Courses and Prices

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions offers a range of dive courses which can be undertaken onboard our liveaboard expeditions, covering everything from Open Water Referral and Scuba Diver Upgrade, right through to Solo Diver and Nitrox Courses. Please see below for complete list.  Standard dive expedition fees are in addition to course costs listed below.

Discuss your needs with us: The exposed deep waters of the Coral Sea make it less suitable for trainee and snorkel divers. Please discuss your course needs with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions prior to booking your travel arrangements.

Medical Requirements: There are medical considerations for all course participants and these are listed at the bottom of this page.

PADI Scuba Diver:  Divers with the ‘PADI Scuba Diver’ certification are only qualified to dive with a Divemaster or Instructor to a maximum of 12m.

PADI Discover Scuba (Resort Dive)

PADI Discover Scuba (Resort Dive)
Requirements: Complete PADI Medical Statement and return to us ASAP. 12 years of age +
Includes: Complimentary gear rental and 1 dive per day*.
Notes: Depth limit of 12 meters / 40 feet. Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole.
Price: Free of Charge when paying normal diver rate. Extra dives $50 each.
*Not Available: When non-diver discount taken or during Minke Whale expeditions.

Open Water Referral and PADI Scuba Diver Upgrade

Open Water Referral
Requirements: Please see below
Includes: 4x training dives, tuition & PADI certification.
Notes: Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, not available on Minke expeditions.
Price: $245
PADI Open Water Referral Requirements
Referral record dated within 12 months of travel (must be sent to MBDE prior to expedition for review) and current medical (see above).

PADI Scuba Diver Upgrade
Requirements: Produce certification PLUS complete balance of Open Water course and current medical (see above).
Includes: 2 x dives
Notes: Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, not available on Minke expeditions. MBDE can organise upgrade. To facilitate, please allow 2 days prior to the expedition.
Price: $350

Other Agency (i.e. SSI, BSAC, etc.) Requirements
MBDE are not a part of the universal referral program. Please discuss your options with our Reservations staff.  MBDE can organise an upgrade / crossover. Please have referral record dated within 12 months of travel; current medical and facilitate 2 days in Cairns prior to expedition for completing the crossover.

PADI Open Water Diver

PADI Open Water Diver
Requirements: 15yrs (12yrs junior OW) Be able to complete 200 meter swim and 10 minute tread test. Current medical (see below).
Includes: 2 Days pool and theory training (prior to expedition) plus 4 x open water training dives (during expedition). PADI manual & certification.
Notes: Expeditions departing Monday, 2 day pool and theory course starts Saturday at 08.30am with a local dive company. Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, not available on Minke expeditions.
Price: $395

PADI Advanced Dive Course

PADI Advanced Dive Course
Requirements: Proof of Open Water certification. Complete PADI Medical Statement and return to us ASAP.
Includes: 5x training dives; all tuition; PADI Manual; PADI certification
Notes: Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, Fly Dive Coral Sea, Coral Sea Safari.
Price: $215

SDI Nitrox Course

SDI Nitrox Course
Requirements: Minimum open water or junior open water certified (min 12years). Complete SDI Medical Statement and return to us ASAP.
Includes: Includes free nitrox fills for 3 days (value $75). Approx. 1hr study and 1 hr tutorial plus orientation to nitrox fill station and O2 analysers’.
Notes: Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, Fly Dive Coral Sea, Coral Sea Safari.
Price: $275

PADI Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox) - On Request

PADI Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox) – On Request
Requirements: Minimum open water or junior open water certified (min 12years). Complete PADI Medical Statement and return to us ASAP.
Includes: Includes free nitrox fills for 3 days (value $75). Orientation of nitrox filling stations and O2 analyzer’s. Tuition (includes exam) and PADI certification.
Notes: Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, Fly Dive Coral Sea, Coral Sea Safari.
Price: $325 or $200 Referral

Underwater Naturalist Course

Those who venture underwater are in a unique position to observe and interact with organisms entirely different from those on land. But as the saying goes knowledge is the key to understanding.

Underwater Naturalist Course
Requirements: Proof of Open Water Certificate.
Course Advantages: Expand your awareness of the marine environment. Identification of local marine organisms.
Includes: 2x training dives; loan manual; tuition & certification
Notes: The PADI Underwater Naturalist course increases the level of awareness and knowledge divers have of the aquatic environment. Enabling you to better understand and appreciate the sub aquatic marine environment. Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, Fly Dive Coral Sea, Coral Sea Safari.
Price: $220

Digital Underwater Photography Course

The purpose of the PADI Underwater Photography specialty course is to familiarise divers with skills, knowledge, planning, techniques and enjoyment of underwater photography.

Digital Underwater Photography Course
Requirements: Proof of Open Water Certificate. Camera (rental available on board see (Photo Services).
Course Advantages: Guaranteed excellent results, with professional advice; avoid the hassle of travelling with bulky gear; try before purchasing your own system
Includes: Manual, tuition & certification
Notes: Upon completing the program you will be able to; select your own underwater camera setup, maintain setup and disassemble all camera equipment, demonstrate correct shooting techniques, apply strobe and available light photography, expose and compose your photos with greater success and appeal. Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, Fly Dive Coral Sea, Coral Sea Safari.
Price: $250

SDI Solo Diver

SDI Solo Diver
Requirements: Advanced Certification, 100 logged dives, 21 years old, approx. 2hrs self-study and 2hrs tutorial. Plus complete and return the SDI Medical Statement.
Includes: 2x training dives; loan manual; use of pony system on course; tuition & certification
Notes: Most suitable expedition – Fly Dive Cod Hole, Fly Dive Coral Sea, Coral Sea Safari.
Price: $220

Medical Considerations and Requirements

PADI Open Water Divers, PADI Open Water Referral and PADI Scuba Diver Upgrade courses.

PADI Open Water, PADI Open Water (OW) Referral and PADI Scuba Diver Upgrade students completing their certification in Queensland must have their medical completed to Australian Standard 4005.1 if they:

  1. Have an at risk medical condition, indicated by a yes answer on the Medical Declaration, or
  2. Are over 45 years old, or;
  3. Have a body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, or a waist size of over 102cm for a male or over 88cm for a female.

If the medical is not completed in Queensland, the Australian Standard 4005.1 form must be supplied and completed by your doctor (preferably a medical practitioner with experience in diving medicine); this medical must be produced prior to commencement of course. The medical must be no older than 90 days.

All other courses

Complete a PADI Medical Statement or SDI Medical Statement and return to us ASAP.
For “All other courses” a positive response to the medical questionnaires does not necessarily disqualify you from participating in a course; we may however request that you seek advice from a medical physician and supply a medical statement clearing you as “fit to dive”. We strongly recommend this course of action to avoid any disappointment.

Visiting Instructors

Visiting Instructors conducting training must:

  • Show proof of your training agency membership and liability insurance,
  • Comply with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions safety procedures,
  • Comply with Training Agency procedures.
  • Ensure minimum student age is 12.

If conducting Open Water training instructor must show:

  • All student paperwork as required by dive training agency prior to training,
  • Provide PADI Medical Statement for each student (refer to Medical Considerations & Requirements above),
  • Course completion paperwork at end of training prior to students diving unsupervised.