5-Day PADI diving course on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the perfect place to learn to scuba dive, with its warm waters and excellent visibility.

Moreover, a five-day PADI Open Water course is the most popular way to combine the adventure of learning to scuba dive with the excitement of exploring the spectacular beauty of The Great Barrier Reef.

To begin with, this course includes two days of pool and classroom training in Cairns, followed by ocean training dives during our three-day, two-night liveaboard to the Great Barrier Reef.

This 5-Day PADI diving course is over five-day and consists of the following:

  • Two days in pool and classroom training in Cairns.
  • Three days and two nights on an Outer Great Barrier Reef liveaboard trip.

Firstly, guests will complete their practical training at the Pro Dive Cairns Training Centre.  Then, after your two days at the training centre, it’s time to head out to The Great Barrier Reef for a three-day, two-night live-aboard adventure to become a certified diver!

How many dives will I do?

During the 5-Day PADI diving course, guests will have the opportunity to complete up to nine ocean dives, with the first four being your training dives. Once they finish their training and obtain their PADI Open Water Certification, they can enjoy five recreational dives, including a night dive guided by their instructor.

While onboard the MV Scubapro I, II, or III, guests will visit many reefs, including Flynn, Thetford, Milln, and Pellowe Reefs. The Great Barrier Reef offers a fantastic diversity of marine life, including giant clams, sea turtles, stingrays, Reef sharks, and spectacular coral formations. Additionally, night diving will introduce a whole new dimension to nocturnal sea life.

Finally, if you are limited in time, it is possible to complete this course in 4 days with this Great Barrier Reef 4-day PADI diving course.

About the Scubapro Dive Vessels

Furthermore, Pro Dive Cairns operates a fleet of specialised diving vessels which include the MV Scubapro I, II, and III. All are three multi-million dollar diving vessels operated by Pro Dive Cairns.

Scubapro vessels are purpose-built to handle the Great Barrier Reef’s diverse weather conditions while providing a smooth, safe, and enjoyable voyage.

PADI diving course room configuration

  • Fourteen twin-share cabins with bunk beds.
  • Two double-bed cabins with shared bathrooms.

Finally, all vessels have central air conditioning, plenty of cabin space, access to natural light, a large sun deck and a dive deck. This is the perfect environment to learn to scuba dive!


ScubaPro I, II, III

Vessel Type Monohull
Length x Beam 23.95m x 7.35m (78.5ft x 24.1ft)
Engines Scania Engines V8 339KW
Cruising Speed 12 knots
Year Built 1998, 2002, 2004
Last Refurbishment 2017
Max. Passengers 32 passengers
Cabins and type 14 x twin (bunk bed) and 2 x double bed. No ensuite facilities.
Heads Eight toilet/shower combinations
Bedding And Linen Sheets and blankets. No towels supplied
On-Board Air Supply Yes. Nitrox also available
Catering Fully cooked hot/cold breakfast, hot and cold lunches, hot dinner and dessert, all prepared on board, no outside catering, snacks, tea and coffee any time
Crew/Passenger Ratio 1 to 5
Extra Facilities Television, video, music, board games, books, camera hire, each cabin has twin 240v power outlets.
Reefs Visited MillnFlynnThetford and Pellowe Reefs
Fishing No
Miscellaneous WiFi


Get your PADI Open Water dive certification!

2 days of pool and classroom theory

3 days and 2 nights, Learn to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef


PADI diving course itinerary

Day 1  – PADI diving course training centre

08:00: First, complimentary hotel transfer
Available from Cairns City and Northern Beaches hotels/hostels

09:00: Check-in at Pro Dive PADI diving course training centre

09:15: Then, start to learn to scuba dive with your pool training

Noon Lunch break
(Lunch not provided)

13:00: After lunch, time for more pool training

17:00: Finally, return transfer back to your accommodation

Day 2 – PADI training centre

08:00: First, complimentary hotel transfer
Available from Cairns city and Northern Beaches hotels/hostels

09:00: Check-in

09:15: Then, start your pool training

Noon Lunch break
(Lunch not provided)

