Learn To DiveA Learn To Dive course is a qualifying course that will give you certification as a recreational scuba diver. On completion you are given a license, which is usually valid for life. The course itself teaches the fundamentals of scuba diving, including dive equipment and techniques. They usually include a few days completing pool dives and knowledge development sessions and finish with making four open water dives in the ocean.
Most companies conduct their courses in purpose built diver training facilities, which consist of air conditioned classrooms (a must in the summer months) and also feature purpose built pools which have deep sections around the 4m mark to get the depth whilst training.
Learn to dive courses can vary in length and content as well as in cost from company to company. These three factors also depend once again with which teaching code the dive company you choose teach under. I.e. PADI, SSI, NAUI. Look into the options carefully and match your budget with the inclusions you want, and also with the amount of time you have allocated in your itinerary.
A good idea may be to ring some clubs in your area at home, and ask them with who most of their members are certified with and if they were happy with it. Also ask any experienced dive friends and colleagues. As far as the cost goes it usually reflects a companies reputation.
You have to ask yourself, when you see an extremely cheap course advertised on a blackboard, "What are they skimping on?" This is especially the case when you find that the most expensive courses in town are also the hardest to get a vacancy with. Course lengths on the Great Barrier Reef range from 3 days to 6 days. Once again this is because of the inclusions. The longer the course the more dives you get after your qualifying dives. Because there are so many companies in Tropical North Queensland you can pretty much begin a course every day, year round.
Courses can be conducted entirely in English, German, Japanese on any of these days and sometimes on request in French, Italian, Spanish, and Mandarin. However with the latter, the course may be a little more expensive as there is less demand for them and dive companies usually have to employ an Instructor especially; most companies also stock course manuals in a wide range of European and Asian languages.
Minimum age is 12 years with no maximum age. Children who get certified under the age of 15 usually get a "Junior License" (depending on the dive code) The training is exactly the same as an adult however it merely means that until they are 15 and over they must always dive with and adult who is over 18 years once qualified.
Finally if you are contemplating doing a learn to dive course on the Great Barrier Reef remember the benefits - the water never drops below 22° Celsius and the visibility is usually between 10 and 30 metres. A truly spectacular, comfortable and unique place to learn!