So, you’re thinking of learning to scuba dive… great! Scuba diving is an exciting adventure and one you can enjoy all over the world, but we believe the best place to learn is here in Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Here at Divers Den in Cairns we teach scuba diving at all levels, from kids’ programs and basic Open Water certification, to advanced courses, specialties and professional development (becoming a scuba instructor). We’re proud to be a PADI 5-Star Career Development and Instructor Development Center and have certified more than 150,000 divers over the years.
Here’s some information on learning to scuba dive in Cairns. Read on to find out what our dive courses involve, why you should choose to learn to dive with Divers Den, and where your scuba diving journey could take you next.
The first step in learning to scuba dive is the PADI Open Water Diver course. This is divided into three parts: learning the theory, practising your scuba skills in our pool, and finally diving in open water on the Great Barrier Reef.
During classroom sessions at our dive school, your instructor will teach you the basic principles of scuba diving so that you understand how scuba gear works, how to descend and ascend safely, and other diving procedures, like how to communicate underwater with hand signals.
You’ll receive a PADI Open Water Diver Manual to help you study and refresh your knowledge, watch videos that demonstrate various skills and theories, and test your knowledge with quizzes.
You can also complete this part of the course at home (or anywhere in the world!) using PADI’s eLearning resources.
There’s a final exam at the end of your learning to dive course to make sure you have mastered all the knowledge and are ready for your open water dives.
After each classroom session you’ll hop into our covered, heated dive pool to try out your new scuba diving skills! Your instructor will demonstrate each skill first and help you practise. You’ll cover everything from setting up your scuba gear to getting in and out of the water, controlling your buoyancy, navigating underwater and staying safe.
Your instructor will be with you every step of the way and will make sure you’re ready to progress to scuba diving in the open water.
The most exciting part about learning to dive! Once you’ve mastered your skills in the pool, it’s time to head out to the outer Great Barrier Reef.
Over two days you’ll complete four open water dives with your instructor, trying out all the skills you learned in the pool in the ‘real world’ and beginning to explore the amazing marine life on the reef.
Once you’re certified, if time permits, you’ll also enjoy your first ‘fun’ dive! Welcome to the wonderful world of certified scuba diving.
Our basic Open Water Diver course takes four days, with two days of classroom and pool time, and two days at sea. We’ve made our course options as flexible as possible, so you can choose the best option for you. Options include:
Almost anyone can become a certified scuba diver! There are a few prerequisites:
Check out our Can I Dive page for more information.
You can try scuba diving in the open water without taking a course. This is called an introductory or ‘intro’ dive and you can experience it on our day and overnight trips. You’ll be in a small group with a dedicated instructor. They will give you a full briefing on how to use your equipment and take you underwater so you can experience scuba diving for the first time. We bet you’ll be hooked!
If you’re keen to learn to scuba dive, but not quite ready for the full Open Water Diver Course, we also offer the PADI Scuba Diver course. This qualification allows you to dive to depths of 12 metres when accompanied by a parent, guardian or PADI professional. It’s available for anyone aged 10 and over.
The skills and dive experience gained through the Scuba Diver certification can also be credited towards the Open Water Diver course when you’re ready. Just upgrade with one more pool and classroom session to complete your knowledge, and one more day trip to the reef.
Learning to scuba dive is a fun and rewarding activity. It gives you a certification and skills that you can use for the rest of your life, all over the world. The value of what you’ll receive in return for your course fees is hard to overestimate!
At Divers Den you’ll learn under the supervision of trained PADI professionals who are passionate about sharing their scuba expertise with others and introducing them to a life of adventure.
Our course fees (unless otherwise specified) include all PADI materials, all the dive equipment you’ll need, meals on our day trip or overnight boats, and transfers from your Cairns city accommodation. They also include your day or overnight trips to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s natural wonders.
We’ll fit you with all the scuba equipment you need for your course, including snorkel, mask, fins, wetsuit/lycra suit, tanks, weights, buoyancy control device (BCD), and regulator.
Our 5-Star Dive Centre has a dive shop carrying a wide range of top scuba gear if you’d like to invest in your own. Talk to your instructor or our friendly staff for help choosing the right gear for you.
With a PADI Open Water certification, the world is your oyster! You’re certified to dive to depths of 18 metres with a buddy, anywhere in the world. Enjoy the freedom and adventure that comes with exploring underwater.
Certified divers can join our day trips and overnight trips to the Great Barrier Reef and discover the beauty of our outer reef dive sites. On our overnight trips, certified divers can also take part in night dives, including our exclusive Sharks in the Dark and fluoro diving experiences.
If you’d like to extend your skills and venture further, you can progress through the PADI courses and add to your qualifications. You can view the whole PADI course progression here.
The natural progression is the Advanced Open Water certification, which builds on your open water skills and qualifies you to dive to depths of 30 metres.
As an Open Water or Advanced Diver you can also take a variety of PADI specialty courses. These are short diving courses designed to enhance your skills in a particular area of diving, like underwater photography, navigation or night diving. One of our most popular specialty courses is the Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver specialty, which qualifies you to use Nitrox tanks when diving. We also proudly offer our own exclusive PADI distinctive specialty, the Minke Whale Awareness specialty.
Keep challenging yourself with the Rescue Diver certification and learn how to act in an emergency and rescue other divers if needed.
Once you’ve achieved these qualifications, taken at least five specialty courses, and logged a minimum of 50 dives, you’ll join an elite few who have attained the rank of Master Scuba Diver!
If scuba diving has become a true passion, why not make it your career? Talk to us about becoming a PADI professional, working your way through the Divemaster certification with a view to gaining your instructor qualification and inspiring a new generation of scuba divers.
Ready to get started? Your scuba diving journey begins here…