PADI Basic Freediver Course in Melbourne

WaterMaarq, since 2014, Melbourne’s premiere and most experienced local freediving school. Learn the ancient art of diving on one breath, personalised and tuned to you and your dream of swimming freely with marine life underwater.

Endorsed by Master Freediving Instructor Marlon Quinn - AIDA, Apnea Academy, Apnea International, AUSI and PADI Freediver certified

Become one with water using professional breath training

Develop a new level of calm underwater

Understand your individual breath-hold and become safer

Ideal for passionate snorkellers, underwater photographers, and marine lovers

From $449 per student, only 4-8 per course

1-Day Course
Limited Schedule & Places*
(Oct – Dec Only)

*Spring-Summer capped at maximum 40x student places.

Located in Cheltenham VIC 3192.
On-line learning, Classroom & Pool Training Included.

Details & Itinerary

  • Learn the core foundations with 7-years experienced PADI Master Freediving Instructor, Marlon Quinn and find out why it’s about so much more than just holding your breath
  • If your dream is to swim freely underwater, to meet marine life calmly eye-to-eye and enjoy amazing underwater terrain in a range of conditions, then choose WaterMaarq
  • Join Melbourne and Victoria’s premiere dedicated freediving school & charter boat, and Australia’s first PADI Freediver Centre
  • Take your snorkelling to new levels with refined breathing and relaxation techniques, and find a place of inner calm in Victoria’s often challenging marine environment
  • If you are looking for a better diving experience and to develop your aquatic adventure skills, our breath-hold training methods will take you further


You are guaranteed to learn the discipline and art of freediving in the most professional manner with WaterMaarq. Operating since 2014  WaterMaarq was founded by Master Freediving Instructor Marlon Quinn, who learned to freedive in Italy, Egypt and Greece with World Champions and record holders Umberto Pelizzari and Stavros Kastrinakis. Certified under AIDA, Apnea Academy and PADI Freediver systems, the training methods developed by Marlon are a unique feature of the practical development students will adopt in learning to freedive and becoming certified under the worldwide recognised system of PADI Freediving education.  


What makes the best instructor or coach? It’s a time-honoured question. Is it the best athlete that knows best or the coach that teaches better? How can a student develop and learn the most with the least effort and time?

At WaterMaarq the best instructor is the one that can tailor the learning to each student. To identify each student’s specific needs and shape the learning experience to make the most of the time and training efforts that they share. This provides the student with maximum benefit and the instructor with the rewards of seeing their student grow beyond their belief.

As Victoria’s Number One Adventure Tourism operators we are experts in taking new and beginner freedivers from fear to inner calm with our highly experienced and certified freediving instructors by your side, all in just a few quality focussed sessions.

Join the award-winning WaterMaarq on a PADI Basic Freediver course and experience it for yourself. See guest reviews on TripAdvisor.


The PADI Freediver education system is recognised worldwide, so wherever you go, you can freedive with ease as a certified freediver.

Successful completion of the PADI Basic Freediver course essentially qualifies you as a pool freediver, a certification recognised across the world. This is the first half of the level one training known as PADI Freediver. 

Once students complete the Basic course, then the next step is to attend two PADI Freediver training boat dives. These take the learning of the Basic course in the pool and in the open water students then apply these skills to depth training on the dive line.

Learning to freedive on a course fast-tracks your learning in a safe, methodical manner in a controlled environment, it’s the best way to make progress properly and safely.



Before the course:
– Self-paced learning (up to 10 hours)
At the course:
– Classroom session (2 hours)
– Double pool session (3 hours)

The indicative schedule for an afternoon course beginning at 3pm is as follows:

*At least one day before the course session, PADI Freediver on-line learning modules completed

2:45pm Arrive at the classroom venue 

3:00pm Classroom theory and practical breathing skills workshop

6:00pm Arrive at Swimming Pool

6:15pm Static breath-hold training, underwater swimming, safety and rescue drills 

8:00pm Basic course complete

8:15pm Debrief and departure


What You Should Bring

Classroom session:
Notepad and pen if you would like to take notes. Drink bottle.

Pool Session:
Please bring your own swimwear, towel, mask, snorkel, fins (short, snorkel, & freediving are all acceptable), wetsuit (5mm) and weight-belt. If you don’t have any gear, hire equipment is available and must be pre-ordered during the booking process (hire gear is not available on the day):

  • 5mm one-piece wetsuit
  • Mask, snorkel, fins
  • Weight-belt
Best Things About This Course

Develop the core foundation to freediving on one breath calmly, safely and easily in a dedicated on-line learning, classroom and pool training course. This course sets all your base skills, techniques and methods to build upon as you develop. Even if you only ever successfully complete the PADI Freediver Basic Course, you can be certified as a freediver and continue your training anywhere in the world with a PADI Freediver Centre or instructor. It’s the perfect beginning to explore the underwater world on one breath, the most pure form of diving on Earth.

Frequently Asked

When do we arrive?
Be at the classroom venue 15-minutes before the course begins. Allow plenty of time to find parking and make your way to the venue. 

Where do we meet?
The venue details will be provided in the confirmation booking email. 

What does the course involve?
Under the guidance of your instructor you will learn breathing techniques for relaxation which will help you prepare for the breath-hold. You’ll identify the markers of your individual breath-hold, or as we like to call it, the map of your breath-hold. These are your own personal signals and knowing them improves your state of mind, safety and strengthens your capacity for inner calm. You’ll perform underwater swimming drills, apply the buddy system and practice rescue techniques. 

