Ashmore Exploratory – Far Northern Reefs – Coral Sea

2024 Departure dates: 21 & 28 November

7 Nights – 27 Dives.  A rare opportunity to visit the remote and pristine reefs of Ashmore Reef.  Dive with hundreds of turtles at Raine Island & descend on the historic wreck of the Quetta.

Highlights:

  • Remote rarely visited reefs with incredible coral.
  • Raine Island – See hundreds of turtles at the world’s biggest green turtle nesting site. Tiger sharks are attracted to the nesting turtles.
  • Ashmore Reef – Plunge into the unknown, spectacular and remote.
  • Boot Reef – The single most remote place that  MV Spoilsport visits
  • Great Detached Reef – Big fans, hard and soft corals & pelagics.
  • Quetta Wreck (Tidal dependant) – Jewel of the Far North.



Horn Island

Embark at Horn Island 4:00pm.
Options for further travel vary. Daily scheduled flights from Cairns to Horn Island are available & should be arranged by the individual.

Ashmore Reef

Mysterious , isolated, rarely visited. The graveyard of a dozen 19th century ships. Still not fully explored, Ashmore Reef lies literally on the seaborder with Papua New Guinea. Help unlock the many secrets of this final frontier. A place that has already given us arguably the greatest drift dive in Far North Queensland…’The Flight of the Cassowary” the secrets of this final frontier.

Boot Reef

Miles and miles of unbroken sheer-drop sea wall. Sharks, giant Qld grouper and magnificent fans create a symphony of colour and live action.  Lying nearly 300 kilometres east of Thursday Island , Boot Reef is the single most remote place that  MV Spoilsport visits. Almost anywhere you dive, you’ll be the first to have been there. Diving dreams are made of this.

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.

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.

RMS Quetta (Tidal dependent)

The RMS Quetta sank on the night of 28 February 1890, after striking an uncharted rock. At the time, it was Queensland’s worst maritime disaster. Today, the RMS Quetta lies on her port side in 18m of water and is an excellent dive site in terms of wreck, reef and fish. The wreck diving jewel of the far north.

 

All itinerary details are subject to change, specific marine life cannot be guaranteed.
Please note no courses will be available on this expedition.

Expedition prices, per person in Australian dollars.

Ashmore Exploratory – Far Northern Reefs - 7 Night 2024
CabinPrice
Premium$6899
Standard$6356
Club$5581
Budget$4789

Environmental Management Fee $7 per day (subject to change)
Horn Island flight not included.

Ashmore Exploratory – Far Northern Reefs - 7 Night 2025
CabinPrices
Premium$7244
Standard$6674
Club$5860
Budget$5029

Environmental Management Fee $7 per day (subject to change)
Horn Island flight not included.

Rates include:

  • Accommodation in twin/double cabins
  • Delicious meals & snacks, wine and soft drink are included with the evening meal
  • Tanks, air fills and weight belt
  • Daily cabin service
  • Reef ecology programme
  • Dive computer 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

Ashmore Exploratoryt Itinerary (Horn Island to Horn Island – 27 dives)

Sample itinerary, subject to change based on conditions.

Please note: Boarding this expedition is ex Horn Island onboard Spoilsport, (commercial flight to Horn Island not included and to be arranged by yourself). Disembarkation is Horn Island.

Thursday:  

  • 4.00 pm board Spoilsport at Horn Island Pier.
  • 4.30 pm depart for Great Detached Reef.
  • Time to organise any rental equipment and put your dive gear together on the dive deck.
  • 7.00 pm Dinner

Friday:  (3 dives + night dive) Great Detached Reef and Raine Island.

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: Full cooked breakfast
  • 9.00 am:  Dive brief & diving commences
  • 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

Saturday: (4 dives + night dive) Pandora Wreck, Cocoon depart after night dive to Ashmore Reef

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

Sunday: (4 dives + night dive) Ashmore Reef , stay over night

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

Monday: (4 dives + night dive) Ashmore reef , depart to GDR overnight

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

Tuesday: (4 dives + night dive) GDR vicinity, depart to Quetta

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

Wednesday: (4 dives) Quetta/Cape York Tip visit

  • As per above. Exit last dive 5pm.
  • As the sun sets, we pour the champagne as we 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 Horn Island.

Thursday:

  • 7.00 am:  Light breakfast
  • 8:00 am:  Disembark Spoilsport, courtesy transfer to the Horn Island airport (HID) or your hotel.

Important:

  • We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5pm Wednesday).
  • Please note no courses will be available on this expedition.

 

Summary
Adventure Diving
Experience
Advanced, or 15 logged ocean dives inc. 5 in last 12 months
Embark
Thursday 04:00 pm – Horn Island Pier
Disembark
Thursday 08:00am – Horn Island
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