Learn to Dive with our genuine PADI Open Water Scuba Diver course!

Wow! Just imagine… breathing underwater. A whole different world is waiting for you right here in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales!

The PADI Open Water Scuba Diver course is your ticket to the underwater world, and there’s no better place in NSW to learn than at Jetty Dive. Get your PADI here!

What is the PADI Open Water Diver Course?

The PADI Open Water Course is PADI’s entry level Scuba Diving Certification. This is the ticket that allows you to go Scuba Diving anywhere in the world, to a depth of 18m. With an Open Water Certification you are able to dive with any other diver – known as a “buddy” – without professional supervision from an Instructor or Dive Master.

Jetty Dive’s PADI Open Water Scuba Course includes:

  • Your PADI Open Water Certification, registered in the PADI database, and digital certification card (E-Card)
  • Four beautiful boat dives at the Solitary Islands Marine Park, aboard our world-class boats.. No carting your heavy dive gear from the beach into the water!
  • E-Learning in your personal PADI library that you can access for life!
  • Confined water training in a pool prior to ocean diving.
  • Small group, 5-Star PADI training, for a more personal experience.
  • All equipment hire.
  • Plenty of fun and adventure!

Why learn to dive in Coffs Harbour with Jetty Dive?

  • The Solitary Islands Marine Park is pristine! We have vibrant corals, and wall to wall fish! We dive in action packed Marine Sanctuary Zones full of fishlife!
  • The Solitary Islands Marine Park is like no other! The only place where the Tropical Fish from the Great Barrier Reef meet the huge schools of fish from temperate waters. You can see Nemo and Dory along with the friendly Grey Nurse sharks, rare Black Cod and Turtles. Not to mention the seasonal creatures like Leopard Sharks during the summertime, rarer sights of Hammerhead Sharks near October and the occasional Manta Ray in March-April. There is so much to see!
  • The Solitary Islands dive sites are offshore. Close enough to be a quick boat trip from Coffs Marina, and yet far enough to get clean, pristine water that you can’t get inshore. Additionally, in season you may even see whales on the way.
  • The water temperature is the same as the Southern Great Barrier Reef, ranging from 18°C in winter to 25°C in Summer. With our wetsuits (provided in your course, in options of 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm) it’s a comfortable temperature all year round.
  • Our courses can train you with “colder water” equipment, like thicker wetsuits. This gives you a base-line of learning that makes tropical diving a pinch!
  • It may be just your boat out there! Unlike the Great Barier Reef there are no crowds.
  • We teach in small groups and make sure you have the training and skill to dive anywhere in the world.
  • We provide only genuine, high quality PADI courses.
  • Jetty Dive Centre is Ecotourism Australia Advanced Ecotourism Certified. This means we are internationally certified as following best practice environmentally conservative procedures. Therefore, our top focus is on ensuring we preserve the environment through all of our practices. Read more on our blog on Our Ecotourism Australia Certification.

PADI Open Water Course Schedule

  • Before you join us: Complete your PADI E-Learning theory. The theoretical aspect is comprehensive, requiring approximately 6 hours (depending on the individual). You must complete your theory prior to joining us.
  • Day 1: The Pool Session! Your first breaths underwater! Begin your underwater adventure in the pool. You will practice scuba skills in the pool, and get oriented underwater. Your day starts at the Dive Shop at 8:00am, where we teach you how to set up your equipment, before moving on to the pool.
  • Day 2: Your first dives! Out to the Solitary Islands for your first two dives! You are capped at 12m depth on these dives. You will do a few skill assessments on each dive, and have plenty of time to explore the underwater world in the Solitary Islands Marine Park! You start at the Dive Shop at 7:30am, and after your dives return to the Dive Shop to log your dives. Lastly, Your day finishes up at around 1:30pm.
  • Day 3: Two more dives to complete the course! For your second day of diving you will continue to do a few skill assessments in the water. However, you will mostly get to focus on the amazing fishlife of the New South Wales North Coast. You start at the shop at 7:15am. You start at the Dive Shop at 7:15am, and after your dives return to the Dive Shop to log your dives and complete your certification. Your day finishes up at around 1:30pm.

When can I start my PADI Open Water Scuba Diver course?

START TODAY! Contact us or book online and begin your theory! The pool session (your first day) is run for minimum of 5 people. Therefore, we schedule these for every Saturday (can run on demand on other days). You can schedule your diving days for whenever we have a boat running; requiring a minimum of 5 people, and suitable weather conditions.

When booking online, you are booking in for the Pool session – the first day.

How much is the PADI Open Water Diver course?

The PADI Open Water Diver Course is $745 per person.

Book online, or Contact us to pay a $200 deposit and receive your E-Learning code (balance due on first day).

You can pay for your E-Learning directly through PADI’s website, and select us as your Dive Centre. However, this option is more expensive than buying your E-Learning direct from us.

