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Great Barrier Reef

Learn to Dive




Learn to Dive

Cairns is one of the most popular places to learn scuba diving in the world. With the reef nearby as part of your “classroom” experience, its’ not hard to understand why over 30,000 people get certified to dive here each year.

There are a number of dive courses starting every day. There are courses taught in English, German, and Japanese, and most dive schools stock the course text and materials in more than a dozen other languages.

Costs: Cost do range widely, mostly due to the amount and length of the ocean diving portion of the course you select. Because of the number of dive schools in the area competition between them keeps the prices low and value high. Course tuition ranges from AUD$440 to AUD$730.

Fitness: Besides being able to swim, a reasonable level of fitness is required. If you are planning a dive course, increasing your level of activity a bit beforehand will allow you to enjoy the course much more.





Medical: A short medical exam is required as part of the course, and the time for this is built into the first day of class. Most people pass the physical, but those with a history of asthma, heart or lung trouble, or who have fainting or epileptic issues will likely not pass, for obvious reasons. The Australian version of the dive medical exam is stricter than those of other countries, and you must pass this version to take a dive course here.

Length: Course range from 4 to 6 days in length. The first two days are always a mixture of classroom and pool sessions, with subsequent days being for ocean dives. A minimum of four dives are a part of every dive course.

Ocean Diving: From course day three and onward, you will be doing four or more ocean dives, usually two per day. Five and six day courses give you the opportunity to make additional dives as a newly certified diver, and in some cases to earn your advanced dive certification.

Depending on the course you select, your ocean diving can be aboard one-day dive trips or more extended liveaboard trips, and there are many different courses/trips to choose from, with each dive school offering both day trip and liveaboard options.

Advanced Certification: Most liveaboard trips offer the advanced open water course onboard, and for those keen on it, rescue diver, divemaster, and instructor courses are also offered in the area.

More Information: indexes all of the dive courses given in the area, in an format that allows you to compare courses and select the one that suits you best. They also have an excellent Learn to Dive FAQ page, which may answer any additional questions you have.