Great Barrier Reef Referral Dive

Referral Dives did you know you could do part of your Open Water course before you get to The Reef?

If you want to make the most of your holiday and maximize your fun time in the water, then why not do the theory and pool part at home. That way, you can finish your course in just four dives referral dives and start your new hobby as a scuba diver immediately.

On Reef Encounter we offer the opportunity to complete your training with us all you need to do is

  • Complete all academic sections
  • Pass the Open water Exam
  • Complete all the pool/confined water sessions
  • Have all your referral paperwork completed, signed and less than 12 months old. It would be helpful to have this scanned and emailed to our office beforehand so we can make sure everything is in order and ready for your course
  • If you have any medical conditions, are taking any medication or are over 50 years old you need to get an Australian dive medical before coming onboard


Why do a Referral course?

Referral courses allow you to start your session in one place and finish it in another.

There are many reasons why people choose to do their certification this way, such as; Time constraints, or conditions that may have prevented you from completing a course before your planned holiday.

For others, it’s time to get more comfortable in the water and the equipment before getting into the ocean. Whatever your reasons may be, here on Reef Encounter, we have the skills and knowledge to get you through to becoming a certified diver and start enjoying everything the underwater world has to offer.

What to expect?

Once you arrive on Reef Encounter, you will have the opportunity to complete a resort dive.

This is a fun dive with just two skills to complete; a mask clear and a regulator clear.

Then you will be taken on a tour of our beautiful reef, and it gives our instructors a chance to assess your capability in the water.

After your fun dive, the course will begin, you will need to complete four training dives which will take a day and a half. Hardly any time at all until you will be enjoying your new certification!

The training dives, consist of recaps on skills you have already completed in your pool session before arriving and anything you feel you need extra practice on, so you don’t have to worry about learning anything new you already know it!

Dives last around 30-40 minutes, and the skills only take up a small portion of that time, so the rest of the dive is for exploration and fun. Our instructors will show you the very best our reefs have to offer.

Once you are certified, you can dive four times a day, including a night dive and can hire one of our expert guides (additional cost) to show you around and ensure you make the most of your new-found hobby!

Why choose Reef Encounter?

Reef Encounter is not a regular dive boat; we are a floating hotel that features spacious rooms with comfortable beds and ensuite bathrooms. All meals provided, cooked by our onboard chef and are made to the highest standard and will accommodate all and any dietary needs.

Dive courses and guided groups are limited to 4 people to one instructor/guide, so you get a more personal experience.

We have a professional photographer on board to capture all your memories and friendly crew that make you feel part of the family.

Our crew are happy to assist you with whatever you need to make your stay the best it can be so don’t be shy contact us beforehand if you have any concerns about your needs being met or discuss with crew onboard.

Book now and start the adventure

Great Barrier Reef Stay

Great Barrier Reef Stay because One day on the Great Barrier Reef is never enough

Reef Encounter, Australia’s only floating luxury boutique hotel, is situated on
the spectacular Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns and offers guests a
unique opportunity to enjoy the ultimate reef experience as briefly or for as
long as they want.

Reef Encounter is for anyone who wishes to experience the Great Barrier Reef,
whether it be to enjoy the sunset, sleep on the reef, snorkelling with time to
really to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of the quality reef and marine life or
for those mad keen divers who want to explore everything under the water!

Reef Encounter offers all the luxury facilities of a reef resort while floating on
the pristine waters of the Great Barrier Reef – making it one of the most unique
holiday escapes in Australia.

Great Barrier Reef Stay vessel is a 35-metre luxury catamaran
designed for the utmost stability and comfort at sea. Air-conditioned
throughout, Reef Encounter features spacious decks as well as roomy dining
and recreation areas to dine and relax in.

Reef Encounter has a large easy access water platform that allows hassle-free
scuba diving and snorkelling, directly off the side of the boat is perhaps one of
the most spectacular aquatic environments in the world.

At Reef Encounter guests can access unspoilt reefs shared by a maximum of 50 guests at any one time, assisted by a dedicated,

Reef Encounter also has the exclusive commercial license to access 4 of the five reefs it visits.

Australia’s  Great Barrier Reef is the world’s most extensive reef system and, accordingly, one
of the seven wonders of the natural world.

It is a vast labyrinth of smaller reefs,
coral cays, lagoons, rocky inshore islands, deep channels and underwater caves.

In these warm, shallow waters nature has well and indeed ran riot and created an
an immense, chaotic profusion of marine life – all waiting to be explored!

Scuba Diving

Scuba Dive sessions begin at first light when the fish are at their most active and
ready to feed, and there are opportunities to dive several times during each
day, as well as after-dinner night diving for the more adventurous!
Staying overnight on the reef is truly an experience that has to be made.

The spectacular sunrises and sunsets that rise and fall over the calm, azure
waters have to be seen to be believed. The abundance of brightly
shining stars adds to the already perfect natural setting.
Waking up to a delicious tropical breakfast on the Great Barrier Reef is another
special treat.

The delicious meals onboard are chef-prepared using the
the freshest produce, meaning you can dine in style in the middle of the ocean!
For the perfect sunset cocktail, Reef Encounter’s bar is open for beverages all

Luxury Liveaboard

Reef Encounters also features comfortable staterooms and deluxe Top Deck Club rooms, all with double or twin beds and private bathrooms.

The friendly, onboard staff and experienced crew are there to help make Reef Encounter the ultimate Great Barrier Reef adventure. They even have a built-in spa, glass-bottom boat tours, scuba dive courses for beginners and advanced, and a sun deck!

Arrive In Style via a spectacular scenic helicopter flight

If time is essential, the helicopter is the way to go, as there are few
experiences more thrilling than the ‘sea eagles-eye view’ of coral reefs,
complete with pods of dolphins, whales and even turtles if the sea is calm.

Best Place to Scuba Dive, Great Barrier Reef


Let me take you on a little journey…….

Imagine entering a whole new world. A world where you are weightless, like flying through space. A world of colours so vibrant they awaken all your senses and creatures so impossibly weird, your mind drinks it all in, excited and thirsty, not knowing what to focus on first.

Come with me to The Great Barrier Reef to delve beneath its surface and experience this part of the world.

The Great Barrier Reef is a place of wonder, so much to explore. From the moment your head goes beneath the water, it’s like being transported into a dream, a sensory overload. Corals of all colours, shapes and sizes, little fish that hide within the nooks and cranny’s, their iridescent scales twinkling while the sun rays break through the surface.

Prepare to see things so extraordinary; your mind can hardly comprehend. It will be overwhelming but so wonderfully calming. Your mind chatter stops, there are no phones down here. You are completely immersed in the present.


So are you ready to let me take you scuba diving? We are going to swim along huge walls of reef that stretch in every direction, too deep to see the bottom, and so humbling to be alongside something so awe-inspiringly vast.


Find weird and wonderful creatures, like the mesmerising cuttlefish that hovers like a spaceship and changes its colours in flashes and waves while its skin texture rises and falls to blend into its surroundings. See the flatworm swim,  its body rippling through the water like a magic carpet or a lionfish, beautiful as it fans out its spines like wings and dances amongst the tiny schools of fish surrounding him like confetti.


Come with me beneath the water into this whole new world. I would love to share it with you.

Great Barrier Reef Stay


Luxury Liveaboard Stay