Liveaboard Dive & The Outback [ST-DiveSOF17]
17 Days: Liveaboard Dive & The Outback [ST-DiveSOF17]
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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Cairns (1 Night), Liveaboard Diving Expedition (7), Cairns (1), Ayers Rock (1), Kings Canyon (2), Alice Springs (1), Sydney (2)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Brisbane, Sydney to Los Angeles
  • US Domestic Flights not included (as per your own arrangements)
  • Australian Domestic Flights - Brisbane to Cairns, Cairns to Ayers Rock, Alice Springs to Sydney
  • Short Break - 5 Day Uluru and Kings Canyon Outback Escape
  • Shuttle Transfers - Cairns Airport to Accommodation (Return), Sydney Airport to Accommodation (Return)
  • All Other Day Tours are Optional and not included
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (US$15.00 per person)
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
  • Other Common Inclusions for Dive Packages: Live-Aboard Diving Expedition includes: Transfers to/ from Cairns city accommodation, Low level reef flight Lizard Island to Cairns, Opportunity for up to 26 dives, cabin with private bathroom and daily service, Chef prepared meals, Australian wine & soft drinks with evening meals.
Itinerary Details
Fri (Day 1) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Brisbane

Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing in Brisbane.

Relax, watch some movies, and try to get some sleep!

Please confirm with the airlines at check-in that they have all your frequent flyer information on record.

(Day 2) - Australian Domestic Flight, Brisbane to Cairns

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Brisbane to Cairns.

Sun (Day 2) - Shuttle Transfer, Cairns Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Cairns Airport to your vacation accommodation in Cairns, Australia.

Departures occur approximately 30 minutes after aircraft arrival-time for domestic flights. For international flights this will be considerably longer because of customs and other formalities.

Luggage restrictions apply as per standard economy Australian domestic flights of 2 standard bags under 30kg (66 lbs) per passenger. Excess baggage is AUD$5.00 per bag payable on board. If traveling with excess baggage please advise the shuttle company upon reservation confirmation so appropriate trailer size is available.

Sun - Mon (Days 2 to 3) - 1 Night Accommodation in Cairns

Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, free wireless internet, Bushfire Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.

Insiders Tip - Explore the Esplanade

Experience the leisure atmosphere at the playground for locals and tourists alike at The Esplanade in Cairns!

With so many activities available The Esplanade has always been a focal point for this city. This is a place that literally has everything! Take a stroll and do some bird watching on the boardwalk but as you enjoy the views don’t forget to stop off at Foreshore Promenade for a bite to eat at the many available restaurants. Access to The Lagoon is easy here which is set overlooking the Barrier Reef and Trinity inlet and features all year free swimming where you can take a dip in this filtered saltwater lagoon. Let the kids can play in the sandy edges and in the shallow waters while you lounge on the semi-shaded timber decks. For the kids, don’t miss out on the Trinity Bay foreshore playground “Muddy” with equipment for all ages. For the older kids, stop off at the Skate Park to see some skaters and BMXers in action! Whether you decide to take a morning jog, fly a kite or just relax in the large grassy areas for some lunch you will surely enjoy the tropical lifestyle!

If you happen to be in Cairns on a Saturday be sure to check out the Weekend Markets which feature only locally made arts and crafts, clothing and much more. While you’re there listen out for the live music and fun street characters. The market gets into full swing on the promenade (just by the lagoon) every Saturday between 8am – 4pm.

Lagoon Hours: All Year, 6am-9pm
Closed Wednesdays until midday for maintenance

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Cairns Night Zoo (Evening Event)

Enjoy a great Australian night out at the Cairns Night Zoo!

Enjoy a sumptuous Australian barbeque dinner including steak, sausages, chicken, and seafood with salads and delicious desserts then perhaps enjoy a drink from the licensed bar (not included). After your savory dinner, explore the creatures of the night by torchlight as you journey into the darkness. Learn how owls hunt, touch a possum, pat a koala and see the glowing eyes of the crocodiles in your torchlight as you enter their lair. If you have a clear night, look up towards the skies and star gaze to see the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper and other well known constellations. Cross paths with a “Swaggie” (an original Australian bushman), and join them for billy tea and damper with him by the campfire. Their friends, the kangaroos, will come down and maybe even share a bite to eat! After complimentary cold beer or wine, join in the fun as you lear

Mon - Mon (Days 3 to 10) - 7 Nights - Live Aboard Diving Expedition

For Live-Aboard diving enthusiasts this live aboard dive trip represents the ultimate dive vacation. Dives include Osprey Reef, on the Coral Sea with other sites such as Cod Hole, Dynamite Pass, North Horn, Bougainville Reef, Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom and Flare Point. With Gourmet Meals and the Outstanding Level of Service you will feel like you are aboard your own private yacht.

