5 Day PADI diving course on the Great Barrier Reef – Pro Dive Cairns

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

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.

This course includes two days of pool and classroom training in Cairns, and 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.

Here guests will complete their practical training at the Pro Dive Cairns Training Centre.  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?

Guests will have the opportunity to complete up to nine ocean dives, with the first four being your training dives.

When you finish your learn to scuba dive training, dive successfully, and obtain your PADI Open Water Certification.  Now you can enjoy five recreational dives, including a night dive guided by your instructor.

While onboard, visit many reefs, including Flynn, Thetford, Milln and Pellowe Reefs.

There is a fantastic diversity of marine life, including giant clams, sea turtles, stingrays, Reef sharks, and spectacular coral formations.

Also, 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. Get in touch with our team to find out how.

About the Scubapro Dive Vessel

Pro Dive Cairns operates a fleet of specialised diving vessels. The MV Scubapro I, II, and III 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.

All vessels have central air conditioning, plenty of cabin space, access to natural light, a large sun deck and a dive deck.


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


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 Complimentary hotel transfer
    Available from Cairns city and Northern Beaches hotels/hostels
  • 09:00 Check-in
  • 09:15 Pool training
  • Noon Lunch break
    (Lunch not provided)
  • 13:00 Pool training
  • 16:00 Gear up at the Pro Dive Cairns Retail Shop
  • 17:00 Complimentary return transfer

Day 2 – PADI training centre

  • 08:00 Complimentary hotel transfer
    Available from Cairns city and Northern Beaches hotels/hostels
  • 09:00 Check-in
  • 09:15 Pool training
  • Noon Lunch break
    (Lunch not provided)
  • 13:00 Pool training
  • 16:00 Gear up at the Pro Dive Cairns Retail Shop
  • 17:00 Complimentary return transfer

Day 3 – Great Barrier Reef

  • 06:00 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: Night dive
    Guided night dive experience for all freshly certified divers

Day 5 – Great Barrier Reef

  • 06:30 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 Farewell dinner (optional, additional cost)
    Join fellow passengers and crew at a local restaurant for a farewell dinner


5 Day PADI diving course includes

• PADI Open Water Certification
• Open Water PADI  manual (available in a variety of languages)
• Scuba diving and snorkelling equipment (prescription masks if required)
• All meals and bed linen on board the boat.
• Dive Insurance
• Dive Logbook
• Accommodation transfers (city and northern beaches)
• two 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
  • Please note that an $85 Reef Levy needs to be paid directly to the operator


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.

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.  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

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



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