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PADI Dive Course Prep!

How to prep for a PADI open-water diver course

Keen to learn how to scuba dive? Jump into an underwater journey with the experts at Dive Zone Whitianga. Get top diving tips, a PADI open-water diver qualification and the inside guide to the best dive spots the Coromandel has to offer. If you've booked a ‘learn to dive’ course or are considering one, here's a handy guide on what to expect.

But first, why Dive Zone Whitianga?
Get your PADI open-water qualification with one of the best dive facilities in New Zealand based in the beautiful Coromandel. Dive Zone Whitianga is one of the country’s largest dive academy’s and offers a full range of PADI courses from a ‘try dive’ in their purpose-built pool, to kids’ dive experiences and of course open-water diver certification.

Their small group focus enables tailored tuition designed to boost diver skills and confidence. No gear is required as it’s covered in the all-inclusive course cost. New divers often start off buying their own mask and fins but it’s fine to acquire these afterwards. What’s more, Dive Zone offers a 10% discount off any purchases for course attendees and can provide advice on the best entry-level equipment.

Conveniently, Dive Zone Whitianga run PADI open-water courses all year round, so book a weekend course for whenever suits you best. There’s no better excuse for a long weekend in picturesque Whitianga so ask the team where’s best to stay. 

Learn to dive checklist
To undertake PADI open-water diver training, you must be over 12 years of age, have a good grasp of English and able to swim at least 200 metres.

No one’s expecting you to be an Olympic swimmer. But if you’re unsure about swimming or floating in deep water, invest in a couple of refresher swimming lessons before starting a course. This will boost your confidence prior to the beginner open-water dives and help your diving skills too.

Dive Zone Whitianga also require you to complete a medical screening questionnaire. Depending on your health history or status, you may be required to provide a medical certificate from your doctor stating that you’re fit to dive. Your wellbeing during the course is critical to the Dive Zone team, so answering the questions on the medical form accurately is important for your own safety. If a medical certificate’s required, it is valid for 12-months enabling plenty of time to complete your dive training. 


Complete your theory first
The PADI open-water diver course consists of both theory and practical stages; 10 hours of self-directed eLearning from home, followed by two days of intensive skills training, first in the Dive Zone pool then four open water dives around our scenic islands and coastline.

The theory course involves registering with PADI to begin your e-learning online so you can progress through the modules at your own pace.

Once the e-learning is ticked off, the next step towards your PADI open-water diver certificate is to book the practical weekend dive course with Dive Zone Whitianga.

Jump into the practical
Day one of the course will start with a review of the PADI theory, followed by a hands-on session in the Dive Zone purpose-built dive pool. This will familiarise you with the scuba gear and best dive practices, under the guidance of your expert instructor.  In the afternoon, the group will head out to complete two dives from the shore at one of the team’s favourite beaches. The second day is spent cruising the Coromandel coastline on a high-speed dive boat and completing two deeper ocean dives.

The open water dives are fun and thrilling.  But expect them to be physically demanding too because you might find yourself lugging heavy scuba gear on a hot summer’s day. A moderate level of fitness is desirable.

At the end of the weekend, your Dive Zone instructor will advise whether you’ve successfully completed the course. Hopefully congratulations are in order as you join millions of other happy PADI open-water divers worldwide.

Explore the world’s natural treasures
Once you learn to dive, you’ll unlock marine adventures beyond the imagination. Celebrate your PADI open-water diver certification by booking a trip with Dive Zone Whitianga to explore the amazing Alderman or Mercury Islands or Fiordland in the deep south. Or treat yourself to a dive holiday overseas to explore famous underwater spots in Thailand or even Fiji’s Tavenui Island.

The world really is your oyster once you’ve completed a PADI open-water diver course so go for it with Dive Zone Whitianga.

Learn more about Dive Zone Whitianga courses here

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