The most holistic Freediving, Spearfishing, Icebath and Breathwork Retreat to Mount Gambier and the fantastical Kilsby’s Sinkhole!
You’re just one breath away from starting an incredible underwater journey!
Diving Adelaide has partnered with Primal Minds to bring you the most comprehensive and holistic Freediving Retreat Experience in Australia! This 3 day, 2 night experience will give you all the skills needed to get out and begin exploring the underwater world comfortably whilst successfully completing your PADI Freediver certification.
Freediving is about holding your breath and learning to be comfortable with discomfort. During the course we’ll be taking you out of your comfort zone, into the icy waters of the Mount Gambier sinkholes (including world famous Kilsby’s Sinkhole) and the occasional ice bath, getting you comfortable there and then teaching you the correct breathing and relaxation techniques to make sure that you can be calm and in control of your mind and body in any situation. You will learn how to focus your power and control your fear. We’ll take you on a hike through breathtaking scenery and spend some time stretching, meditating and practicing breathing techniques, while getting you connected with your body and the natural environment all around you.
Upon Completion of the course you will receive the Worldwide Recognised PADI Freediver Certification giving you lifelong membership the PADI freediver family. This means you can plan dives with similar or more qualified buddies who will feel comfortable knowing that you are armed with the knowledge and skills to freedive safely and be competent enough to rescue them should anything ever happen. You will also begin your Freediving journey with the correct habits, allowing you to progress faster and safer, making it more comfortable and enjoyable in the long run.
We will also cover the Basics of Spearfishing including – Equipment, Guns, How and Where to Plan Dives, Hunting Techniques, Weather Charts, Safety, Buddy Systems etc. You will walk away with all of the knowledge to get started in spearfishing and really know what it would be like to “live off the land”!
Not interested in Spearfishing? No problem! This part of the course is optional, so feel free to sit it out.
After the course we’ll do a scheduled recreational dive in Kilsby’s Sinkhole so you can enjoy your new found set of skills in one of the most picturesque and iconic freediving sites in the country!
You will be accompanied every step of the way by the marvellous mind behind Primal Minds, Alex Gibbons. With over 14 years of dedicated freediving and spearfishing experience and an unmatched passion for connecting people with nature, the water and themselves, you couldn’t be in better hands.
This is so much more than just another Freediving course!
Why choose Diving Adelaide to start your Freediving adventures?
This is a question we get asked a lot by people who want to take the plunge with us, so we decided to put a short list of the main reasons on our website. This is just the short list, if you would like the longer version, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an e-mail!
Not “Just Another Course”: We’ve partnered with Primal Minds, the leading freediving and breath work trainer in SA, to bring you the best value, most hands-on, all inclusive freediving retreat in the country. Alex from Primal Minds is a dedicated freediving and spearfishing instructor (not a scuba diving instructor who also runs freediving course).
Small Group Sizes (3-6 Students): Group sizes of just 3-6 students give you the best opportunity to learn, that’s why all our courses guarantee that you will receive as much personal attention as possible from Senior Instructor Alex Gibbons.
Genuine PADI Certification only: PADI is the worldwide leader in underwater training, so you know that you’re getting a certification that is recognised all over the world.
Fun and Passionate Dive Team: Our team is friendly, fun and always willing to help but most importantly they are well trained, professional and passionate about what they do.
Lowest Gear Prices: On most of the gear we sell we are either the cheapest in the world or the cheapest in Australia. It’s simple; we just cannot be beaten on price!
Standard Course Schedule
The Diving Adelaide and primal Minds Freediving and breath work course not only gives you the core skills for exploring the underwater world but also the life skills to control stress more effectively, improve sleep and recovery, improve your energy levels, reduce inflammation and minimise depression, anxiety and self-doubt. It deepens your connection with self and develops confidence allowing you to connect better with others.
This is a short overview of the retreat schedule:
Home study (10 – 12 hours): PADI Freediver eLearning
Friday afternoon (@ Mt Gambier): Theory session, bearth work, Ice Bath session and evening BBQ.
Saturday (@ Mt Gambier): Confined water session, meditation and lung warm up session, Open Water session 1 and group dinner in Mount Gambier.
Sunday (@ Mt Gambier): Theory session, Open Water session 2, Kilsby’s Sinkhole fun dives.
What you need to know before you start the course:
- The home theory portion of the course will take about 10 hours to complete so make sure you allow yourself enough time to work through it all.
- You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with snorkelling, skin diving or freediving is required.
- You will also need to complete a short medical questionnaire to determine if there are any specific health risks that may exclude you from participating in the course.
PADI Freediving Course Overview:
The PADI Freediver Course itself consists of four main phases:
- Knowledge development about freediving techniques through independent study with PADI Freediver eLearning.
- Interactive theory session with demonstrations designed to make learning fun. We cover Equipment, Physiology, Breathing and Relaxation, Pressure and Depth, Hyperventilation, Mammalian Dive Reflex, Equalisation Techniques, The Open Water Environment and Freediving Disciplines for Confined and Open Water.
- Confined Water Session to learn breath hold techniques, Static and Dynamic Apnea, safety, rescue and buddy systems, correct kick and glide techniques.
- Two Open Water Sessions covering Weighting, Equalisation, Free Immersion and Constant weight Techniques, Duck Dives, Streamlined Body Position, Rescuing a Diver Simulating a Blackout.
Start right now! Subscribe for e-Learning!
