PADI Open Water Diver Referral Courses


Let’s finish what you started! With a PADI Open Water Dive Referral Course you can complete the academic part of parts of your course elsewhere, then finish your dive training with us.

Save precious holiday time and complete your two pool and theory days before you arrive. All that’s left to do when you reach Cairns is take your open water training dives in the best classroom in the world – the Great Barrier Reef!

Just show us your PADI Referral form to let us know you’ve completed the academic and confined water aspects of an Open Water Diver course within the last 12 months.

Complete your certification with your choice of open water dive trips. You can choose from 2 day trips, or a 1-2 night stay on board our liveaboard vessel OceanQuest for a truly immersive experience. You can see itinerary options below.

Non-PADI Referral Courses

If you have completed the academic and confined water training with a certifying agency other than PADI, we are generally able to convert your training and issue you with a PADI Open Water Diver Certification.

However, further training will be required – at least a one-day PADI Scuba Review Program with a private instructor. (Additional charges apply, please contact us for details).


2 day trips or a 1-2 night Great Barrier Reef liveaboard experience


Day Trips: Every Saturday
2 Day/1 Night Trips: Every Wed or Sat
3 Day/2 Night Trips: Every Wednesday


  • Four training dives plus at least one extra 'fun' dive (varies depending on itinerary)
  • All dive and snorkel equipment, including air fills, and full tuition
  • Fresh chilled water, tea and coffee
  • Two - three outer reef locations per day
  • Meals when on board our vessels

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PADI Open Water Referral Courses

prices from
PADI Open Water Referral (2 day trips)
PADI Open Water Referral (2 days / 1 night liveaboard)
PADI Open Water Referral (3 days / 2 nights liveaboard)

​Includes all equipment and tuition. Prices valid to 31 March 2023. Price is per person and includes all applicable fees, taxes and levies. Locals discount not valid for optional extras.


2 Day Trips

With this option you will go the Outer Great Barrier Reef each day and return to Cairns each afternoon, departing at 8.30am and returning at 4.30pm. Includes four training dives and one fun dive.

Liveaboard Options

Additional info

Prerequisites and forms

  • Minimum age 10
  • When enrolling in an entry-level recreational diving certificate you must complete the following self-assessed medical declaration forms before starting your training. The forms are similar and both are a Queensland code of practice requirement.

Medical Declaration for Entry Level Divers

Diver Medical – Participant Questionnaire

  • PADI referral forms
  • Medical certificate if required
  • Ability to pass a 200m swim and 10 minute treading water test


  • Snacks and beverages
  • Photo purchases
  • Digital camera hire
  • Quality souvenirs

Liveaboard Accommodation Options

OceanQuest has the following accommodation options:

  • 4 Double Cabins with a queen size bed and en-Suite bathroom. (minimum 2 passengers)
  • 18 Twin Cabins each with two single beds and En-Suite bathroom.

Due to current social distancing regulations:

  • Shared cabins are only available to guests in a travel bubble (travelling together)
  • A mandatory sole occupancy surcharge of 25% applies to solo travellers
  • The sole occupancy surcharge will be refunded if restrictions are lifted before departure

What to bring

  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Swimsuit and towel

For liveaboard option:

  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Overnight bag with changes of clothing, including warm clothing and socks for overnight wear
  • Toiletries

Bedding and bath towels are supplied on board. Excess baggage can be stored at our Draper Street office at check in.


Medical and altitude information

All scuba participants must meet medical questionnaire requirements. Some conditions or medications may prevent you from diving.

Currently the rules state that for a single no decompression dive, you should not fly/go to altitude for at least 12 hours, or 18 hours after multiple dives. Divers Den recommends waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible. These are guidelines only, there is no guarantee that these recommendations will prevent decompression sickness. There are no current guidelines regarding diving after flying.

Altitude is defined as 300m/1000ft above sea level. Certain other tourist attractions around Cairns and Tropical North Queensland involve travelling to altitude. These include the Atherton Tablelands and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, so we recommend a gap between booking these experiences and any dive course or trip. Under normal circumstances, you should be out of the water on your last dive by 12.30pm on overnight trips and about 2pm on our day trips.



“We went through Divers Den for our Open Water referral. It was a fantastic experience and definitely worth the money. The main draw was the crew, especially our amazing instructor, Luke Murphy. He was extremely patient. I could not have done it without him. We did the 2 day with the liveaboard Ocean Quest which was a fantastic experience. We would absolutely use this company again!”

– Jamie