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PADI Open Water Diver Course

If you’ve always wanted to learn to scuba dive the PADI Open Water Diver Course is for you.

To start off, you will complete 10 - 15 hours of theory either online through the PADI eLearning® system or by reading a manual and watching a DVD.

After you have mastered the theory portion of the course, we will spend around 2.5 days learning all the skills you will need for the ocean in the comfort of our onsite pool.

Then the real fun begins - we head out to either Wellers Rock or Aramoana Mole and complete 4 scuba dives. On completion, you are certified as a PADI Open Water Diver!

See more course information and start dates below.


If you’ve always wanted to learn to scuba dive the PADI Open Water Diver Course course is for you.

If you’ve always wanted to learn to scuba dive the PADI Open Water Diver Course course is for you.

With a PADI Open Water Diver Certification, you will be qualified to dive with a buddy, independent of an instructor to 18 metres. You will be able to buy scuba equipment, book on trips, explore wrecks, reefs and underwater kelp forests in over 183 countries worldwide.

This qualification is for life and it will certainly change yours. Most people have diving on their bucket lists, so why not be one of the lucky few who experiences the other 70% of this earth - the underwater! 

Topics include:

  • Scuba Diving Equipment
  • Scuba Diving Skills
  • Underwater Compass Skills
  • Dive Planning, Dive Tables and Dive Computers
  • Buddy System Procedures
  • The Open Water Environment
  • Aquatic Life
  • Safe Diving Practices

As a minimum when you start your course you will want your own mask, fins, snorkel, boots, gloves and a knife. While you can hire mask and fins these items do have a very personal fit and you will be more comfortable in your own equipment. For the duration of the course, we provide all of the SCUBA equipment you need,  but you can, of course, choose to provide your own. Dive Otago has a wide range of scuba equipment for sale and your instructor can help you choose the best gear for your diving needs.

You will need to provide:

  • Wetsuit (7mm)
  • Mask, Snorkel, Scuba Diving Fins
  • Weight belt
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Dive knife
  • Signal tube (Safety Sausage)

Equipment Hire Options

Package 1 | $50 Mask, snorkel, fins, weight belt and weights
Package 2 | $50 Wetsuit (7mm) 

Please Note  Hire packages are for all course days. We do not hire boots, gloves, knives or signal tubes.

When you're certified as an Open Water diver you'll be able to dive to 18 metres whenever you're accompanied by a certified buddy of the same or higher certification level (the other diver must be 18+). You don't have to be accompanied by a divemaster or instructor, but can be if you'd prefer. You're also eligible to do the Advanced Open Water Course and many Specialty courses.

The open water certification is forever and never needs to be renewed. However, it is recommended that if you haven't dived for a while (usually a year or more) or feel the need to brush up on your skills to refresh with a ReActivate Course. This review is a short refresher course with a professional that can be integrated into your first regular dive.

Dive Otago is also one of New Zealand’s leading providers of tertiary diving career programmes.

Diploma in Professional Scuba Instruction
Our most popular career programme is the 36-week full-­time tertiary Diploma course.  It will take you from beginner right through to specialty Instructor.

The National Certificate in Diving
This part-time (1 year approx) or full-time (16 week) programme will take you from beginner through to Rescue Diver and leads on to the Leadership/Divemaster programme.

If you are interested in one of these courses please talk to your instructor at the beginning of your course or email one of our tertiary team directly:

Or 6 weekly interest free payments from $108.16 with what's this?