If you wanted to start your PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Course on a specific day that we don’t reach minimum numbers, we can offer a Private Pool Session. These incur an additional charge of $200 to provide you with a private pool session, with your own instructor. Please contact us to discuss availability.

What You’ll See

Grey Nurse Shark
Anemone fish at Anenome Bay (June 2020)
Barney Loggerhead turtle
Black Cod (L Devery June 2020)
blue nudibranch
bull ray
cow rays
red star fish
pink nudibranch
grey nurse sharks
grey nurse shark
octopus muttonbird island
mantis shrimp north solitary
manta ray split solitary
moray eel
nudibranch black and orange
grey nurse shark and divers
Old wives swimming in a small school
striped catfish
green sea turtle
moray eel
Leopard Shark and Diver The Gantry (L Devery March 2023)
Three-Bar Porcupine Fish


  • The ability to swim 200 metres or snorkel 300 metres (with mask, snorkel and fins).
  • The ability to stay afloat or treat water for 10 minutes.
  • You need to be healthy, and medically fit to scuba dive.

Medical Considerations

Prior to starting a PADI Open Water Diver course you are required to complete a Divers Medical questionaire. If you have any medical conditions that are listed in the Medical Statement you will be required to obtain medical clearance from a doctor.


You can download a copy of AS4005.1 Medical Form here

These medicals are available from a wide number of selected practitioners. You will need to get a Dive Medical from a Diving Doctor – a doctor trained in hyperbaric medicine.

WELCOME to Jetty Dive | The best diving on the East Coast | Solitary Islands Marine Park Diving
Scuba Diver
Anenomefish (T Davey January 2023)
Students in Aquatic Centre Pool for Open Water Scuba Diver Course with Instructor Lindsay
Open Water Students Jan 2021
Students newly certified Open Water Scuba Divers
Black Cod at South Solitary Island 22 December 2014 by Jetty Dive
Mega Wild and divers Phoebe and Lois
Loggerhead Turtle "Barney" in mid water, looking at the camera. At South Solitary Island by Jetty Dive
Two purple nudibranches mtaing on mossy rock
Cuttle Fish Split Solitary
eagle ray
Blue Tangs Near The Gap

Booking Conditions

  • Using PADI E-Learning, it is recommended that a Medical Statement is done before you start.
  • Once you begin, the Padi E-Learning component (covered by the $200 deposit, or $200 from the full cost) is not refundable for any reason – even if you fail the medical requirements.
  • Bookings require a $200.00 deposit per student. Online bookings are paid in full.
  • No refunds will be given if the customer cancels within 48 hours of the course start date.
  • If the student fails to attend part of the course without sufficient prior arrangement (cancellataion or no-show), the cost of providing that part of the course is required to be paid as an extra cost by the student. (refer to part 29 of our Terms and Conditions for more details).
  • Ocean dives within the course are weather dependent, and may be cancelled if sea conditions are unsuitable. Furthermore, This decision is made by Jetty Dive Centre Staff, we will not go ahead if conditions are unsafe.
  • If you cancel because you decide the weather as not suitable, it is considered a cancellation and incurs same conditions as cancellations above.
  • If you are travelling to Coffs Harbour to do your course, be aware that we cannot guaruntee the weather will be suitable to complete the course.
  • Plan for Sea-Sickness on the dives! Even if you do not usually experience sea-sickness, we recommend taking travel sickness medication as it is better to be safe than sorry. The boat is in constant movement and rocking when stopped. We do not recommend using ginger. We legally CANNOT provide any medications, sorry!
  • We have adopted a ‘Reef-Safe Sunscreen Only” policy for our trips. If you will be getting in the water, please ensure you wear only reef-safe sunscreen. For more guidance, and to check your sunscreen, please read our post about our Reef-Safe Sunscreen Policy.

What is the Solitary Islands Marine Park?

“Coffs Harbour is the Gateway to the Magnificent Solitary Islands Marine Park. The Islands are magnets for the mixture of fish from the Great Barrier Reef and the Southern Ocean. They all meet here! It truly rivals the Great Barrier Reef for the variety of fish and corals (yes we have them too!) IT BEATS the Great Barrier Reef for the volume of fish that are in the Sanctuary Zones we dive in.

Shore diving is not as spectacular as the Islands so Jetty Dive Centre only offers boat diving at the Solitary Islands for all of our PADI courses. Our course is great value for boat dives in some of the best diving Australia has to offer. It’s worth every cent!

South Solitary Island is our main choice of dive sites and has sanctuary zones protecting it. It features some of the most prolific fish life in New South Wales offering a unique blend of tropical fish, (like Nemo!) and subtropical fish life. During the year we have a shifting population of Grey Nurse Sharks along with huge and endangered Black Cod. These encounters amaze divers from first time Open Water Divers to seasoned professionals.”

Read more on the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

south solitary island
South Solitary sland

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Absolutely. Our PADI Open Water Dive Course requires you to be able to swim 200m continuously to meet the criteria for certification.

