PADI Open Water Diver Referral Course


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.

Choose between two day trips or an exciting liveaboard experience for a convenient certification option – 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).


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


  • Four training dives and an extra 'fun' dive
  • 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

Book now

2 Day Trips (no accommodation)

Cairns locals save 20%! Use promo code LOCAL at checkout. Local ID required on check-in.
Day trips PADI Open Water cert

2 Day, 2 Night Liveaboard

Cairns locals save 20%! Use promo code LOCAL at checkout. Local ID required on check-in.
Twin Cabin - double occupancy per person
Double Cabin - double occupancy per person
Twin Cabin - sole use
Double Cabin - sole use

​Includes all equipment and tuition. Prices valid from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Taxes/Levies are per person, per day (subject to change without notice). Fee includes: Environmental Management Charge (EMC) $7.00. Fuel, Port, and Administration Charges $13.00.


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.

2 Day, 2 Night Liveaboard


6pm: Board OceanQuest at Trinity Wharf

7pm: Dinner service starts

8pm: Trip briefing and meet the crew. A complimentary drink will be offered and your instructor will review your paperwork and schedule.

10pm: Bar closes

2am (approx): Vessel departs for a slow cruise to the outer reef


8am: Sit down to a full cooked breakfast

8.45am: Dive 1 briefing

9am: Dive 1

10.45am: Dive 2 briefing

11am: Dive 2

1pm: Enjoy a delicious lunch, then rest and relax while we move to a new location

2.45pm: Dive 3 briefing

3pm: Dive 3

6.30pm: Dinner is served!

7.30pm: Enjoy our Sharks in the Dark experience as a snorkeller, or from on deck

10pm: Bar closes


The vessel will move to a new location early in the morning with a chance to see the sunrise.

8.30am: Breakfast time! Fuel up – today you’ll become a certified Open Water Diver!

9.15am: Dive 4 briefing

9.30am: Dive 4 – congratulations, you’re now an Open Water Diver!

11.15am: Dive 5 briefing

11.30am: Dive 5 (fun dive)

1pm: Lunch is served

1.30pm: OceanQuest begins the return trip to Cairns

4-4.30pm (approx): Arrival back in Cairns

On arrival in Cairns we will offer a complimentary luggage drop off to your hotel or our dive centre.

Additional info

Prerequisites and forms

  • Minimum age 10
  • Completed Self Assessed Medical Declaration
  • 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