If you prefer to do the academic part of the PADI Open Water Diver course in your own country with your local dive center, nothing is stopping you to do so. The PADI referral course allows you to start with the theory and pool sessions at home, and continue with your 4 open water dives at another PADI dive center, anywhere in the world. Only rule is, you have to complete it all within 12 months. Finishing your course on a liveaboard, is a really nice way of doing it! The adventure of staying out on the reef for three days and the additional 5 extra recreational dives makes this course unmatched for experience and value. Since you have already done your dive theory and all the skills in the pool, you can focus on getting the experience in the open water on one of the most famous reefs in the world.
The Great Barrier Reef is a Marine Park and World Heritage area. It is recognized as one of the world's most unique and amazing marine spectacles and extends for 2300 kilometers along the northeastern coast of Australia. It consists of about 2900 individual reefs and covers an area the size of the United Kingdom. Its ecosystem supports the greatest concentration of life on this planet with its resident marine life including 1,500 species of fish, 350 different kinds of coral, 4000 species of mollusks and 10,000 species of sponges. It also provides breeding areas for humpback whales, sea turtles dugong and seabirds. Hundreds of species of algae, including seaweeds, also live on the reef as a vital part of the reef system.
The Cairns region is a major destination for backpackers from around the world. As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest, Cairns is an excellent spot for adventure travellers to base themselves. Cairns is the starting point for extended travel in the region including trips to the Daintree Rainforest and Cape York, the Atherton Tableland and Mission Beach area. As a popular tourism destination, there are a range of accommodation options and backpacker tours available in the region.
You will spend your time out on the incredible reef, aboard one of the three multimillion dollar liveaboard dive boats. You will have the opportunity to do nine dives on a variety of the exclusive outer reef dive sites. These dives consist of four training dives to complete the certification, then five additional recreational dives to enjoy your new skills and gain some experience. One of these five dives is a guided night dive. These extra dives, especially the night dive, will be a highlight of your dive course and dive trip. On the night of day three, after your return from the reef you have the opportunity to join the crew from your trip for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (Dinner at own cost though)
Day 1: Liveaboard on the outer reef, Open Water dives - skills and fundiving.
Day 2: Liveaboard on the outer reef, Open water dives - skills and fundiving.
Day 3: Liveaboard on the outer reef, Open water divers - skills and fundiving.
On day 3, the boat returns to Cairns.
Please allow a minimum of 24 hours, after your last dive, before flying.
(some countries will allow you to fly after 18 hours on land).
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