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

Upon completing your course, you will become a qualified Certified Diver and receive an Open Water Dive Licence, a lifelong, internationally recognised scuba diver rating.   That can be used wherever you wish to scuba dive across the globe!

The course is more personalised with a maximum of 4 students to one instructor. The result is qualified divers with more confidence, comfort, and experience than courses in a swimming pool. Plus, all dives are completed on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with amazing marine life.

SSI Open Water Diver
Duration 3-day intensive course (minimum)
OR 4 days for a more relaxed pace
Dives 7 training dives (min)
Class Size Stateroom – 4 Students to 1 Dive Instructor
Top Deck – Private Instructor to your booking party
Price Stateroom – from $1195
Top Deck – from $1750

Included in your Scuba diving course

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Scuba equipment
  • Tuition

Course Pre-Requisites

Requirements: Online Theory Training

Before starting your Learn to Dive Course with Reef Encounter, you must complete the theory portion of the course.   Next, your Dive Instructor will review your understanding of the theory. Then, finally, 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 receive an email with the details on how to begin.

Then you will need internet access to initially download the free training APP to your computer, device or smartphone. After that, 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.

You must read the Scuba Divers Important Information page carefully before booking your course. Upon boarding, you will need to complete our Dive Medical and the SSI Diver Medical Form. If you declare a medical condition (past or present) and/or take any medications, you will need to get page 3 of the SSI Diver Medical Form signed and stamped by a dive practitionner or your GP.

In addition, all persons who are enrolled on any scuba training in Australia MUST acquire a Queensland dive medical OR page 3 of the SSI Diver Medical Form signed and stamped by a dive practitionner or your GP, 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.

The medical certification should be provided in English, preferably by a medical practitioner with experience in diving medicine, within 90 days prior to the commencement of training. The medical certificate must state that the person is medically fit to dive with the mentioned conditions/medications.

For more information on whether you will be required to provide a medical certificate, complete our simple look for the Can I go diving button on this page.

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


Requirements: Age Limits for scuba diving course

The minimum age for enrolling on a Learn to Dive Course in Australia is 12 years old. Upon completing 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 an SSI 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 recommend considering class size when enrolling on any scuba diving course.

Students are taught to ‘Become Divers’ with a Reef Encounter course – not just learn about scuba diving. In addition, all in-water training is done while onboard Reef Encounter, cutting out the need to travel to classroom and pool facilities.

We believe that completing all scuba training on the Great Barrier Reef in calm, confined water gives our clients confidence, comfort, and experience.

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.   Starting in shallow, confined water before progressing to open water. Initially, your training will focus on equipment use, practising skills and developing safe scuba diving habits.

At the end of your training places focuses on ensuring each student is confident with their own ability.  Diving independently with the dive skills under the close supervision of your Dive Instructor.

During the learn to dive course, you will learn skills such as underwater navigation and being a good dive buddy.

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 4-day course (3 nights). Which leaves more time for general relaxation and reef holiday fun.

Once you have completed the required number of training dives on a four-day course, 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 add confidence while having fun.

Learn to Dive on the Top Deck Club

Reef Encounter also offers a Private Learn to Dive Course with our Top Deck Club.   This course comes with your own instructor.

You can choose 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 Open Water 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.   Your 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 will also schedule your classes your own requirements – you are their 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.  Your valet will also look, 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.

Fancy a sleep-in? No problem!

Want to go on a night dive just for fun? It is an exhilarating dive.

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

Anyone booking a liveaboard with scuba diving please check: Can I go Diving?
Some medical conditions can prevent you from diving in Queensland, Australia.


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