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Cairns Dive Centre: PADI Open Water Dive Course

Multi-Day Options | Operates: Daily – Pending Demand | Departs: 8.30am | Transfers available: Cairns city included

Cairns Dive Centre has been teaching people to scuba dive in Cairns for over 30 years. Locally owned and operated, Cairns Dive Centre provides their PADI Open Water Learn to Dive Courses in a range of options (please see the prices tab below), allowing you to tailor your course to suit your itinerary and budget.

What is a PADI open water course? The PADI Open Water Course is an internationally recognised certification which will allow you to scuba dive anywhere in the world, within the limits of your license (see the Diving Info tab below).

Cairns Dive Centre has its own training facilities and pool in Cairns, as well as a day boat and liveaboard boat providing dive tours to the Great Barrier Reef. Each of the Open Water Courses includes a minimum of two (2) days learning theory and practising basic scuba skills in their Cairns classroom and pool. From there, the courses differ.

The 4 Day Budget Course includes 2 day trips to the Great Barrier Reef, the 4 Day Liveaboard Course includes 2 days / 1 night on their liveaboard boat and the 5 Day Liveaboard Course includes 3 days / 2 nights on the liveaboard boat. You can also look at adding an Advanced Dive Course component to your Open Water Course, which can only be booked as a 6 Day package (includes night dives). The liveaboard options include all meals, accommodation and linen whilst you are at sea (not the Cairns component). For more information, please see the itinerary and prices section.

Please Note: PADI Open Water Dive courses only start Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

NOTE: An Australian Dive Medical may be required to be completed prior to / in conjunction with this course. This is an additional cost and can be undertaken on the first day of the course or before at several Cairns doctors / medical clinics.

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Liveaboard on Kangaroo Explorer

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Rate Option # Dives Price Taxes Total Deposit
4 Day Budget (Day trips to Fitzroy Island Only) Starts Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays Dive Course 4 $520.00 $20.00 $540.00 $104.00
4 Day Budget (2 x Day trips On MV Sunkist) Starts Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays Dive Course 4 $610.00 $40.00 $650.00 $122.00
4 Day (2-day/1-night) Liveaboard Dive Course 5 $740.00 $40.00 $780.00 $148.00
5 Day (3-day/2-night) Liveaboard Dive Course 9 $880.00 $60.00 $940.00 $176.00
6 Day + PADI Open Water + Advance Course Dive Course 13 $1,180.00 $80.00 $1,260.00 $236.00

Remember: To try any form of diving you must be medically fit with no asthma and not taking any prescription medication.

Please Note: PADI Open Water Dive courses only start Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Inclusions: Accommodation onboard in choice of twin, double or quad share ensuite cabins, Air Fills, Bed Linen, Fresh Showers, Cairns City Accommodation Transfers, All quality diving and snorkelling equipment including wetsuits, All meals whilst on board, Tea – Coffee & Chilled water all day, 2 Locations per day on the Outer Reef.

Extras: (Pay Later) An additional $20 per person per day at sea for Fuel, Port & Reef charge is payable on the day of travel. This is included in the above prices as (TAXES).

Extras: (Dive Medical) If you tick yes to any condition on the self-assessment medical declaration form you may be required to complete a dive medical to the AS4005.1 you can do this at the Cairns 24 hour medical clinic open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Fridays.

Prices are shown in Australian dollars and include GST. Prices subject to change without notice.

Starting daily, pending demand, this is a very itinerary friendly option which includes all instruction (with professional dive instructors), equipment, transfers to and from your accommodation and the Great Barrier Reef. Please note: it does not include accommodation or meals in Cairns.

The first 2 days are the same for all Cairns Dive Centre open water dive courses: from day 3 the itinerary varies, pending which package you book (Budget or Liveaboard). This is detailed below.

