If you are short on time or money then the budget 4 day course is for you.
Learn to dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
For the first 2 days you do your dive medical first up, then do classroom theory in the morning followed by pool training in the afternoon or vise versa. On the 3rd day you get on a day trip boat for your 2 training dives. The boat comes back to Cairns that afternoon and you sleep at your backpackers. You do the same the next day and when you come back you have your licencse!
In terms of diver training they are practically identical, you learn exactly the same skills. You can also use either license anywhere in the world. PADI is the bigger and better known dive organisation however, and if you are thinking of becoming an instructor at some stage it is probably better to get a PADI license as it might be easier to get a job. A PADI course will cost you more money however, due to the fees PADI make you and your dive school pay.
•Down Under DiveDown under Dive is a good choice for a 4 day budget open water course as their day trip boat is fast meaning you get more time on the reef. Downside is the trip only runs 3 days a week. •Cairns Dive CentreCairns Dive Centre is SSI as opposed to PADI (see left). Their trips run every day.