Learn to Dive

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So you are interested in learning how to Scuba dive but don’t know where to start?

Discover Scuba Diving or Introductory Diving is the first step in learning to dive. This 2 hour course will teach you the basics of how to use the dive equipment, how to perform basic scuba skills underwater and lets you try diving to see if its something you’d enjoy. DSD or Intro diving can be done in a pool or the ocean. Generally with 1 instructor to 4 student ratio. This is not a certification course however you will earn credit toward your PADI Open Water Diver Certification.

If you’ve tried diving before or you just know that you want to become certified to scuba dive around the world, then you next step is the PADI Scuba Diver or PADI Open Water diver.

PADI Scuba Diver Certification is perfect for those short on time and that just want to dive on vacation with a professional guide.  It take 2-3 days to complete and allows you to dive under the supervision of an instructor up to 12m/40ft.

If you are currently a PADI Scuba Diver, its easy to upgrade to a PADI Open Water certification with just 2 days of training, one day pool, one day ocean. Check out our upgrade to Open Water course.

PADI Open Water Diver Certification is the most popular certification course in the world.  It is a 3-5 day course that teaches you everything you need to know to be able to dive with a buddy in most diving conditions. You will be trained to dive to 18m/60ft and learn emergency skills, basic navigation and buoyancy.


All scuba diving trips go to the outer Great Barrier Reef on superb vessels. All trips include buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea (snacks), and all necessary diving equipment. You can choose your open water package to include 2 day trips, 2 or 3 day over night trips, or fly and dive to the world famous cod hole and ribbon reefs! We have an unsurpassed amount of options at every price point.  Boats depart from Cairns and Port Douglas!


PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the worldwide association that certifies the diving courses that you will be taught at Cairns Dive School.

By choosing to do a PADI course, you are assured of a very thorough and well-planned course. PADI keeps the fun in diving, while at the same time also teaching strict safe scuba diving practices.

Currently about 72% of all recreational divers across the world do their diving through PADI – which means that no matter where you go, your PADI certification will always be accepted!



PADI Dive logo


Get your PADI scuba certification. If you've always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, dicover new adventures or simply see the wondrous world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. Dive at local dive sites under the supervision of your PADI instructor.

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Discover Scuba Diving - Reef

Discover Scuba Diving reef
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Open Water Referral Course

PADI Open Water Referral Course reef
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Open Water Dive Course

PADI Open Water Diver Course pool/reef
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PADI Rescue Diver Course

PADI Rescue Diver Course pool/reef
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Book With Confidence Cancellation and Refund Policy

Our cancellation policy is designed with our customers and the dive vessels we work with in mind. We will always do our best to reschedule courses or dives and offer alternatives if available. When you book direct with us for any of our dive courses or dive trips you have the comfort and security of knowing that you will get a full refund should you decide to cancel your booking as long as you cancel in accordance with our cancellation policy.

You can cancel your scheduled Open Water Diver Certification Course for any reason at any time up to 72 hours prior to the start of your course and receive a full refund of all money paid to Cairns Dive School. There is no refund for any reason after this time. This includes factors beyond your/our control including medical problems, airline delays bad weather, etc. - ' Competition and Consumer Act 2010'. If you plan to book through a travel agent please ask if they have any cancellation fees.

PADI Open Water Referral Course cancelations – We have a unique policy that if, for any reason, anyone wishes to cancel at the end of day one of the Referral Course we offer an immediate refund of $175. You will not receive credit toward the PADI Open Water course.

Important Information to Consider Prior to Scheduling your Course

  • The minimum age to learn to dive in Queensland is 12. There is no maximum age.
  • Your participation in the PADI Open Water Diver Course and the PADI Discover Scuba Course requires that you meet the Queensland Medical Requirements and complete a Medical Release form. If you are unsure of your medical status you may want to acquire an Australian Standard Dive Medical AS4005.1.
  • The PADI Open Water Diver course requires that you be able to swim 200 metres or snorkel 300 metres and tread water/float for 10 minutes.
  • It is strongly recommended that you do not fly within 24 hours of your last open water training dive or additional recreational dives.

If you have any questions or concerns about the above conditions, please contact Cairns Dive School directly at 07 4041 5296 to speak with one of our friendly dive professionals.

Medical Clearance

You may require a Medical Clearance from a doctor prior to starting your referral course. If you:

  • Have or have had any of the medical conditions mentioned in the Medical Declaration; OR
  • Are over 45; OR
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 AND a waist circumference of more than 102cm for males or 88cm for females.

You will need to provide a written statement by a Medical Practitioner (preferably with experience in diving medicine) that states you are 'Fit To Scuba Dive' if you have any of the above or answer a YES question on the Student Diver Medical Declaration. Some medical conditions or prescription medication may prevent you from diving.