – Your second training dive.
6:00pm – Dinner – the menu changes on each trip however it is always wholesome, hot and plentiful! Then – time to relax!
7:00am – Third training dive before breakfast – this will be the deepest training dive of your certification.
8:00am Breakfast served with choice of cereals, toast, spreads, fresh fruit, and bacon and eggs.
10:30am “Your fourth and final training dive.
12:00pm – Lunch a pasta dish served with a variety of fresh salads.
3:00pm – You are now a certified diver! Time to take your first pleasure dive!
7:00pm The chance for a guided night dive see the reef in a whole new light, quite literally!
6:30am – Your first dive of the day.
7:30am – A hot breakfast accompanied by fresh fruit salad, cereals and toast.
9:00am – After breakfast, the vessel makes its journey to the last site on the trip, your chance to take your second dive of the day.
11:00am – Your last dive! When you surface, freshly made sandwiches will be waiting, served as the vessel heads home.
4:00pm – Transfer to the hostel.
7:30pm – Join the crew and fellow passengers at a local restaurant for a farewell dinner if you wish (Dinner not included).
This will be your final night in hostel accommodation. If you wish you can extend your stay with the hostel, and enjoy some of the sights and attractions in and around Cairns perhaps add on the Cairn Adrenaline Overload
Please note that this itinerary is subject to change. Occasionally changes are made to improve our trips based on past customer feedback, our own research and other factors beyond our control, such as the weather.
Six nights of accommodation are included in the price, with all nights bar four and five (when you will be staying aboard the dive boat) spent in a fantastic shared dorm hostel in Cairns.
Located on the Esplanade, the hostel is in the heart of Cairns, opposite its famous lagoon. It offers clean and comfortable accommodation with friendly and knowledgeable staff. Here you´ll be staying in 4 or 6 bed dorms. Facilities include:
- A swimming pool
- Pool table and table tennis
- Common room access
- Guest kitchen use
- Internet access
- Safety deposit box
- Tour desk use
- Luggage storage
- Laundry facilities
- Telephone access
During your three days and two nights (on nights four and five) aboard one of our three fully equipped dive charter vessels, you´ll have a choice of accommodation, as all vessels feature a choice of twin-share cabins, or double cabins. For customers travelling alone, we will arrange a twin share cabin with another scuba student of the same sex.
There are also two large decks aboard, one for storing your gear, and the other for sunbathing and relaxing. Meals are not included during your stay in Cairns, but will be served and included during your stay on the dive boat. Consisting of three breakfasts, three lunches and two dinners, breakfasts will normally include eggs, bacon, fruit salad, cereals and toast. Lunch is often a choice between pasta, salad or sandwiches, and dinner is always a wholesome, hot, and plentiful dish. You´ll also be served morning and afternoon tea while aboard, so you shouldn’t go hungry!
A Rough Idea of Price
All of our gap year holidays are completely customised to your needs and prices will therefore vary based on things like the time of year and level of accommodation; but we want to give you as good an idea of how much this itinerary will cost.
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- Pre departure information pack
- 9 Dives (4 training dives and 5 pleasure dives including one night dive)
- PADI Open Water certification
- PADI Open Water manual
- Dive log book
- Transfers from your Cairns hostel accommodation to the dive school
- 6 night´s total accommodation (4 nights hostel dorm share & 2 nights twin share on board dive boat)
- 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners and morning & afternoon tea (aboard the boat)
- 2 Passport Photos
- Use of all dive & snorkel equipment – includes dive computer, wetsuits and dive torch
- Prescription lens mask (if required)
- 24 hour emergency support
- Airport transfers
- Compulsory dive medical costing AUD60 payable directly to the doctor on the first day of the dive course
- Extra charges of AUD70. This amount incorporates the EMC as well as Port Departure Tax and administration costs
- A compulsory fee of AU$16.50 is collected for the Government Environmental Management Charge
- Your meals on days 1,2,3 and the farewell dinner on day 6
- Underwater camera hire (optional)
- Travel insurance
Frequently Asked Questions
This means your home for the time being is the boat! This is your room, your restaurant, your chill out place.
The warm waters of Tropical North Queensland are ideal for year round diving. Water temperature can vary from 22 ° to 28 ° Celsius (75 ° to 85 °F).
Yes, there are sharks in every ocean. A variety of sharks inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. What we most commonly encounter are smaller species which pose no threat to divers or snorkellers. The shark that Australia is infamous for is the Great White shark, prefers cold water of the Southern Ocean and does not exist in Tropical North Queensland.