DAY 1 – CAIRNS: Cairns Dive Centre provides free pick-ups for everyone staying in the Cairns city area, which start at 8.30am. (Northern Beaches transfers are also available, but will be charged.) Your classroom theory sessions start at 9.15am in the Cairns Dive Centre facility on Sheridan Street. There is a one hour lunch break at 12pm (lunch is not included) and the chance for anyone who has not already completed their Dive Medical, to have one done. This afternoon it’s into the heated pool for some training. Day 1 ends around 4.30pm with transfers back to your accommodation. NB: Your instructor will give you some homework to take home tonight, so be prepared for some reading and light study on dive theory and safe practices.

DAY 2 – CAIRNS: City accommodation pick-ups start at 8am today and it’s straight into the pool for more training from 8.15am. Get to know your dive equipment and become familiar with setting it up and putting it on, as well as completing your buddy checks. Lunch break is around 11.30am (lunch is not included) with more theory in the afternoon. The day ends around 4.30pm, with transfers back to your accommodation.

DAY 3 – GREAT BARRIER REEF:

BUDGET: The exciting part of your PADI Open Water Dive Course starts today, with your first trip and training scuba dives on the Great Barrier Reef. The Cairns Dive Centre coach will collect you from your accommodation around 6.45am. You must participate in and pass the theory written test this morning, before you can dive the Great Barrier Reef. Papers and instructions will be provided. The day boat departs Cairns around 7.30am and today you will complete the first two (2) training dives needed for your certification. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea are all included. You will get back into Cairns around 4.45pm and you need to make your own way back to your accommodation.

LIVEABOARD: It’s an early start today, so wake up on time for your 6.45am pick-up from Cairns city accommodation. You must participate in and pass the theory written test this morning, before you can dive the Great Barrier Reef. Papers and instructions will be provided. You are spending the next two (2) days aboard Cairns Dive Centre’s liveaboard boat (Kangaroo Explorer), so bring your luggage with you, where you will complete the four (4) training dives necessary to complete your course, and even have time for one ‘pleasure’ dive as a certified diver. Transfers to and from the Great Barrier Reef are provided aboard Cairns Dive Centre’s day boat. Your first training dive is this afternoon at 12.30pm: the second is at 4pm. Dinner is served from 6pm. All meals, accommodation and linen on board Kangaroo Explorer is included in the dive course price: bring your own towel and any extra money for beverages from the licensed bar.

DAY 4 – GREAT BARRIER REEF:

BUDGET: Make your own way to Cairns’ Marlin Marina at 7am, for the 7.30am departure of the Cairns Dive Centre day boat. Today you complete the final two (2) training dives needed to finalise the dive requirements / practical skills demonstration for your PADI Open Water Course. Assuming all goes well, by the end of today you will be a certified PADI Open Water diver! You will get back into Cairns around 4.45pm and you need to make your own way back to your accommodation. This completes your 4 Day Cairns Dive Centre Open Water Course.

LIVEABOARD: Wake up on the Great Barrier Reef. Your first dive of the day (3rd training dive) is at 6am. Breakfast is served from 7am and then your next dive – your certification dive – is at 8am. You are now a certified diver! The final dive for the day is a ‘pleasure’ dive, which you will make as a certified scuba diver with your dive buddy (and without your instructor), this will be around 11am. Lunch is served and in the afternoon you disembark the liveaboard boat, returning to Cairns on the day boat. You will arrive back into Cairns around 4.45pm. This completes your 4 Day Cairns Dive Centre Open Water Course. If you have chosen the 5 Day Liveaboard, you stay on the boat tonight and have the chance to take a night dive! More information below.

DAY 5 – GREAT BARRIER REEF:

LIVEABOARD: It’s your first full day of scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef as a certified diver! Last night you may have chosen to take advantage of the night dive, which would have given you a very different perspective on the Great Barrier Reef. Today there is the opportunity to complete three (3) more scuba dives, at different dive locations with your dive buddy (sans the instructor). Dive times and locations will vary, pending weather, but the first dive is usually around 6am, the second at 9am and your final dive of the day will be at 11am. This afternoon, you disembark from the liveaboard boat and return to Cairns on the day boat. You will arrive back into Cairns around 4.45pm. This completes your 5 Day Cairns Dive Centre Open Water Course. If you have chosen the 6 Day Liveaboard + Advance Adventurer, you stay on the boat again tonight and have the chance to complete more dives, including another night dive, and your next level of dive certification! More information below.

