Need Help, flying to Australia in August with SO and need ideas and budgeting help for trip

Posted on May 25, 2016 | in Travellers Questions | by

So I am travelling to Australia and meeting my SO there in August, I am a 23 male and she is a 19 female. She is there as an exchange student and I have decided to travel there to not only meet her but see Australia with her. I will be flying in to Sydney and spending a total of 16 days there (three weekends I believe, leaving on a sunday morning though, exact dates are 5th-22nd of August).

The things I have looked into so far are scuba diving trips in Cairns, most tours in or around Sydney, but everything is from top google posts, I was hoping someone that has already been there could recommend me cheaper alternatives to the main companies giving out these trips. Furthermore, I would be willing to rent a car since the rent ranges from 25-30 a day for the one I would rent. I was wondering if people in this sub could recommend me cheap activities and some that are really worth it for the price. I was planning to spend something around 3k usd (I already have a plane ticket). I will be staying at her apartment when in Sydney but if we travel outside I was thinking airbnb.
Should I get scuba diving certified? (is it really worth it) Are there any hidden gems her and I should check out?

Any help or ideas of any form will be greatly appreciated.

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