13:00: After lunch, time for more pool training

16:00: Additionally, you have the opportunity to gear up at the Pro Dive Cairns Retail Shop

17:00: Finally, return transfer back to your accommodation

Day 3 – Great Barrier Reef

06:00: First, complimentary hotel transfer
Available from Cairns city and Northern Beaches hotels/hostels

06:20: Check in at Pro Dive Cairns retail shop
Corner of Shields & Grafton Streets, Cairns City

07:00: Depart Cairns for three days & 2 nights on The Great Barrier Reef
Light breakfast served on board

11:00: Dive 1: training dive
On the Great Barrier Reef

12:30: Lunch

14:30: Dive 2: training dive

16:30:  Snorkelling opportunity

18:00: Dinner

19:45: The night dive
Watch the certified divers participating in the first-night dive of the trip

Day 4 – Great Barrier Reef

07:00: Dive 3: training dive
First dive of the day, before breakfast

09:00:  Breakfast

11:15: Dive 4: training dive
This will be the last training dive for Open Water certification

12:45: Lunch

15:15:  Dive 5
First dive as a newly certified scuba diver

17:45: Dinner

19:30: Dive 6: Finally, enjoy a guided night dive!

Day 5 – Great Barrier Reef

06:30: First, wake up to enjoy your last morning onboard the Scubapro vessel, then it’s Dive 7
Your first dive of the day – a sunrise dive to enjoy the reef waking up.

07:30: Breakfast

09:00: Dive 8

11:00: Dive 9
The last dive of the trip finished by 1200 noon

Noon Lunch – your last lunch on the Great Barrier Reef before returning to Cairns

16:00: Complimentary return transfer
Return transfer to your accommodation

19:30: Finally, join the farewell dinner (optional, additional cost)
Join fellow passengers and crew at a local restaurant for a farewell dinner


5 Day Learn to Dive Course Includes:
• PADI Open Water Certification
• PADI Open Water manual (available in a variety of languages)
• All dive and snorkelling equiptment (prescription masks if required)
• All meals and bed linen on board the boat.
• Dive Insurance
• Dive Log book
• Accomodation transfers (city and northern beaches)
• 2 passport photos (required for certification)

What to bring

What to bring to your PADI diving course

  • Day 1 and 2: Towel, swimwear, sunscreen, money for lunch, and dive medical.
  • Day 3-5: Overnight bag with comfortable clothing and toiletries, towel, swimwear, sunscreen and a hat.
  • Credit card or cash for onboard purchases

How to get there

Please visit the Prodive Cairns retail shop on the corner of Shields and Grafton Streets Cairns the day before your trip departing.

This way, you can organise any equipment and paperwork before departure. The Prodive Cairns shop is open seven days from 9:30 am to 7 pm.

Return transfers from Cairns City accommodation are included in this tour.

Important Information

Padi diving course important Information

Queensland, Australia, has some of the strictest scuba diving rules globally and the safest scuba diving record.   All Scuba diving is regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and complies with all regulations, including medical, as is the law.

Furthermore, we recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire before booking, as some medical conditions, age and/or medications may prevent you from scuba diving.   Our mission is always to provide our passengers with the best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Medical Questionnaire

We are happy to help you with any questions you may have.   Please get in touch with our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us.

Alternatively, you may like to consult your Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms’ AS.4005.1

Flying after Scuba Diving

It would be best if you did not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive for single no-decompression scuba dive.  Furthermore, you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive for multiple dives.
If you are Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning, you must wait 24 hours after diving.
We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible.

Dive Course Required Swim

  • Finally, this dive course requires that you swim 200 metres or snorkel 300 metres and tread water/float for 10 minutes.

Please note that at the time of booking, AUD$90.00 per person Environmental management charges & charges will be added. This fee includes a Government Environmental Management Charge of AUD21.00, Port Departure Tax and Administration Charges. This charge applies to all passengers travelling on the 3 Day 2 Night Liveaboard Dive trip and all Dive Courses combining the 3 Day trip. (This fee is subject to change and without notice.)


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