DAY 6 – GREAT BARRIER REEF:

LIVEABOARD: Those wanting to complete their Advance Adventurer dive training will have commenced training dives during day 5. Today you have another three (3) dives to complete, which will see you advance to your next level of diver certification. Dive times and locations will vary, pending weather, and the crew will keep you informed of this. Your last dive of the trip is at 11am and in the afternoon you disembark the liveaboard boat to return to Cairns on the day boat. You will arrive back into Cairns around 4.45pm. This completes your 6 Day Cairns Dive Centre Open Water Course + Advance Adventurer.

The minimum age to learn to scuba dive is 12 years old. There are some basic swimming requirements, which you will need to demonstrate during the course. You must be able to swim at least 200m and float for at least 10 minutes. This is for your own safety.

Please note: You may be required to complete an Australian Dive Medical Certification prior to the start of a dive course. Please note that some medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart conditions) will preclude you from learning to dive. For more information, please visit the Dive Medical page.

The PADI Open Water Diver course is internationally recognised and will provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you need, to dive anywhere in the world to a maximum depth of 18m, when diving with a buddy. All instruction manuals are included in the course cost. At completion you are not certified for solo diving or deep diving.

You will spend two days in Cairns, learning the core skills needed to scuba dive safely with PADI Diver Instructors. If you are nervous in the water, make sure you let them know, as the instructors are only too happy to spend extra time with you, making you completely at ease before you head out to the open waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

The theory elements are completed in air-conditioned classrooms and include an PADI DVD presentation. Basic scuba skills are practised in the 4m deep heated pool, providing a controlled, safe environment for nervous first time divers. Once this is completed, you will complete four (4) training dives, with your instructor, on the Great Barrier Reef.

The number of scuba dives you will complete, depends on which course you choose. Please see below.

  • 4 Day Budget Course: 4 training dives and become certified.
  • 4 Day Liveaboard Course: 4 training dives, become certified and have 1 pleasure dive.
  • 5 Day Liveaboard Course: 4 training dives, become certified and have up to 5 pleasure dives, including a night dive.
  • 6 Day Liveaboard Course (Advanced Combination): 4 training dives and become open water certified and then complete another 5 dives to complete your Advanced Adventurer course and 4 pleasure dives. (Total 13 dives including 2 night dives).

CAIRNS DIVE CENTRE – 4 DAY LIVEABOARD LEARN TO DIVE – POOL + CLASSROOM TRAINING - Reviewed by Julie on the Saturday 1st of January 2011

Learn to Dive Cairns - SSI Cairns Dive Centre

Arriving on the first day I was greeted by the friendly, professional staff and introduced to our SSI dive instructor, Dan Morrissey. Cairns Dive Centre starts its SSI Learn to Dive Open Water courses every day and after I was introduced to the two other keen students and completed our preliminary paperwork, we were transferred to the Cairns Dive Centre training facility on Sheridan Street.... read full review


CAIRNS DIVE CENTRE – 4 DAY LIVEABOARD LEARN TO DIVE - Reviewed by Julie on the Sunday 2nd of January 2011

MV Kangaroo Explorer - Cairns Dive Centre

I found the dive course fun and educational. The level of professionalism and tuition was beyond my expectations. The training facilities were clean and well setup. The diving was excellent and the dive sites must be world class. The MV Kangaroo Explorer is ideally suited as a dive boat and the accommodation was comfortable. The food onboard was great and satisfying for hungry divers. I would not hesitate to recommend Cairns Dive Centre’s 4 Day SSI Learn to Dive Open Water Course to anybody who wants to learn to scuba dive on Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef. Excellent value for money.... read full review



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