PADI Freediver Basic Course

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Instructor Trainer, Marlon Quinn

Learn to Freedive: PADI Basic Freediver

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. 

Discover the incredible feeling of being at one with the water.

The PADI Basic Freediver course is the first step to your freedom in the underwater world, with less equipment and in beautiful silence.

The PADI Basic Freediver one-day course is where everyone begins, it is the core foundation course. You MUST be able to swim and be in good physical health to make sure you gain the most from the course. Start right away, you don’t need to train for it or have experience with snorkelling, skin diving or freediving.

In this course, you will learn to freedive with 5-years experienced Elite PADI Master Freedive Instructor, Marlon Quinn. Your skills and techniques will be honed with an instructor who learned to freedive with the best freedivers in the world, including World Champions and record holders Umberto Pelizzari and Stavros Kastrinakis.

Courses are available in Cheltenham VIC, or book your own private course. Let us take you for a closer look at the course in more detail below…

Find Freedom and Peace Underwater







At one with the underwater world


Course Fees: $399 (max 8x students)
Rental gear: From $15 to $69



Up to 16 hours
Before the course:
– Self-paced learning (up to 10 hours)
At the course:
– Classroom session (2 hours)
– Double pool session (3 hours)


Friday editions 4pm – 9pm
Saturday editions 9:30am – 2:30pm

Style of Course

Tailored: On-line learning + personalised small group training with a Master Instructor

Suitable for

Ages 12 and up. Some restrictions may apply at times

Expect to learn

Core freediving techniques, safety, relaxation & breathing.

  • Learn to freedive comfortably up to 25m length in the pool and for 90 seconds


Book online anytime. Registration closes one week before the course starts.
When confirmed, your exclusive access to the PADI Freediver Touch online content is granted.

Key Learnings

  • 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

What Gear Do I Need?

Please bring your own mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit (5mm) and weightbelt. If you don’t have any gear, hire equipment is available during the booking process:

  • 5mm one-piece wetsuit
  • Mask, snorkel, fins
  • Weightbelt

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.

Where To From Here?

The PADI Basic Freediver course is the first half of the level one PADI Freediver certification. You can complete the PADI Basic Freediver course on its own, knowing that you have learned and adopted the core foundation breath-hold techniques to be more comfortable, safer and perform better during freediving, and be certified as a Basic Freediver.

Following the Basic course, you can choose to continue your development and upgrade your certification to PADI Freediver (Level One) by attending the second half of training, the open water freediving training dives, aboard our own dive boat. Successful completion of two open water freedive sessions qualifies you to dive down to 16 metres depth anywhere in the world!

First Dive
On the first dive you’ll apply your new breathing techniques and skills to depth, freediving on the dive line, step-by-step becoming more comfortable as your comfortable depth increases. Beginning with free immersion, using only your hands to pull down the line, you’ll perfect your relaxation and equalisation technique.

Second Dive
On the second dive, you’ll build upon your first dive session, adapting to the depth and pressure in constant weight diving. You’ll also practice how to perform as a safety diver for your buddy, including simulated rescues at depth. You can take as many training dives as you need to complete the requirements to be certified. Maximum depth 16m.

How to Enrol?

Learn to progressively go farther and stay longer on one breath:

  1. Enrol now in a PADI Basic Freediver course using the booking button
  2. Choose rental equipment if you don’t have your own
  3. Follow the instructions in your confirmation email
  4. Browse the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) if there’s any gaps

Once your booking is confirmed you’ll gain access to the PADI Freediver Touch from us so you can start learning!

The perfect start to begin learning to freedive with a Master Instructor!

The PADI Freediver Basic is your chance to experience what freediving is all about. This base certification course is for each of you that wants to experience the underwater discipline of freediving with ease, learning relaxation and breathing techniques and to “look inside yourself”, searching for the wellness provided by freediving. You will begin to discover the beauty and harmony of freediving.

