Turtle Spectacular - Far Northern Reefs
2017 Departure dates: 20 November.
7 Nights – 26 Dives. A rare opportunity to visit the remote and pristine reefs of the far northern Great Barrier Reef. Dive with tonnes of turtles at Raine Island & descend on the historic Pandora Wreck of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame.
“Absolutely mind blowing!” – Andrew Hunter, Australia
“The coral is the healthiest I’ve seen in 25 years of diving” – Aimee Dorfman, USA
“Turtles, turtles, turtles!” – Victoria Oswell, Canada
Feedback from our 2016 expedition
- Spectacular low level flight over the reef from Cairns to Lizard Island and return
- Remote rarely visited reefs with incredible coral
- Cod Hole – Get up close with diver sized potato cod
- TMO – Beautiful bommies create interesting swim throughs teeming with fish
- Tijou and Cat Reefs – wall diving with fans, soft corals and pelagics.
- Small Detached Reefs – undersea cliffs hung with soft corals and fans and patrolled by reef sharks & potato cod.
- Great Detached Reef – Big fans, hard and soft corals & pelagics.
- Pandora Wreck – Historic wreck sunk in 1871 with 34 crew and mutineers from HMS Bounty.
- Raine Island – See tonnes of turtles at the world’s biggest green turtle nesting site. Tiger sharks are attracted to the nesting turtles.
Spectacular scenic flight over the Reef
Your adventure begins and ends with a low level scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef between Cairns and Lizard Island, giving a bird’s eye view of some of the reefs you’ll be diving. Captain James Cook landed here in 1770 after running aground at Endeavour Reef.
Cod Hole - Ribbon Reefs
The Cod Hole is famous for its diver-sized potato cod. These fish are incredibly inquisitive and don’t mind getting very chummy with divers. A great opportunity to capture photographs of these magnificent characters or a simply hang out and enjoy their company.
TMO (Three Mile Opening)
Explore the stunning coral gardens and alleyways created by a field of bommies. There is a huge variety of hard corals plus tonnes of fish life including bump headed parrotfish, eagle rays, sharks, turtles and other reef fish.
Tijou / Cat Reefs
Exciting diving on walls buzzing with barracuda, rays, sharks and turtles and covered with fans and whips. The coral here will amaze too with Pussy Galore being especially beautiful. Explore the walls around Catchers Mitt, cut with gullies and full of fish and hard corals.
Small Detached Reefs
Stunning sheer walls covered in soft corals and fans, combined with pelagic fish action make this region a diver’s paradise. There are plenty of dive sites to choose from including Arienne, Shizue, Wrasses Wrath and Kicker, all featuring excellent coral and fish life.
Great Detached Reef
The 46km of fringing reef here give us some great sites to choose from. See fields of hard coral down to 30m at Turmoil, plus beautiful soft corals, fans and whips at Twin Peaks, Oh My Bommie, Cracker and Big Woody. This reef is home to masses of marine life, large & small.
Between 40,000-100,000 green turtles visit Raine Island each year to lay their eggs in the warm sands. The island is not accessible to the public, but the reefs surrounding it are excellent for diving. The pristine coral here is some of the best we’ve seen anywhere.
HMS Pandora is a dive into history like no other. This Royal Navy ship sank in 1791 in 33m with the loss of 34 crew and mutineers from HMS Bounty. Much of the wooden structure has perished however the anchor and stove are the highlights of this historically important site.
All itinerary details are subject to change, specific marine life cannot be guaranteed.