Can anyone join?
We recommend the course for ages 18 and over. It’s ideal for everyone who loves snorkelling, passionate marine life lovers, underwater photographers and videographers, marine science graduates, and aquatic adventurers. If you wish to be more calm in the water, to be more connected with marine life through a relaxed breath-hold underwater and to understand the risks involved and have the right safety and rescue techniques, then this is for you!  There are some medical conditions that may prevent you joining the course and there is a medical statement that helps with the decision making process. 

Download the PADI Divers Medical Statement and Questionnaire here.

What kind of people usually learn to freedive? 

We have taught students from all backgrounds. Professional footballers, fire-fighters, ambulance paramedics, fisheries officers, police officers, life-guards, surf life-savers, professional performance mermaids, teachers, marine science graduates, commercial skippers, surfers, spearfisher men and women, office workers, psychologists and counsellors, lawyers, professional underwater photographers, navy and defence personnel, and many more. 

Do I need to be able to swim?

Yes, you must have competent swimming skills to join the course. If you have concerns or doubts, we recommend taking swimming lessons first before joining the course, as you will gain so much more from the experience. Swimming skills are not taught during the course.

What do I need to do to pass the course?

The course has some basic requirements to meet to achieve certification. There is no need to train up for the course. The most important part of the course is how each student approaches the training and their conduct. Any student who is not deemed safe will not pass the course. If the performance requirements are not met during the course, they can always be attempted another time. The actual requirements are: 1. completion of the on-line learning modules and test (before the course), 2. 90-second static breath-hold, 3. 25m underwater swim, 4. Demonstration of buddy system and rescue techniques . These are all simply achieved if you follow the course training and practical exercises.

How cold is the water?

The swimming pool is around 27c. However, as we spend more than 2-hours in the water, it does become very cold. 5mm wetsuits are essential for the best performance and comfort. 

The Port Phillip Bay waters on the Mornington Peninsula are beautiful with sandy beaches and exposed coastal cliffs. The water is generally cleaner and clearer and in summer months reaches temperatures up to 21 degrees. Winter temperatures are as low as 8c and Late Spring/Early Autumn average is around 17c+ .

PADI Basic Freediver Course 

  • Improved breathing
  • Enhanced relaxation
  • Equalisation of the ears
  • Breath-hold preparation and recovery breathing
  • Physics and physiology as applies to freediving
  • Freediving risks and safety techniques
  • Static and dynamic apnea pool practice
  • Buddy and rescue diver techniques

Course General Schedule

Classroom Session (2 Hours)

The classroom session of the PADI Basic Freediver course consists of Instructor-led knowledge development for breathing awareness and function, relaxation methodology including guided meditation, equalisation theory and practice, freediving equipment selection and fitness for freediving.

Confined Water Session (3 Hours)

The swimming pool is without a doubt the best place to develop your freediving techniques from a comfort and safety view. Here you’ll apply the breathing methods and recovery techniques to enhance your breath-hold. With each performance you’ll begin to analyse and understand your own personal map of your breath-hold, expanding your comfort zones and increasing your breath-hold. Freediving skills will include:

  • Correct use of freediving equipment
  • Warm up and correct breathing techniques prior to static/dynamic apnea
  • Correct recovery techniques for completing a breath-hold
  • Buddy skills for freediver support and relaxation during apnea
  • Simulations for a freediver that requires rescuing

PADI Basic Freediver Course near Melbourne

The PADI Basic Freediver course is held in Cheltenham near Melbourne. It’s a short 30-45-minute drive from the city outside peak times.


Course Details

Register on the PADI Basic Freediver course, bookings close one-week before the course date, so make sure you book in early. 

Courses are only available on a limited schedule October to December.

Getting There

By Car

From Melbourne you’ll need to drive around 30-45 minutes south to Cheltenham (allow much more time in peak hours). Once you’re at the Cheltenham venue, you should park in the rear car park and look for the WaterMaarq A-frame sign near the building entry. Make your way to the classroom.

Venue and Pool locations: Cheltenham VIC 3192

Things to Bring

Classroom session:
Notepad and pen if you would like to take notes. Drink bottle.

Pool Session:
Please bring your own swimwear, towel, mask, snorkel, fins (short, snorkel, & freediving are all acceptable), wetsuit (5mm) and weight-belt. If you don’t have any gear, hire equipment can be pre-ordered during the booking process (it is not available for hire on the day):

  • 5mm one-piece wetsuit
  • Mask, snorkel, fins
  • Weight-belt

Course Schedule
Regular course times are Fridays 3pm-8pm.

Course Duration
Up to 16 Hours. Allow as much time as you need for the on-line learning. Classroom session is up to 2-hours, and the pool training session up to 3 hours.

Basic Course: $449 (Includes PADI Basic Freediver certification fees)
Rental equipment: From $15

Book Now

Things to Know

  • It is recommended that you book at least one week in advance of your preferred date to book the best time and day for your course and avoid missing out
  • Courses are limited to 4-8 participants
  • Guests must be physically fit and have sufficient mobility as we swim in the public swimming pool and use a ladder to enter and exit the boat
  • Guests with back, neck, shoulder or heart conditions, those who are pregnant or who have injuries/conditions that may cause a risk to their health are advised to not to undertake the course training, or do so at their own risk
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before course commencement
  • Course times may be altered or cancelled if minimum numbers are not met and we will use all reasonable endeavours to provide at least 24 hours notice, and wherever possible much longer before


Next Steps: PADI Freediver Training Dive

Bookings and Cancellations

Bookings are essential as places are subject to availability. Courses generally operate monthly on Friday afternoons, and Saturdays during winter months.

Full payment for your course is required at the time of booking.  100% cancellation fee applies for no-show or cancellations within 24 hours of commencement, 50% for cancellations within 7 days of commencement.


    Inspiration and Further Learning

     Subscribe for Weekly Deals