As the first part of PADI Freediver certification, this is the perfect start for casual skindivers, snorkellers, spearfishing enthusiasts and scuba divers to begin learning core foundations with a Master Instructor!

Launch into your freediving! Having arrived at the theory venue, you’ll settle in and meet your new freediving buddies and instructor. Beginning with a theory recap and review, this time allows you to get to know your buddies and refresh your self paced learning that you completed before the course. During the recap, you’ll practice breathing and relaxation techniques in preparation for the confined shallow water session.

Then it’s time to enjoy the pool or confined water. Over 2.5-3 hours, you will perform a number of static breath-holds and perform various dynamic swimming protocols. To maximise safety, you’ll also begin honing your rescue skills.

Numbers on the Day

  • This course runs with a maximum of 8 people
  • A minimum of 4 people will be required to run each course
  • Participants will be contacted by the experience provider directly to reschedule if minimum numbers have not been reached


This experience may be affected by the weather in the summer peak season Dec-Jan. If the sea is too rough then the session will be held in an alternate swimming pool venue. If this is the case, we will inform you in advance.

Dress Code

  • You will need to bring a wetsuit (minimum 3.5mm thick), swimwear, towel and your current dive medical (if required)
  • If you do not have a wetsuit, 5mm neoprene wetsuits are available for hire for the pool training

Other Info

The content is as follows:

Private study in your own time (PADI Freediver Touch online theory – allow up to 10 hours),
Theory Location: 2-hours duration in classroom (quick review + breathing/relaxation modules)
Pool/Confined Water Location: 3-hours (static, dynamic + rescue modules)

Dress Code

  • You will need to bring a wetsuit (minimum 3.5mm thick for pool, 5mm for confined water in the sea), swimwear, towel and your current dive medical (if required)
  • If you do not have a wetsuit, 5mm neoprene freediving wetsuits are available for hire
The Practical training session includes:

  • Breathing preparation and recovery breaths
  • Surface protocol
  • Buddy technique
  • Static breath holds
  • Buoyancy for freedivers
  • Underwater swimming, streamlining and finning technique
  • Rescue techniques and underwater rescue
  • Personal refinement and tips

Session Length

  • This experience operates monthly and is 5 hours in duration
  • All courses are completed in the swimming pool, except for Dec – Jan courses which will be held in confined water (sea)
  • Summer bookings should be made well in advance. Bookings are essential and are subject to availability.
  • Not available on Public Holidays.
What will you learn?

The PADI Basic Freediver course consists of two main phases:

  • Knowledge development through independent study with the PADI Freediver Touch™.
  • Confined water session to learn breathhold techniques as well as static and dynamic apnea, plus proper buddy procedures. Goal – static apnea of 90 seconds and dynamic apnea of 25 metres/80 feet.

Certification Requirements:

To obtain a PADI Basic Freediver certification the participant must:

• Demonstrate the ability to swim continuously on the surface 200 metres/yards without swim aids, or 300 metres/yards using mask, fins and snorkel

• Complete the self-paced learning knowledge development segment, including Knowledge Review, Freediver Exam and Freediver Quick Review

• Complete Freediver Confined Water Session

• Make one static apnea attempt of at least 90 seconds and one dynamic apnea must be at least 25 metres/80 feet.

Once completed successfully, you may continue your training towards the full level one PADI Freediver. Simply register for 2x Training Dives and choose certification assessment during booking.

Important Things You Should Know


  • Minimum age is 12 years
  • All participants under the age of 18 years must have a parent/guardian sign all applicable waiver/medical forms
  • A diving medical (AS4005.1) may be required prior to commencement of the course
  • A 300m swim using mask, fins and snorkel will be part of the assessment process
  • At least one 90 second static breath-hold attempt and 25m underwater dynamic swim must be performed
  • Adult pricing applies to all travellers
  • Experience is not suitable for young children
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking

To enrol in a PADI Freediver Basic course you must be at least 12 years old. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with snorkeling, skin diving or freediving is required.

