Learn to Dive in Cairns

Cairns offers a range of Great Barrier Reef dive courses. From trying an Introductory Dive, to completing a Learn To Dive Course, becoming an Advanced Diver and more, you can do it all here, in the sheltered, warm waters of the Coral Sea.

Why Learn to Dive in Cairns?

Learning to dive on Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef is amazing! People have been learning to dive here for over 30 years. The usually warm and relatively sheltered waters of the Great Barrier Reef offer a comfortable learning environment for new divers, with the added bonus of seeing some of the greatest marine life diversity, anywhere on earth!

Prodive's Scubapro

Pro Dive's Scubapro

Kangaroo Explorer

Kangaroo Explorer

Divers Den

Divers Den

Cairns dive operators are some of the most qualified, experienced and award winning in the world. You can choose between PADI and SSI certification courses, both are available in Cairns.

Cairns learn to dive courses are pretty flexible, and can be tailored to suit most budgets and itineraries. If you have already completed the theory part of your training and just need to complete the open water dives, then referral courses are available. You will need to provide evidence of your early training, then complete the skills component over two day trips to the Great Barrier Reef.

When booking a Learn To Dive Open Water Certification Course there are several options. Courses can be completed over 4 or 5 days, always including 2 days of classroom theory. The 4 day courses allow for theory and training dives, plus one certified dive. The 5 day courses give you one full day of certified leisure dives.

Cairns learn to dive
Open Water courses can be completed on Great Barrier Reef day trips or liveaboard trips. Prices and inclusions vary from operator to operator.

Classroom Training

Classroom Training

Pool Training

Pool Training

Open Water Training

Open Water Training

Becoming an Open Water scuba diver means you are certified to dive anywhere in the world. You will be certified to scuba dive to 18m with a buddy and you will have learnt the core skills of safe diving practices. There are some medical requirements, please visit Open Water Courses for more information.

Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef is the perfect training ground for Open Water divers. Its sheltered waters (generally) do not have strong currents and some of the best reef and marine life can be seen in the first 15m. All Cairns learn to dive courses visit the Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Padi and SSI Dive Courses

As a professional PADI and SSI scuba diving training centre, Cairns also offers Advanced and Rescue Diver courses. These courses can be completed on a liveaboard trip to Cairns’ Outer Great Barrier Reef or the Ribbon Reefs and Coral Sea. You need to already have an Open Water certification to book one of these courses.

Cairns Dive Centre - SSI

Cairns Dive Centre - SSI

Prodive PADI

Prodive - PADI

Divers Den - PADI

Divers Den - PADI

All Cairns scuba dive courses are run by professional, accredited diving operators and Instructors. Diver safety is paramount and all appropriate precautions are taken: this is one of the safest places in the world to go scuba diving. All dive courses include: tuition, dive manuals, certification cards, equipment and training dives. Multilingual courses and manuals are available and vary from operator to operator.

Cairns Dive Adventures has completed both PADI and SSI Open Water Dive Courses and PADI Advanced Dive courses in Cairns. We are pleased to provide you with unbiased advice on the best course and operator, to suit your needs and budget.

Introductory Diving

If you have never scuba dived before and want to try it out, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef is the perfect place for you. All Cairns dive boats offer Introductory Diving: no experience necessary. To participate in an introductory dive you will need to complete a medical certificate on the boat (some medical conditions, such as asthma, will prevent you from diving) and participate in the dive introduction and equipment and skills briefing. All equipment is included and introductory dives are guided, going no deeper than 12m (usually less than this). This is a great way to see if you are comfortable under the water and enjoy the scuba diving experience.

Please note: We are not affiliated with any of the boats. We are Cairns locals who love diving and want to make sure any diver who books training in our town has the very best experience they can. This site is built and funded by us. We give unbiased advice and trip reviews, which are designed to give you a thorough overview of the trip and what you can expect to experience. We hope it is informative. We make our income from booking your tours and courses, so if we can be of assistance with bookings, please contact us +61 7 4041 1638 | reservations@cairnsdiveadventures.com

Scuba Diver with Giant Mauri Wrasse Fish

Deep Sea Divers Den: Advanced Dive Course

Take your scuba diving skills to the next level with an Advanced Open Water Course. Liveaboard trips in 2 day / 1 night and 3 day / 2 night packages, includes most things.
Scuba Divers with Sea Turtle.

Pro Dive: Advanced Open Water

Get your PADI Advanced Open Water Certification on this 3 day / 2 night trip. Must already have Open Water Dive License. Includes accommodation, training, meals and more.
Dive Training Onboard

Sea Quest: 2 Day Open Water Referral

Sea Quest offers a 2 day referral dive course on a comfortable 24-metre catamaran departing Cairns for the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Offering a total of four(4) dives.
Scuba Divers with Anemone fish

Pro Dive Cairns: 3 Day 2 Night Ocean Referral

Pro Dive Cairns Ocean Referral Course offers nine (9) dives in total on the Great Barrier Reef. Book today to complete your PADI Gold Open Water Certification.

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Learn to Dive Information

Click the links below to find out more.

Do You Need Help Choosing?

Do you need help choosing a trip?

Can't decide? We have personally been on every Cairns reef and diving trip. We can help you choose the best tour, to suit your experience and budget.



Cairns Underwater Camera Hire Service

Spend over $550.00 AUD on your Great Barrier Reef tour with us and receive the latest Digital Underwater Camera Hire. Take amazing High-Resolution images and 1080 HD Video.

Not available for any tours to the Islands as fine white sand damages the seals on the cameras and makes them leak!

You need to come into our shop located on the Cairns Esplanade the day before departure to pick up the camera before 5:30 pm. You also need to supply your own SD Camera Card and drop the camera off back at our shop before 6:00pm.