There are 2 main types of dangerous jellyfish in our local waters. The Box Jellyfish is coastal dwelling and is never seen on the reef. They breed in estuaries and live their life on the shoreline, therefore do not pose a threat to divers. The Irukandji jellyfish is also predominantly a coastal dweller but is occasionally found on the reef. Divers are rarely troubled by either species but there is still a risk of being stung. Full body coverage is recommended when jellyfish are prevalent. The jellyfish season in North Queensland is from November to April.
We have 16 exclusive dive sites on 4 spectacular outer reefs. The reefs: Thetford, Pellowe, Milln and Flynn are situated on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, south east from Cairns. These sites are rarely visited by other vessels, so divers get the exclusive opportunity to view magnificent corals and fish life without the crowds. We generally only ever do two dives at any one dive site – weather pending.
The Great Barrier Reef is generally not a deep dive destination so more your shallow diving. Our dive sites have an average depth range of 10 – 25 metres (30-80 feet). As coral relies on sunlight for growth, some of the best snorkelling and diving can be done in shallow areas around the reef top.
No. We include all required equipment you may need for any dive or snorkel package. If you are interested in purchasing gear, you can stop by the retail shop the evening before your trip between 4 7:45pm to gear up.
Before every dive, the dive supervisor conducts a detailed site briefing beforehand. We will arrange a dive buddy for you. We offer an Instructor in the water for the first dive to see if the certified divers are ok in the water and the first night dive will be offered with an Instructor.
Yes, as long as evidence of certification can be provided eg log book, verification letter from your certifying dive company. You can do this by contacting your original certifying organizations. We can provide assistance in this area if you are PADI affiliated.
All three vessels have 14 twin share cabins and 2 doubles available at the same cost. Every two cabins share shower and toilet facilities. For clients travelling alone, we will arrange a twin share cabin with another person of the same sex.
A maximum of 32 passengers are on the liveaboard vessel. There will be a mix of skill levels on board snorkellers, certified divers and people completing diving courses such as Open Water, Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster courses.
Yes. We can provide complimentary transfers from Cairns & Northern Beaches, accommodation as far as Palm Cove. We do not pick up from private addresses but will collect passengers from the nearest hotel or pick up point. Please note we do not pick up from the Airport.
A compulsory fee of AU$16.50 is collected for the Government Environmental Management Charge. A total of AU$70.00 (subject to change) per person is payable directly to the dive company in Australia. This amount incorporates the EMC as well as Port Departure Tax and administration costs. (Subject to change at short notice)
You will need to take along 2 towels – one for swimming and one for showering. You´ll need swimwear, comfortable clothes for three days, toiletries etc. Luggage needs to be kept to a minimum (small bag) as space is limited on boats. Any excess luggage can be kept safely in storage for you at our retail shop.
Yes, you are allowed to bring alcohol on board, but in moderation as we only have limited space on all of our boats. Please note once any alcohol has been consumed, you are not allowed to go into the water again until the following day. We encourage responsible drinking.
PADI standards recommend you leave at least 24 hours after your last dive before flying. You can fly, then dive the same day, however not dive then fly. You will complete your last dive around 12 noon on your last day of the liveaboard trip, so flying the next day any time after noon will be ok. Other activities to avoid are sky diving, hot air ballooning and going to Kuranda.
- Minimum age 12 years of age
- 10 minute tread water 200m swim or 300m with snorkel and fins
- Dive Medical according to Australian Standard (AS4005-1) required by Government Regulations.
You have 2 options: you can still go on the liveaboard trip as a snorkeller or you can obtain a partial refund, only for the dive course and lice a board (available only up until the end of the first day of class). Some medical conditions that can preclude you from diving include heart disease, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.
You will need to bring your swimsuit and a towel. If you have not already completed your dive medical, bring some money to pay direct to the doctor. (AUD$60 cash or credit card) You will also need to bring cash on both days for lunch. We do not have an ATM facility at the Training Centre but this facility is available within a five minute walk.
The maximum student/instructor ratio is 10 students to 1 instructor in the pool and 8 students to 1 instructor on the outer reef. The classroom numbers are capped at 16 students.
We offer courses in German on Tuesday and Friday, and Japanese on Thursday´s. PADI offer a wide variety of languages in the Learn to Dive manuals i.e. Italian, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Korean and Chinese. Please make your request at least 2 weeks prior to you starting your course and we will endeavour to obtain the correct manual for you.