Your Goals for the Session

The goals of the PADI Basic Freediver course are to:

1. Develop your understanding of the underwater world and how it interacts with your body, and how that affects you when freediving

2. Guide you in choosing appropriate gear for freediving

3. Develop your basic skill in three forms of freediving

Certification Requirements:

To obtain a PADI Basic Freediver certification the participant must:

• Demonstrate the ability to swim continuously on the surface 200 metres/yards without swim aids, or 300 metres/yards using mask, fins and snorkel

• Complete the self-paced learning knowledge development segment, including Knowledge Review, Freediver Exam and Freediver Quick Review

• Complete Freediver Confined Water Session

• Make one static apnea attempt of at least 90 seconds and one dynamic apnea must be at least 25 metres/80 feet.

Medical Conditions

• Not recommended for participants with heart complaints or other serious medical conditions (to be checked)

• All participants will be required to complete a health questionnaire prior to diving

• Some pre-existing medical conditions (eg asthma, heart conditions, etc) may prevent you from diving, please consult your doctor


Once this experience has been confirmed, changes are at the discretion of the experience provider according to this policy:

· If cancelled over 1 month before the scheduled starting date of the booking, the fees paid willbe refunded, less an administration fee of $100 ($100 fee applicable to courses only), to the company or individual

· If cancelled within 1 month but more than 7 days before the scheduled starting date of the booking, a 50% cancellation fee will required by the company or individual

· If cancelled within 7 days before the scheduled starting date of the booking, a 100% cancellation fee will be required by the company or individual. A cancellation fee will be based on the full cost of the booking at time of purchase


• Over 7 days prior to the experience date: It is possible to change your experience date for a fee of 25% of course value. A non-cancellation policy applies to the new course date

• 7 days to 48 hours prior to the experience date: If you have a medical certificate stating you are unfit to dive, have completed your eLearning, AND haven’t moved previously, you may reschedule and a $200 fee applies. Otherwise, you will incur the full course fee. Reschedules will be based on availability. A limit of 1 reschedule per course is permitted.


Not suitable.

From $399

Course Fees

Base Fees: $399

Minimum total fees for PADI Basic Freediver certification: $399

The best freediving course to begin your freediving journey is the PADI Basic Freediver course. It’s the first part of the PADI Freediver level one training. It’s the very first step for developing your solid freediving skills. You learn the basic freediving principles and focus on practicing breath-hold techniques in a pool or confined water site. It’s the starting point for all courses. By enrolling in the PADI Freediver Basic course you will begin progressing towards the PADI Freediver certification.

Inspiration and Further Learning

PADI Basic Freediver Course

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.

Learn the art of freediving, swimming underwater on one breath

Expand your comfort zone

Small Group Training 4-8x Students

On-line learning, classroom theory and pool session

$399 per student, hire gear available

1.5 Hour Tour Available Daily

From Sorrento Pier, Esplanade, Sorrento VIC 3943.
All Snorkelling Equipment Included.

Details & Itinerary

  • Unlike the larger tour boats, we use 6-12 passenger RIB boats, for a fast, up close and personal wildlife experience
  • Highest chances of seeing wildlife with highly trained, personable, knowledgeable and fun guides
  • If you are looking for adventure, our low profile RIBs will get you closer to the action


You are guaranteed to have a good time on one of our fun, swift and stable rigid inflatable boats (RIB) during a WaterMaarq tour. With no crowds, no hassle and almost no sea-sickness, enjoy a zoom across the bay from Sorrento with less time in transit and more time snorkelling to explore the most amazing marine eco system known as the Great Southern Reef, safely and easily snorkelled at Popes Eye Marine Park.


A guided tour around what was once going to be a man-made fort, you will grow in confidence with our certified guide, learning new snorkelling skills, practicing insightful tips on technique to become calmer, and soaking up knowledge and information on the identified fish. Beginning on the sheltered inner reef you’ll quickly find yourself exploring the outer reef of the marine park where you will be amazed by the amount of fish species and vibrance of the kelp.