|7 Night Turtle Spectacular – Far Northern Reefs 2017|
Cairns to Lizard Island Flight Levy $150
Reef Tax $6.50/day
|Openwater Referral (PADI)||$245|
|Openwater Referral (non-PADI)||$350|
|PADI Scuba Diver Upgrade||$350|
|PADI Open Water Diver (3 Night Expeditions only)||$395|
|PADI Advanced Diver||$215|
|PADI Nitrox||$325 or $200 Referral (incl 3 days free fills). NB referral is from shop (not elearning).|
|PADI Discover Scuba (Resort)||1 free per day (conditions apply). Not available during Minke Season.|
|PADI Underwater Photography||$250|
|PADI Underwater Naturalist||$220|
|SDI Easy Nitrox||$275 (incl 3 days free fills)|
|SDI Solo Diver||$220|
|Camera Rentals & Extras|
|USB Stick - 16GB||$15|
|Holiday Video & Photos|
|Standard Holiday Trip - DVD||$80|
|Purchase of Second DVD||$40|
|Personalized Holiday Trip - DVD||$250 (Max 4 people)|
|Personal Holiday Photographs||$100|
|Purchase of second photo CD||$25|
|Reg, Ocy, Gauges||$15/day|
|Safety Sausage (SMB)||$10/trip|
|Cyalume Light Stick||$2/each|
|Nautilus Lifeline GPS||No charge|
|All of the above||$44/day|
|2L (13 cu.ft) Pony Bottle + Reg||$15/day|
|15L (120 cu.ft) Steel Bottle||$25/day|
|Nitrox Fills||$75 for the 3 or 4 night/ $150 for a week|
|Sole Occupancy||Berth cost + 70%|
|Fuel Levy - Standard Expeditions||$0 (subject to change)|
|Fuel Levy - 7 Night Northern Reef Exploratories||$44/pp (subject to change)|
|Yongala Environment Charge||$13.55/day|
|Personal Dive Guides||$250/day (+ berth cost for guide) or $50/dive.|
|Nitrox Fills||See below|
|Hire Gear||See below|
|Photo Services||See below|
|Special Catering Admin Fee||$30/trip|
|Bar and Ship Shop Purchases||Variable|
|Hire Gear - Sizes|
|BCD||Aqualung Wave x5 sizes.|
|Fins||Technisub Stratos (full foot) x6 sizes. We recommend wearing sturdy or neoprene socks with full foot fins.|
|Wetsuits||5mm full length steamer. 6 male and 6 female sizes. Includes 3mm hood.|
|Non-diver||10% (not applicable on Minke Whale expeditions)|
|Non-diving child (8-15 years)||25%|
|Global Shark Diving||5% (must quote card number)|
|Dive Industry Staff||$200.00|
|Agents / Media / Researchers||Variable discounts offered|
|Discounts are only accepted at time of booking and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Proof of employment is required.|
Fitting extra small and extra large people can be difficult. Please bring your own equipment if concerned about fit. View Sizes chart
Sample itinerary, subject to change based on conditions.
Monday: (2 dives)
- Check in at our office (3 Abbott St, Cairns) between 6.30 and 7.00 am.
- 7. 15 am: Transfer to Cairns Airport
- 8.00 am: Board a light aircraft for a low level flight over the reef to Lizard Island (flight time approx. 1 hour).
- Board Spoilsport mid-morning where you will be served drinks and snacks while our Trip Director gives you a welcome briefing.
- Time to organise any rental equipment and put your dive gear together on the dive deck.
- 1.15 pm: Dive brief and dive
- 2.30 pm: Lunch
- 4.30 pm: Dive brief and dive
- 7:00 pm: Dinner
Tuesday: (4 dives + night dive)
This is a sample of a ‘typical day’, however exact times may vary to optimise the prevailing weather conditions on the day.
- 6.30 am: Wake up call, light breakfast available in dining room
- 7:00 am: Dive brief & diving commences
- 9.00 am: Full cooked breakfast
- 10.30 am: Dive brief & diving. “Open decks” accommodate 1-2 dives either am or pm
- 2.00 pm: Lunch
- 3.30 pm: Dive brief & diving
- 4:30 pm: Afternoon tea
- 6:30 pm: Night dive brief & dive
- 8:00 pm: Dinner
Wed-Sat: (4 dives + night dive)
- As per above
Sunday: (4 dives)
- As per above. Exit last dive 5pm.
- As the sun sets we pour the champagne, lay out the nibbles and get ready for an Aussie BBQ party night. Don’t forget to wear your loudest tropical shirt or dress and sing along to music played by our talented crew.
- Spoilsport cruises overnight to Lizard Island.
- 7.00 am: Light breakfast
- 8:00 am: Disembark Spoilsport. Our crew will walk you to the airport on Lizard Island.
- 9.30 am: Board a light aircraft for a low level flight over the reef back to Cairns (flight time approx. 1 hour).
- 10.30 am: Land Cairns and courtesy transfer to inner Cairns city hotels, the airport or our office where we can store your luggage until 5pm if you have a later flight.
- We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5pm Wednesday).
- A luggage allowance applies to the flight from Cairns to Lizard Island:
- 25kg / 55lb per person plus 3kg / 6.5lb – carry on.
- An additional 10kg/22lb is allowed for professional photo/video housed systems.