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Learn to Dive Great Barrier Reef

Earn your PADI open water certificate

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Group Size: Max 32

Trip code: AULD

Duration: 7 days

Become a qualified diver
Stay on the Great Barrier Reef
Includes all equipment and 9 dives
Want more flexibility during these uncertain times? With this trip, you get a free date change! Amend your start date up to 31 working days before you travel. Book for travel until 31st December 2021. See full T&Cs here.

Spend 7 days in and around Cairns and get an internationally-recognised PADI Open Water scuba diving qualification! Enjoy underwater adventures at the world-famous Great Barrier Reef and discover magical marine life near Cairns. Complete your training in Cairns and then spend three days and two nights on board a boat enjoying the Aussie dive experience. Go on nine dives in total and master a new skill! 

Already have your PADI? Check out our awesome Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Dive Trip for some more advanced diving adventures!

Trip highlights

  • Gain your PADI Open Water Qualification and become a scuba diver
  • Take your PADI training in the cool coastal city of Cairns
  • Go scuba diving at the world-famous Great Barrier Reef
  • Enjoy nine dives in total and discover an underwater world
  • Live the life aquatic with 2 nights spent onboard a premium dive vessel
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What's included
  • 9 Dives (4 training dives and 5 pleasure dives)
  • PADI open water certification
  • PADI open water manual
  • Dive log book
  • Transfers from Cairns hostel to the dive school
  • 2 nights total accommodation on a live-aboard boat
  • 4 nights of hostel accommodation in Cairns
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners aboard the boat
  • Free onboard Wi-Fi
  • 2 Passport Photos
  • Use of all dive & snorkel equipment
  • Dive insurance
  • Prescription lens mask (if required)
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Airport transfers
  • Meals in Cairns
  • Cost of dive medical in Australia
  • AUD90 local fee - includes Government Environmental Management Charge, Port Departure Tax and administration costs
Further trip information

Head off on an unforgettable 7-day scuba diving gap trip to the gorgeous Great Barrier Reef. Have an underwater Australian adventure in one in one of the world’s most sought-after spots!

You’ll learn to dive both in the training centre in Cairns and then out in the ocean at the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef. You’ll stay out at the reef for 3 days and 2 nights' on a premium live-aboard boat. By the end of your stay you’ll have earned your PADI Open Water certification, enabling you to dive around the world!

Dive Training

Classroom and pool training

To kick-off, you spend two fun, intense days learning all you need to know to make you a serious scuba diver, training towards your PADI certificate in the classroom and pool. This first two days will be spent in the training centre, learning all the relevant theory and practical skills you’ll need in order to become a scuba diver.

Day 1: Arrive in Cairns, free time.

Day 2: Academic and practical dive training in the training pool.

Day 3: Academic and practical dive training in the training pool. Visit to dive shop. Final exam.

Great Barrier Reef boat trip

Once you’ve learnt the diving basics, you hop on board a live-aboard boat to spend 3 fun-filled days diving some of the best outer-reef dive sites in Australia. The amazing warm waters and brilliant visibility at the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef allows you to swim and scuba dive in incredible underwater landscapes.

Day 4: Diving at the outer Great Barrier Reef. Two training dives at the Reef. Stay on a liveaboard dive boat.

Day 5: Diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Two more training dives, a pleasure dive and a guided night dive. You are now a certified PADI qualified diver!

Day 6: Diving and return to Cairns. Three more pleasure dives at the Reef before returning to Cairns. Optional farewell dinner.

Day 7: Trip ends. Head home or on to your next travel adventure!

See exotic corals, shoals of colourful fish, and explore Australia’s aquatic paradise on this unique reef experience. Learn a great new skill as you gain diving know-how and a new qualification on this diving experience at the Great Barrier Reef.

Please note: This programme is subject to a local charge of AUD90, which is not included in the overall programme cost. This cost includes Government Environmental Management Charge, Port Departure Tax and administration costs.

Booking options

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If you'd like to discuss availability or would like us to help you find a similar trip please contact us...
Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

If you are flying into Cairns, you should arrive into Cairns International Airport (CNS). Airport transfers are not included but you'll find a great airport shuttle service, which can drop you off at your accommodation. These shuttles depart frequently and you will not need to be pre-book as you can simply buy a ticket at the airport shuttle desk after collecting your luggage. Alternatively, you can jump into a taxi.

If arriving into Cairns by bus or coach, the hostel is around a 20-minute walk from the bus station into the city, and runs along a nice boardwalk. Taxis are also available if you don’t want to pull your luggage that far.

On day two, you should wait in the hostel reception area where we will meet you at around 8:20am and take you to the training centre.

Accommodation & meals

6 nights of accommodation are included on this experience.

3 nights of shared hostel accommadation are included on the first three days. Two nights of shared accommodation are included on nights four and five of the programme on a live-aboard dive boat. Back on dry land, a final night of shared hostel accommodation is included.

Hostel accomodation

Located a short walk from Cairns Esplanade, the hostel is in the heart of Cairns, opposite Cairns Central Shopping Centre. It offers clean and comfortable accommodation with friendly and knowledgeable staff. You’ll be staying in multishare dorms. Meals are not included during your hostel stay.

Facilities include -

  • A swimming pool
  • Games Room
  • TV
  • Internet access
  • Tour desk use
  • Air-conditioning

Dive Boat Accommodation: Inclusive for all participants on this programme

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, both with private amenities per each group of four. 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. There is free Wi-Fi available on board. Meals 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!

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age to join this trip is 18.

Though there is no maximum age on this trip, acceptance onto the course will depend on the participant’s health, and it is a course requirement that you are able to swim 200 metres and tread water/float for ten minutes. Please Note: If you suffer from asthma, you will unfortunately not be eligible to scuba dive.

Prior to undertaking any PADI training program you will be required to fill in a PADI medical statement. If any existing medical issues are noted during this process, you may be required to organise a medical assessment in order to obtain a “fit to dive” medical certificate (costs vary). This certificate must be acquired before you travel and must be valid for 90 days from the start date of the course.  

All visitors to Australia, excepting those from New Zealand, will require a visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter the country, which must be obtained before arriving. If you are planning on working in Australia then you'll need a Working Holiday Visa. If you're just heading to Australia for fun and don’t wish to work however, then an ETA will suffice. Both visas can be applied for online.

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