As Victoria’s Number One Adventure Tourism operators we are experts in taking new and beginner snorkellers from fear to fun with our marine science and outdoor education trained snorkel guides by your side, all in just a few moments in the water.

Join the award-winning WaterMaarq on a 1.5 hour boat tour and enjoy it for yourself. See guest reviews on TripAdvisor.


Explore the undiscovered Great Southern Reef, home to marine life only found in temperate waters. Here you’ll be surprised by the marine life you see, species of which 80% don’t exist anywhere else on Earth. You’ll get up close and personal to unique fish including blue-throat wrasse, leatherjackets, old-wives, zebra fish, stingrays, nudibranchs, boarfish, gorgonian corals and fur seals, an experience like nowhere else.

Port Phillip Bay is the best place to snorkel the extensive Great Southern Reef as it’s protected from the ocean swell, the waters are shallow and you feel comfortable at Pope’s Eye, it’s like a giant circular swimming pool, the only difference, there’s real wild fish in there! 

At this Marine Park, the protected shallow waters are perfect to develop your snorkelling skills whilst seeing unique colourful fish, resting Australian Fur Seals and the beautiful birdlife that nests there, the Australasian Gannets.

Visit a new world of colour on this fun boat tour from the pretty seaside town of Sorrento, near Melbourne.



The indicative schedule is as follows:

8:35am Meet at the Sorrento Pier to receive your snorkelling gear and be ready to depart

9:00am Depart and zoom across the bay on board Apollo

9:15am Arrive at Popes Eye Marine Park and explore the reef

10:15am Zoom back towards Sorrento Pier

10:30am Return at Sorrento Pier

10:35-11am Change clothes and swap stories and photos!


What You Should Bring

Swimwear, 2x towels in case it is cold (one for the tour, one for after), small bag with drink bottle, underwater camera, hat, sunglasses, warm clothing. We supply you with a warm wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins.

Best Things About This Snorkel Excursion

A super fun 1.5-hour boat ride in the southern part of Port Phillip Bay for just 10 swimmers (12 guests total). We’ll visit a super cool snorkelling spot where you will find awesome features of the Great Southern Reef, plenty of colour and fish to see. Often the Australian Fur Seals even swim in the water with you, the most fun you’ll ever have with a wild marine animal.

Frequently Asked

When do we arrive?
Be at the pier 25-minutes before departure. Allow plenty of time to find parking and make your way out to the end of the pier. At the pier you will dress in your wetsuit and receive your snorkelling equipment.

Where do we meet?
See the travel directions and details here.

What does the tour involve?
Guided by your expert in-water guide, Pope’s Eye provides the perfect marine park location. On the inside of the park, the shallow waters are the ideal place to snorkel with ease and comfort to see vibrant and cheeky fish like Scalyfin. On the outside, the nutrient rich waters feed kelp and an abundance of fish species, the colours will amaze you!

Can anyone join?
Yes, it’s perfect for new and experienced snorkellers, families and anyone who wants a first hand look at our local reef and to be surprised by the colourful life under the surface. All you need is basic swimming skills and a keen spirit for adventure.

If you prefer to stay on the boat and observe and support your friends and family whilst they swim, you can do that too!

Will I get seasick?
Our Rigid Inflatable Boats are the same as the ones the Navy, Search and Rescue, Water Police, Fisheries and Coastguard operators use around the world. We call them the rally cars of the sea because of the sure-footed, stable and capable handling they have in all kinds of conditions.

Seasickness does not happen often on a RIB boat, they are open so you feel the fresh air, and the boat sits close to the water surface. If you’re worried about seasickness, we recommend talking with your local pharmacist or doctor about the various remedies available and follow their advice for taking precautions.

How cold is the water?

The Bay waters here 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+ .

