Turtle Spectacular - Far Northern Reefs

2017 Departure dates: 20 November.
2018 Departure dates: 12 November | 26 November.
2019 Departure dates: 11 November | 25 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

Highlights:

  • 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 – vertical walls adorned with soft corals and fans, patrolled by reef sharks & potato cod.
  • Great Detached Reef – Big fans, hard and soft corals & pelagics.
  • Pandora Wreck – Historic wreck sunk in 1871 with 35 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.

See-Turtle-Spectacular



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.

Raine Island

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.

Pandora Wreck

HMS Pandora is a dive into history like no other. This Royal Navy ship sank in 1791 in 33m with the loss of 35 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.

Expedition prices, per person in Australian dollars.

7 Night Turtle Spectacular – Far Northern Reefs 2017
CabinPrice
Premium$5523
Standard$5024
Club$4345
Budget$3704

Cairns to Lizard Island Flight Levy $150
Reef Tax $19.50

7 Night Turtle Spectacular – Far Northern Reefs 2018
CabinPrices
Premium$5578
Standard$5124
Club$4476
Budget$3815

Cairns to Lizard Island Flight Levy $150
Reef Tax $19.50

Rates include:

  • Accommodation in twin/double cabins
  • Delicious meals & snacks, complimentary soft drinks and wine with dinner
  • Tanks, air fills and weight belt
  • Daily cabin service
  • Reef ecology programme
  • Dive computer workshop
  • Transfer to the airport or Cairns hotel after your expedition
  • Scenic flight Cairns to Lizard Island and return
  • Vivid Pix digital photo editing software workshop

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority requires us to collect an Environmental Management Charge of $19.50.  This amount will be added to your bar bill at the end of your expedition.

Click on the links here for extras such as dive courses, photo services and gear hire, plus discounts available.

Premium – queen or double bed, private bathroom, ocean views.
Standard – twin beds, private bathroom, ocean views.
Club – twin bunk beds, private bathroom, no ocean view.
Budget – twin bunk beds, share bathroom, no ocean view.

Itinerary

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 4pm.
  • 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.

Monday:

  • 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).
  • 11.30 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.

Important:

  • 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.
Summary
Remote rarely visited wilderness
diving with mega marine fauna.
Experience
Novice to Advanced divers
Embark
Monday 6.30am – Cairns
Disembark
Monday 11am – Cairns
Contact UsSecure your spotClick here »Check AvailabilityWhen can I diveClick here »Latest OffersDiscover our latest offersClick here »

More Information

Compare ExpeditionsWhich expedition best suits you!Click here to read »