10 years old is the Australian Standard for PADI Open Water Certification. We suggest 12 years old onward, as emotional maturity is required to fully understand and thrive as a diver.

We would like to say yes, but unfortunately there are medical conditions that can prevent somebody from Scuba Diving. If you suffer from Asthma, Epilepsy, or Diabetes for example, you may be under too much risk to Scuba Dive. Take a look over our Medical Statement form. If you have any medical conditions that are listed in the Medical Statement, you are required to complete an approved Scuba Diving Medical Certificate (AS 4005.1) with a Medical Physician. We can recommend local Diving Doctors for this Medical in the Coffs Harbour Area if required.

No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you’ll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.

Try practicing equalising at home. Hold your nose, close your mouth, and push air/pressure into your nose. You should feel a small pop or release in your ears. If this doesnt work try wiggling your jaw, or try tilting your head to either side. This is a skill that needs to be developed.

That’s not likely because you have a gauge that tells you how much air you have at all times, and you are trained to maintain a safe reserve. As long as you are attentive to your gauges, you can return to the surface with a safety reserve remaining. If learning to dive with us, this is the only way we teach you to dive – with a reserve of air at the end.
But to answer the question, if you run out of air, your dive buddy has a spare mouthpiece that allows you to share a single air supply while swimming to the surface. You learn all of the logistics of preventing and managing these situations in your PADI Open Water Dive Course with Jetty Dive Centre.

Generally, people find the “weightlessness” of scuba diving to be quite freeing. Many of our scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. During your scuba diving training with Jetty Dive Centre, your instructor gives you plenty of time and coaching to become comfortable with each stage of learning. Your scuba instructor works with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly. We also keep our classes small so that we can give you more time to get comfortable with the amazing world of diving.

Sun burn and seasickness, both of which are avoidable with over the counter preventatives. The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing gloves and an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet. Contact us at Jetty Dive Centre for information about exposure protection needed for any of your diving.

You can dive practically anywhere there’s water – from a swimming pool to the ocean and all points in between, including quarries, lakes, rivers and springs. Where you can scuba dive is determined by your experience. For example, if you’ve just finished your PADI Open Water Diver course, you probably won’t be diving under the Antarctic ice on your next dive. But, don’t limit your thinking to the warm, clear water you see in travel magazines. Some of the best diving is closer than you think. Like at the Solitary Islands😉

Learning to scuba dive with JETTY DIVE and PADI is an incredible adventure! With PADI as your training organization, your path to breathing underwater is accomplished in three exciting phases:

1. Knowledge Development – Learn the lingo. During the first phase of your PADI Open Water Diver scuba certification, you develop an understanding of the basic principles of scuba diving. You learn things like how pressure affects your body, how to choose the best scuba gear and what to consider when planning dives. You briefly review what you have studied in the five knowledge sections with your instructor and take a short quiz to be sure you’re getting it. At the end of the course, you’ll take a longer quiz that makes sure you have all the key concepts and ideas down. You and your Instructor will review anything that you don’t quite get until it’s clear.

2. Confined Water Dives – Scuba Skills Training. This is what it’s all about – diving. You develop basic scuba skills by scuba diving in a pool. Here you’ll learn everything from setting up your scuba gear to how to easily get water out of your scuba mask without surfacing. You’ll also practice some emergency skills, like sharing air or replacing your scuba mask. Plus, you may make new friends and have a great time. There are five “modules” to our confined water dives, which we conduct all within one day – with each skill building upon the previous. Over the course of these five modules, you attain the skills you need to dive in open water.

3. Open Water Dives – After your confined water dives, you and the new friends you’ve made continue learning during four open water dives with your Jetty Dive Centre PADI Instructor at one of our world famous dive sites. This is where you fully experience the underwater adventure – at the beginner level, of course.

The easiest way is through our online booking portal. Here you can check our availability, along with choosing your dates. You can also give us a call on (+61)2 66511 611 (we take credit card payments over the phone) or pop in store to see us.

PADI stands for Professional Association of Dive Instructors. It is the certifying agency we teach through. As a PADI 5-Star Dive Centre, you can be certain that your training with Jetty Dive Centre is standardised, and top quality. Take your certification anywhere in the world an be recognized with PADI.

Certainly!  There are a few important factors to note:

  • You are restricted to 12m depth, so your friend would also be restricted to this depth.
  • You would take a small amount of time on each dive practicing your skills.
  • We must adhere to ratios of students and certified divers per instructors in a group. In busier times, they may not be able to take an additional diver in their group as it may exceed the instructor/diver ratio. You can always touch base with us about the availability.
  • If unable to dive in your group, we will ensure your friend is still on the same boat as you. Just make sure you let us know that you are together!

Where to find us.


Jetty Dive Centre Dive Shop is at 398 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450. This is where you begin your experiences with us! All Scuba Dives and Snorkelling must check-in before moving to departure point.


All our boats leave from the Public floating pontoon wharf opposite the “Attitude Burgers “ building.

Jetty dive google maps with markers for priority locations