Featured Marine Wildlife at Popes Eye 

  • Blue-throat wrasse – curiously begin life as female fish and change into male as they grow
  • Scalyfin – defensive territorial fish
  • Leatherjackets – fish with rough sandpaper-like skin and beak-like teeth
  • Old wives – silver and black fish that look like angel fish and are noisy
  • Longsnout boarfish – endemic to Australia and identifiable by its long snout and fanned out spines
  • Southern short-fin eel – rare sightings occur in Autumn as they migrate from freshwater to the open sea to breed

All Snorkelling Equipment Included

Begin with a chat about what you’re likely to see, a thorough safety briefing, and an equipment demonstration. You’ll be provided with high-quality snorkeling equipment, including a wetsuit, mask, snorkel, and fins. All you need to bring is your swimwear, a towel, and a sense of adventure.

Take the plunge and discover the underwater secrets of Port Phillip Bay on a guided snorkelling experience at Popes Eye Marine Park. Enjoy more time to explore with a small group of up to 12 guests and high-quality equipment.

World Leading Conservation at Popes Eye

The State of Victoria became a world leader in marine conservation when, after 11 years of investigation, community consultation and debate, it established a system of highly-protected marine national parks and sanctuaries in June 2002. 

Marine national parks are highly protected areas that conserve unique marine habitats in their natural state, and provide an insurance policy against environmental impacts. Victoria’s marine areas include rocky reefs, sponge gardens, towering kelp forests, sandy seafloors, seagrass meadows, mangroves and saltmarsh.

Popes Eye as part of the 3580ha Port Phillip Heads Marine Park network is highly protected and reserved for conservation and protection of marine biodiversity and natural processes, maintenance of scientific reference areas and the opportunity to observe Nature in its true form. It provides a core example and the combination of outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values. 

1.5hr Sorrento Popes Eye Guided Snorkelling Boat Tour

The Popes Eye Marine Park guided snorkelling boat tour departs from Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. It’s an easy drive from Melbourne or take the ferry from Queenscliff.


Tour Details

Drive yourself to Sorrento and join our 1.5hr RIB Boat Tour.

Getting There

By Car

From Melbourne you’ll need to drive around 90 minutes south to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula (allow 2 hours in summer, sometimes longer). Once you’re in Sorrento, you should park near the ferry terminal. Make your way to the Sorrento Pier (at the end of the Esplanade).

More Transport Options

Please click here see our detailed directions and additional travel information.

Sorrento Pier address: Esplanade, Sorrento VIC 3943

Things to Bring

Make sure you dress warmly for the tour, warm jackets, hats, beanies and good footwear are recommended. Bring your own swimwear and towel. We recommend two towels, one for use during the tour and one for afterwards if you prefer. Arrive with your swimwear already on underneath your clothing to make it easier to get changed into your wetsuit before the tour at the pier. A small bag or back-pack is advised for storing your gear on the boat. And don’t forget your favourite camera!

Regular tour departure times at 9am and 11am. Please contact us with your special requests. 

Tour Duration
1.5 Hours. Allow 2.5 hours in total to change into your gear before and after the tour.

Private Tour
1-6 Guests: $550
7-12 Guests: $960

*Children (5-14) must be accompanied by an adult

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 tour and avoid missing out
  • Port Phillip Bay has regular changing conditions, tide and sea levels and your tour will be optimised for the best experience in line with the forecast and prevailing conditions
  • Guests must be physically fit and have sufficient mobility as we snorkel swim in open water and use a ladder to enter and exit the boat
  • Passengers 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 do these tours, or do so at their own risk
  • Please arrive 25 minutes before tour departure time
  • Tour times may be altered or cancelled due to sea conditions and we will use all reasonable endeavours to provide 24 hours notice


Click the Map for Directions

Bookings and Cancellations

Bookings are essential as places are subject to availability. Tours operate daily except Christmas Day and selected public holidays.

Full payment for your tour is required at the time of booking.  100% cancellation fee applies for no-show or cancellations within 24 hours of departure, 50% for cancellations within 48 hours of departure.


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