Learn to scuba dive – If you are thinking about taking the plunge our personalised Open Water Diver course is the way to do it! The adventure of learning to scuba dive as well as sleeping at the reef on our premium liveaboard vessel, Reef Encounter, is unique!

Whether you’ve tried scuba diving or are a complete beginner, this course guarantees you a fun and safe way of learning the fundamentals of becoming a confident scuba diver.

After successfully completing all academics and water sessions, you will be certified as an Open Water Diver.

An Open Water Certification is recognised worldwide, so your scuba diving experiences will be limitless. It’s your global license to scuba dive!

Duration 3 day intensive course (minimum)
OR 4 days for a more relaxed pace
Dives 8 training dives (min)
Class Size Stateroom – 4 Students to 1 Dive Instructor
Top Deck – Private Instructor to your booking party
Price Stateroom – from $1061
Top Deck – from $1689

Dive course content

Your course includes 8 training scuba dives at a variety of the best dive sites the Outer Great Barrier Reef has to offer! The course entails in-water training and theory sessions an onboard Reef Encounter.

You will be required to read an SSI Open Water Diver manual and sit a multiple choice exam.


Cairns LiveaboardChoose to complete your course over three days (2 nights) or four days (3 nights). How much time you choose to spend allows you to spread out your course training and frees up time for relaxing, fun diving and enjoying your Great Barrier Reef holiday!

Small groups

A maximum of 4 people per course ensures we maintain the best quality training and personalised experience. (We strongly recommend minimised group numbers for all learn to scuba dive training).

Leading Scuba dive training industry specialists

Our experienced Scuba Dive Instructors ensure you receive the very best training while enjoying your Great Barrier Reef holiday. All courses combine training dives plus fun dives to maximise learning and guarantee you an unforgettable experience.

Course materials included

When learning to scuba dive with Reef Encounter, all course materials are provided onboard, so all you need to bring is a passion for adventure and a willingness to learn! We even provide you with your own Reef Encounter Scuba Dive Logbook to keep as a permanent record for all your scuba diving experiences.

Start your Learn to scuba dive course any day of the week

We can fit your Learn to scuba dive course in around your other holiday plans! There are no fixed start days, book when it suits you.

Prior Requirements

  • Minimum age is 12 years. A parent or adult over the age of 18 must accompany children under the age of 15.
  • 2 passport photographs required for certification.
  • Ability to swim.
  • Before your trip aboard Reef Encounter, you will be required to complete an online Academic Training Module to prepare you for the start of your scuba diving course.
  • We recommend you pick up a study guide and theory book from our office before your trip if possible, though these can be provided onboard.
  • Compulsory dive medical in accordance with Australian Standard, AS4005-1. A fee is payable directly to the doctor.
  • Some medical conditions may prevent you from diving. Please read our medical requirement information page.  If you are unsure of a particular medical condition, please check with us prior to making your reservation. If you are not Australian, Australian medical standards are likely different from those in your country. Any licensed doctor can complete the Australian AS4005-1 dive medical form, and a completed copy of it must be given to your Instructor when starting your course. We recommend that you acquire your dive medical before your trip.

Why Choose Reef Encounter?

Learn in comfort on a great liveaboard boat

Our Cairns liveaboard vessel is fully air-conditioned for maximum comfort. Reef Encounter boasts a large lounge, dining, dive and sun deck areas.

All of our spacious staterooms are en-suite with ocean views, and there is even an outdoor hot-tub onboard!

Choosing to complete your Learn to Scuba Dive Course onboard Reef Encounter has many attractions for new divers. Unlike other scuba dive centres which split time between a swimming pool and the open water, all training is completed in the ocean where anything could swim past! You may encounter turtles, lagoon rays or even dolphins on your first ever scuba course experience!

With the first half of your training completed in shallow and calm ‘pool like’ conditions, you can enjoy all the benefits of adapting gradually to your new environment before moving on with your scuba dive training. Once you have successfully completed your course, you will be familiar and confident with ocean diving.


Book Your learn to dive course now

Select your accommodation type, and add course during booking