Where some dive schools still choose to teach the theory side of the learn to dive course in a traditional classroom setting, Diving Adelaide has chosen for the faster, cost-effective way of teaching the theory via online training. To us, the advantages of e-learning are clear:
E-learning provides a single experience that accomodates the three disctinct styles of auditory learners, visual learners and kinesthetic learners, allowing for more efficient training.
E-learning is self-paced. Advanced learners are allowed to speed through the theory, while others slow their own progress through content, eliminating frustration with themselves, their fellow learners and the course.
E-learning has on-demand availability, which allows the student to complete the training conveniently at off-hours or from home (as a student you can log on and off to do parts of the theory as many times as you want) and doesn’t require the student to travel to training location.
E-Learning reduces the learning time on average by 40 to 60 percent, which means the overall time that you will be spending on the theory will most likely be only half of the time you would have spent in a classroom setting.
What you will need to bring:
The following freediving equipment is required for the course:
- Wetsuit (5mm open cell or 7mm standard).
- Proper fitting, low profile/freediving mask and snorkel.
- Freediving fins.
- Rubber weightbelt with weights (spare weights will be available).
If you do not have the above equipment, we have some gear available for rental! Alternatively, come and see us in our new Adelaide megastore at 21 Grove Avenue, Marleston or check out our online store: Online Dive Gear for the best prices in Australia!
Limited hire gear is available, so please let us know well in advance if you would need to hire any or all of the above.
- A fabulous weekend away with freediving instructor extraordinaire Alex Gibbons.
- Two nights of accommodation at the Old Gaol in Mount Gambier (or similar, depending on availability).
- Full PADI Freediving course including eLearning and certification.
- Basics of Spearfishing course.
- Guided meditation, breath work and Ice Bath sessions.
- Breath work routines to take home with you.
- Entry fees and permits for Mount Gambier Swimming Pool and Little Blue Lake.
- Resort Facilities (showers, BBQs, etc).
- Entry to Kilsby Sinkhole for a recreational dive after the course.
- Photo package by a professional photographer.
Come and join a small group of likeminded individuals on an unforgettable trip and make buddies for life!
Frequently Asked Questions
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You don’t have to be superfit to do the course, but at least an average fitness level is recommended. Almost anybody can learn to freedive, but the fitter you are, the easier it will be. Being comfortable in the water will go a long way too!
Any dive centre around the world will recognise your PADI certification card and will allow you to dive with them. PADI is the largest certification agency in the world with more than 6000 dive centres. Even if you dive with a non-PADI dive centre, they will still recognise your certification.
”Can I reschedule the course if I get sick (including COVID-19), cannot complete the online training in time, need to isolate or for any other reason? “
You can reschedule at any time before or during the course. For each rescheduled participant, we will charge a rescheduling fee of $299 to cover our overheads (accommodation, slots at Kilsbys, etc). As soon as a course spot is booked, we reserve lanes in the pool, block a spot on the course and book the instructor in for the course. Unfortunately we have to charge the rescheduling fee because of these costs and the fact that you are blocking a spot that in most cases will not be filled by someone else.
The main reason we do the in water training in Mt Gambier is that the weather won’t stop us from diving! Even if it rains and the wind blows, we can still dive the sinkholes and the conditions will still be great!
Yes, the minimum number of participants for us to run a course is two. About 95% of our courses run as planned, as apart from the occasional midweek course in the middle of Winter, it hardly ever happens that we don’t get two bookings on a course.
If we have to cancel a course because of lack of interest, you have the option to reschedule (free of charge of course) or get a full refund of your course fees.
Yes, we don’t provide rental gear on these courses. Our freediving and spearfishing suppliers may have a range of demo gear available for you to try and use during the course, but please make sure you bring your own suit, fins, mask, snorkel and weight belt.
Booking Terms & Conditions
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No shows, cancellations and transfers
- If you cancel your course on or within 7 days of the start date of the course, no refund will be given.
- If you cancel your course 7+ days before the start date, a cancellation fee of $299 will apply and the PADI eLearning portion of the course will be non-refundable.
- If you fail to attend your course without notification, no refund will be given.
- You may reschedule your course before the course starts at any time and for any reason (including sickness, not completing eLearning in time, COVID-19 related issues such as isolation, etc). A $299 rescheduling fee will apply.
- If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions on the dive medical questionnaire, clearance to dive by a SPUMS dive doctor will have to be provided at the start of the course (stating you are fit to dive unconditionally). Failure to do so will result in a $299 rescheduling fee.
- You may transfer the course to someone else at no charge before the start of the course. The PADI eLearning portion ($180) of the course may need to be purchased again if the original participant has registered for PADI eLearning.
- All instructions are provided in English only. You are required to be proficient in English. Other students cannot translate on behalf of your instructor. No translation services can be used.
- If you fail to complete the course during the scheduled times, a $299 rescheduling fee will be payable to complete the course at a later date.
- Failure to adhere to all of the pre-course requirements found on the course overview page (including completion of any online training) will result in cancellation of the course. No refund will be given and rebooking will be at full cost.
- You need to be able to swim at least 200m continuously and tread water for a minimum of 10 minutes. This will be tested at the start of the pool session. Failure to perform these two tests within the allocated time frame will result in course cancellation without refund and rebooking will be at full cost.
- Courses must be completed within 180 days of the original start date.
- Under 18’s must have a parental waiver signed by parent/guardian on or before the start day of the course.
- All fees are per person.