Cheap Scuba Diving for Backpackers in Cairns
Updated Mon 12 Sep 2022
Scuba Dive in Cairns & Explore the Outer Reef beneath the surface
Cairns is the portal to some of the best scuba diving spots in Australia. And what better place to learn to dive than the Great Barrier Reef? This underwater playground has a reputation for being one of Australia’s most magnificent natural beauties and is the first reef ecosystem to be recognised by UNESCO as a world-heritage wonder.
Any scuba diver who has had the privilege of exploring the world’s largest collection of coral reefs will know it’s worthy of these titles, but what are the best ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns and Port Douglas? And, more importantly for backpackers, what is the cheapest scuba diving course in Cairns?
Whether you’re learning to dive and want to get certified, or you’re embarking on your umteenth advanced dive, there is an abundance of affordable options in far-north Queensland for backpackers on a budget!
Best scuba diving courses for beginners (get certified)
As one of the cheapest options in Cairns, Divers Den offers an inclusive four-day course that will have you certified in no time! Coming in at about $200 a day, let experienced experts guide, teach and certify you without the price tag!
- Earn PADI Open Water Certification
- Chance to do up to five dives on the Great Barrier Reef
- Two pool training days
- Two separate day trips
Another excellent dive course at excellent value, spend five days learning about the diving basics. With two nights of at-sea accommodation and meals, immerse yourself and save on this PADI open water course.
- 2 days of pool and theory
- 3 days, 2-night live-aboard including meals, linen and accommodation
- 9 dives (4 training dives and 5 pleasure dives - including one night dive!)
- PADI Gold Open Water Certificate and PADI Open Water Manual
This flexible course allows you to choose how long you spend sleeping out at sea as you complete your PADI Open Water Certificate. With two days of classroom learning, and either one or two nights aboard a state-of-the-art reef liveaboard vessel, it never has been so easy to become a qualified scuba diver.
- Earn your PADI Open Water Certificate (18m)
- Two days of classroom learning
- 1 or 2 nights on OceanQuest Liveaboard vessel
- Heated, covered pool
The perfect choice for backpackers in Cairns for a short period of time, do your classroom learning component online, leaving time to optimise reef dives and hands-on learning once you arrive in Cairns. A cheaper and practical option, learn remotely and dive in the Great Barrier Reef like a pro!
- Great if you're short on time
- Spend some of your time learning on your own with the e-learn portion
- 1 day spent doing pool theory
- 2 reef day trips to complete all your diving
Best scuba diving courses for advanced divers (get advanced certifications and specialise)
Earn your PADI Advanced Cert on board a liveaboard boat! Combining accommodation, learning and an array of specialised learning opportunities, dive deeper into the wondrous world of the Great Barrier Reef as an advanced diver.
- Five dives include navigation dive, night dive, deep dive, peak performance buoyancy dive plus one additional dive
- Choose from an advanced boat dive, search and recovery dive, naturalist dive, photography dive and AWARE Fish identification dive
- Includes accommodation on a Great Barrier Reef boat.
Cheap Day Boats with Scuba Diving in Cairns
Many vessels and tours offer day-dives, with tutelage, gear hire and supervision by experienced divers included! Introductory and advanced dives are generally offered at an extra cost. These tours are the perfect options for those looking to soak in the wonder of Cairns and the Reef while spending a portion of your day diving deep into the marvels of this underwater paradise!
Who are the best dive providers in Cairns?
Pro Dive Cairns
Pro dive is a premier scuba diving school and outer reef liveaboard dive operator since 1983. With all levels of diver training available, from beginner to professional, learn how to dive properly whatever your experience is! Pro Dive offers multi-day courses and dive trips as well as retail sales of dive, snorkel and water sports equipment.
Pro Dive boasts 5 Star PADI Training and Instructor Development Centre providing the highest standards of dive education and training facilities available. All dive courses and liveaboard trips are accredited with Advanced Ecotourism Certification, as your experienced skippers and instructors choose from 19 exclusive dive sites situated in some of the best Outer Great Barrier Reef locations from Cairns.
Divers Den are a world-class snorkel and dive adventure, operating since 1974. Renowned as a five-star PADI training centre, Divers Den is the longest-established Cairns diving and snorkelling company. Having certified over 150,000 divers, they know the ins and outs of teaching every student.
Offering courses for complete beginners to lead into a diving career, they facilitate day trips, overnight trips and a 5-star PADI Dive School. All of their tours are accredited under Ecotourism Australia’s Advanced Ecotourism Certificate, as they take students out on purpose-built vessels for diving and snorkelling with state-of-the-art equipment all included.
Happy diving, and for any more questions regarding dive tours, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our scuba-loving travel agents via live chat!