Yesterday evening I got talked into doing a diving course here in Exmouth, so I started it this morning. It is not something completely out of the blue, ever since I planned to go to Australia, I also planned on doing a diving course here. However, initially the plan was to do a diving course on the east coast, most probably in Cairns. But when I spoke to some diving backpackers last night, I learned that diving courses are not significantly cheaper in Cairns than in Exmouth, and more importantly, most diving courses in Cairns do not even go out on the Great Barrier Reef, since that is 250 km out of the coast. Additionally, the Navy Pier here in Exmouth is the 4th best diving site in the world. Therefore my reasons for doing a diving course here in Exmouth are the following:
1. Getting my diving certificate in Exmouth allows me to dive on Ningaloo Reef and do a multiple day live aboard diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef.
2. Diving courses in Exmouth are slightly more expensive than in Cairns, but the groups are probably smaller, and I get to dive the Navy Pier and Ningaloo Reef.
3. Spending some time in Exmouth gives me more time to find people to travel up north with.
So I booked my PADI Open Water Diver Course with Coral Coast Dive in Exmouth. It should be 4 days in total, consisting of theory and practice in the pool, as well as 4 dives out in the ocean (Navy Pier and Ningaloo Reef). Total damage is 235 euro, plus 60 euro for my medical examination.