PADI Learn to Dive Open Water Course



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Learn to dive, Open Water Dive Course Cairns

Learn to dive in Cairns, the home of the Great Barrier Reef with Down Under Cruise and Dive - a 5-star PADI Dive Centre in Cairns that has been operating for over 30 years!


  • Day 1 & 2: dive course theory and pool work, 287 Draper Street Paramatta Park, Cairns
  • Day 3 & 4: Outer Great Barrier Reef onboard Evolution

When: starts Fridays
Depth: expect shallow dives (12m/40ft), the maximum allowed depth is 18m/60ft.
Minimum Age: 12 years or older

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4-Day PADI Learn to Dive Course:

There is no better place to learn to dive than the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns and there's no better reef vessel in Cairns than the award-winning, Evolution. With classes limited to eight participants, led by professional and friendly instructors, you’ll learn to dive and earn an internationally recognized PADI certification on your 4-day PADI Open Water dive course.

City hotel transfers are included each day, and your course is gradual and safe. Learn basic scuba skills in the classroom, and complete confined water dives in our massive custom-made dive pool, then explore the Great Barrier Reef with 4 open water dives over 2 days on our luxury superyacht-style reef vessel, Evolution. Once you have successfully completed your course, you’ll be a qualified PADI diver!

Day 1

7.30am Arrival at the Down Under Cruise and Dive HQ (287 Draper St, Parramatta Park). Medical checks and paperwork are completed on-site before the classroom, equipment familiarisation & diver training pool sessions are completed.

Day 2

Classroom sessions re-commence with a small exam and completion of confined water dives to practice skills learned in the classroom and prepare for Open Water.

Day 3

Cruise to the outer reef onboard award-winning Evolution. You will travel to 2 fantastic dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef to conduct a series of training skills in the open water environment. 2 dives are completed.

Day 4

Travel again onboard Evolution to our dive sites for the completion of your PADI dive course. Once you have completed 2 more dives, your instructor will present you with your PADI Scuba Diving License! You can then have another dive for fun on us.

After the course:

Now that you are a qualified PADI Open Water Diver, you can continue your education courses with an Advanced Open Water Dive Course, learn more here.

What is the difference between the Open Water Learn to Dive Course and the Advanced Diver Course?

Besides the obvious that the Advanced Diver Course is the next level above the beginner Open Water Learn to Dive Course, you may still be wondering how the Advanced Open Water Course differs from the PADI Open Water Diver Course and what new things you will learn and experience.

The Open Water Diver Course is an entry-level course into the world of Scuba Diving. It teaches you the essential knowledge and practical skills to explore the underwater world. The Advanced Open Water Diver Course is a great way to continue your scuba journey, discover new interests and develop your scuba diving ability. You will sample different specialities to see what interests you most. You will also dive deeper during the Advanced Course, between 18-30 metres (60-100ft) depending on your age.


What's included?

  • City accommodation transfers each day
  • All applicable PADI training materials
  • Tuition and pool training sessions
  • 4 open water training dives and 1 FREE fun dive upon completion
  • BBQ Buffet Lunch on reef days
  • All levies and fees

Course breakdown:

  • Day 1 & 2: learning dive theory with classroom lessons and practice basic scuba diving skills, safety drills, and correct ascending and descending techniques during training sessions in a swimming pool.
  • Day 3 & 4: two full-day cruises to the outer reef onboard award-winning superyacht Evolution, a total of four dives + one free dive, BBQ lunch, and reef levy.

What to bring

  • Certified Dive Medical 
  • Small day bag for your belongings
  • Sunscreen & Hat
  • Spare Clothes
  • Swimmers and a towel each day
  • Food is at your own expense on Day 1 & 2
  • Cash or Credit Card for snacks & drinks

Qualification received:

Upon completion you will receive your PADI Open Water Dive Certificate allows you to scuba dive up to a depth of 60 feet (18 meters), join certified dive tours, rent diving equipment, and take part in advanced PADI diving courses.

Important diving information

Pre-requisites: Prior to diving, all divers must complete a Dive Course Medical Questionnaire.

Under Queensland law it is compulsory for entry-level (Open Water) divers over 45 years to provide a medical certificate by a doctor certifying that the person is medically fit to dive. This can be provided by your own GP or a local GP. Please be aware that certain medical conditions (e.g. asthma, heart disease, diabetes), a high BMI and/or prescription medication may prevent some people from diving. Please complete the Dive Course Medical Questionnaire ahead of time to better understand your medical requirements for completing this course.

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  • Day 1 - Medical Checks, Paperwork, Classroom Training & Pool Sessions
  • Day 2 - Classroom Sessions, Exam
  • Day 3 - 2 Dive Sites on The Great Barrier Reef testing open water skills
  • Day 4 - Course completion at Saxon and Norman Reef
  • Day 5 - Advanced PADI Course
  • Day 6 - Advanced PADI Course Completion



EVOLUTION travels to 2 of our 12 exclusive outer reef dive locations every day. With over 5 hours at the reef, there's plenty of time between dives for snorkelling and relaxation. Our certified divers can enjoy up to 3 dives per day, either guided with one of our professional Divemasters or with your own dive buddy or one we can provide for you. Our experienced, environmentally conscious Divemasters know all the best areas at our sites and know how to find and interact with all the amazing marine life.



Ride on EVOLUTION to the Outer Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling, sun bathing and your choice of either an Introductory dive or Certified dive. Then Get high with a 10 minutes scenic helicopter ride from our exclusive helicopter pontoon. 

  • 1 x Full Day Reef Cruise
  • 1 x 10 min Scenic Flight
  • Free hot and cold buffet lunch



With just one look at Evolution, you’ll understand what it means to travel in Style. Now take that experience up to the next level of service, comfort and luxury with our new and exclusive GOLD CLASS package. Start your day with a personalised transfer from your city accommodation to the Reef Fleet Terminal, ready to meet your private concierge who will be with you for the day. Located on the second floor, luxury awaits as you are invited into your GOLD CLASS lounge for a day to remember forever!



Down Under Cruise and Dive are a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef Logo
Advanced Eco-Certified Eco-Tourism Tour Operator in Cairns
Map of Australia as Down Under Cruise and Dive is locally owned and operated
PADI Certified Dive Centre logo
Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award Logo
Ausmarine 2016 Best Tourist Dive Boat Award Logo
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