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Learn to Dive Great Barrier Reef

Earn your PADI open water certificate

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Learn to Dive Great Barrier Reef

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Group Size: Max 32

Trip code: AULD

Duration: 5 days

Become a qualified diver
Stay on the Great Barrier Reef
Includes all equipment and 9 dives

Spend 5 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
  • 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
  • Accommodation on nights 1 – 2, and 5
  • 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 5-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: Academic and practical dive training in the training pool.

Day 2: 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 3: Diving at the outer Great Barrier Reef. Two training dives at the Reef. Stay on a liveaboard dive boat.

Day 4: 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 5: Diving and return to Cairns. Three more pleasure dives at the Reef before returning to Cairns. Optional farewell dinner.

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.

Please note: accommodation is not included on nights 1 – 2 and 5. You’ll have to arrange your own accommodation for these nights, but your travel advisor can make some suitable recommendations. Call us for more information. 

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Booking options

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Online booking is unavailable for this trip

Online booking isn't currently available but if you'd like to enquire please use the form below. Alternatively if you'd like to discuss alternate trips or if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

We recommend you arrive 1-2 days before your course is due to start.

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 (accommodation not included). 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.

Accommodation & meals


2 nights of accommodation are included on this experience, on a live-aboard dive boat. This is on nights 3 and 4 of the programme. You’ll need to arrange hostel accommodation yourself on nights 1 – 2 and 5. Your travel advisor can recommend hostels. Just call us for more information.

Dive Boat Accommodation

During your three days and two nights (nights three and four) 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.

Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for up to date information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.