Our learn to dive course – known as an ‘Open Water Course’ is the first recognised step in scuba diving training, where you will learn the fundamentals to become a confident and capable scuba diver.

Upon successful completion of your course, you will become a qualified Certified Diver, and receive an Open Water Dive Licence which is a lifelong, internationally recognised scuba diver rating that can be used wherever you wish to scuba dive across the globe!

Group numbers are kept small, and all training is done onboard Reef Encounter. The result is qualified divers with more confidence, comfort and experience, than courses where time is spent in a swimming pool. Plus, there is more time to witness the wonderful wildlife when all of your training is conducted in the ocean!

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

*Anyone booking a trip which includes scuba diving please check: Can I go Diving?



  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Scuba equipment
  • Tuition

Course Pre-Requisites

Requirements: Online Theory Training

Before starting your Learn to Dive Course with Reef Encounter, you are required to complete the theory portion of the course before your reef trip. With your Dive Instructor on the boat, together you will review your understanding of the theory to make sure you are happy with your knowledge and understand the fundamentals of scuba diving

Once you have booked your Learn to Dive Course, you will be enrolled to do this online theory training and will receive an email with the details on how to begin. While you will need internet access to initially download the free training APP to your computer, device or smartphone, the theory training can be completed offline – you are not required to have an internet connection. You can complete the training in more than one sitting, as long as you save where you are up to each time

Requirements: Dive Medical Certificate

Before beginning any Learn to Dive Course in Australia, you may be required by law to get a medical certificate that states you are healthy to scuba dive

It is important that you read the Scuba Divers Important Information page carefully before booking your course – so that you know whether a dive medical is required from you. If required, this dive medical certificate may be completed inside or outside of Australia – however, MUST be conducted using the Australian Examination Paperwork AS4005.1 and clearly state this on the certificate – otherwise, it is not accepted in Australia. For more information on whether you will be required to provide a medical certificate, complete our simple Can I Dive? Questionnaire 

Whether you are required to get a medical certificate before starting your course depends on several factors – such as whether you are taking ANY medication (excluding the oral contraceptive pill), have ANY medical condition (both past or present) or have ANY health issue

In addition, all persons who are enrolled on any scuba training in Australia MUST acquire a medical certificate if they are over the age of 44 years (45 yrs and above) OR have a body mass index over 30 and a waist circumference greater than 102cm for males and 88cm for females. If you may be considered overweight, please complete the questionnaire on the ‘Can I go Diving’ link below, to see if you will be required to get a diving medical

*Anyone booking a trip which includes scuba diving please check: Can I go Diving


Requirements: Age Limits

The minimum age for enrolling on a Learn to Dive Course in Australia is 12 years old. Upon completion of the course, students aged between 12-14 years will receive a ‘Junior Open Water Dive Licence.’ Persons 15 years old and above will receive a full adult ‘Open Water Diver Licence’. While there is currently no maximum age limit, scuba diving is a potentially strenuous activity and should be undertaken by fit and active people of all ages. (Aforementioned medical and health restrictions apply)

Why Choose Reef Encounter to Learn to Scuba Dive

Reef Encounter is a Diamond Dive Center

Our experienced Instructors guarantee you receive the very best dive education. Group numbers for a Learn to Dive Course are capped at a maximum of 4 students to 1 Instructor at all times – to ensure quality control and personal training. This is much smaller than many other training vessels! We strongly recommend considering class size when enrolling on any scuba diving course

With a Reef Encounter course, students are taught to ‘Become Divers’ – not just learn about scuba diving. All in-water training is done while onboard Reef Encounter, cutting out the need to travel to classroom and pool facilities. We believe that by completing all scuba training in the ocean – in calm confined water – the end result is qualified divers with more confidence, comfort and experience, than courses where the majority of time is spent in a swimming pool. Plus, there is more time to witness the wonderful wildlife when every part of your water training is conducted in the ocean!

Our Confidence In You

Our scuba lessons are designed to build each students level of confidence in shallow, confined water before progressing to open water. Initially, your training will focus on equipment use, practising essential dive skills and developing safe dive habits. The end of your training places focus on ensuring each student is confident with their own ability to dive independently with the dive skills they have learned, while still under the close supervision of your Dive Instructor. Skills such as underwater navigation and being a good dive buddy are practised so that students leave as confident Open Water Divers

Flexible Course Options

Choose a three day or four-day course The course can be completed as an intensive 3 day course (2 nights) – or in a more relaxed pace 4 day course (3 nights), which leaves more time for general relaxation and reef holiday fun. On a four day course, once you have completed the required number of training dives, all additional dives that you do will be fun dives on the Great Barrier Reef with your new certification. This is a great opportunity to practice your new skills, gain experience and have some great scuba experiences!

Learn to Dive on the Top Deck Club

Reef Encounter also offers a Private Learn to Dive Course with the Top Deck Club – where your booking party will learn to scuba dive with an Instructor all to yourselves. You can do this as a 3 day 2 night, or even better and more relaxed,  choose a 4 day 3 night option.  For more information on Top Deck Learn to Dive courses, see below…

What's the Top Deck Club difference from a standard Reef Encounter Dive Course?

There are lots of reasons to be a VIP Top Deck Club guest onboard Reef Encounter! For your learn to dive course, you can enjoy:

Private Tuition

Firstly, you are guaranteed private tuition with one Scuba Instructor to your booking party. If you book your training with the Top Deck Club then the crew member assigned as your personal valet will also be your Dive Instructor, therefore their whole job is to look after you! Not only will your training be tailored to your personal needs, but they do not need to schedule your classes around other guests requirements – you are their one and only priority

Whether you’re travelling on your own, as a couple or as a family there will be a personal Scuba Instructor for every step of your training – looking, after all, your onboard and in-water needs. (One Dive Instructor for each Top Deck booking group)

Learn at your own pace and enjoy your reef holiday

With the Top Deck Club, you are guaranteed that the pace of training suits your individual requirements. Working together with your personal Scuba Instructor, you can choose which times of day you want to schedule your scuba dives and when you want to relax and enjoy being at the Great Barrier Reef

Fancy a sleep-in? No problem! Want to go on a night dive just for fun instead of having to attend a theory class? You can with the Top Deck Club.

To see the full list of Top Deck Club inclusions and benefits, click here



Select your accommodation type,
and add your course during booking (3 days, 2 nights min)