Day 1: Depart Cairns & Dive

Board Spirit of Freedom at 11:15am at Trinity Wharf (complimentary transfers from Cairns city hotels are available) for a 12 noon departure. Lunch will be served on board while we cruise to the Great Barrier Reef for an afternoon orientation dive and a twilight or night dive.

Days 2 & 3: Diving Ribbon Reefs

These two days are spent diving at the most northern of the Ribbon Reefs, Number 9 & 10 Ribbon Reefs, 120 miles to the north of Cairns. You will dive at the Cod Hole, where you encounter a family of massive and very friendly Potato Cod. Other sites may include Wonder-wall, Pixie Pinnacle, Challenger Bay, Two Towers, Lighthouse Bommie, and the Snake Pit, just to name a few. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Day 2. On Day 3 you will overnight at beautiful Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.

Day 4: Mountain Walk & More Diving

This morning some of guests will depart at Lizard Island and some new guests will join the vessel. There will be time for a morning walk on the island. This afternoon we will have the opportunity for two dives at a choice of sites such as the Cod Hole, Pixie Pinnacle and Challenger Bay before departing in the evening for the Coral Sea.

Days 5 & 6: Dive Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef. Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are renowned for crystal clear water with average visibility in excess of 100 feet. Two days can be spent diving at Osprey Reef, including North Horn, well known for its shark action. You can expect to see grey whalers, silvertips, reef sharks, occasional hammerheads, schooling barracuda, trevally, and other pelagics. The landscape is amazing with sheer walls laced with gorgonians, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals, rising from thousands of feet below.

Day 7: Dive Bougainville Reef or in the Ribbon Reefs

After overnight travel back to the Great Barrier Reef arrive at Ribbon Reefs Number 3 where you will dive such sites as the sensational Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom, and Flare Point. A second option for this day, in special weather conditions, is to head south from Opsrey to Bougainville Reef, known for its unusual underwater landscape and caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. This evening you will cruise overnight back to Cairns.

Day 8: Arrive in Cairns

Arrive Cairns approximately 06:30am. Breakfast will be served on board and hotel transfer will be arranged for approx 07:30am.

Operates
Departs every Monday

Need to Know
Please note that above itinerary is a sample only and sites may vary, or the sequence may change. Access to the Cod Hole and the Coral Sea is weather conditional and while every attempt will be made to keep to the advertised itinerary, the Coral Sea and specific sites on the Great Barrier Reef are not guaranteed.

Diver experience recommendation: Advanced Diver certification with minimum 20 ocean dives including 5 dives in the last 12 months.

Diver Health: If you have a medical condition or are currently taking prescription medication, you will need a medical clearance. For further details refer to our Diver Information form or contact our Reservations team.

Luggage Restrictions: Due to light aircraft restrictions, your total weight of your luggage is limited to 20 kilograms/ 45 lb per person, including your dive gear and carry-on luggage.

Snorkelers: The (at times) deeper reefs tops and swift currents of the Coral Sea, make the Coral Sea reefs only suitable for very experienced snorkelers and strong swimmers with a high level of fitness. You may not be able to snorkel at every site. Please note that while you may be safe under the watchful eye of the ‘look-out’ crew, a snorkel buddy may not always be available and you may be required to snorkel alone and to wear floatation equipment.

Room Types Available are: Ocean View Deluxe, Ocean View Standard, Stateroom, Double/Twin, Quad Share (paired with other divers)

Mon - Tue (Days 10 to 11) - 1 Night Accommodation in Cairns

Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, free wireless internet, Bushfire Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - White Water Rafting (Half Day, Evening Event)

Discover a fun and exciting way to discover the pristine rainforest, with a half day of rafting on the Barron River!

Located just 20 minutes outside of Cairns, the half day raft is perfectly suited for the first time adventurer! This tour can be arranged from Cairns, the Northern Beaches or Port Douglas.

No previous experience is necessary to raft these exhilarating grade 1 to 3 rapids through the majestic scenery of Barron Gorge National Park. You don’t even need to know how to swim as you will be fitted with a helmet and lifejacket and have your experienced river guide at your side.

Here you can feel the rush of rafting within the awesome wilderness of Australia’s tropical rainforests with operations all year round, tropical water temperatures and breath-taking scenery and rapids. So take a ride through our planet’s oldest continuously growing tropical rainforests on rivers that still run totally wild. Take home the memories and be sure to smile as professional photographers take your pictures which are available for purchase at the end of the day! Last stop is at the cafe where you can take a break and have some drinks before returning to your accommodation.

Includes: Transfers to/from Cairns accommodations (Transfers from Port Douglas also available with 3 hours of free time to explore Cairns), 2 hours of rafting, equipment: life jacket, helmet, spray jacket and experienced river guide, light refreshments

Operation Days: Daily; Estimated Times: Departs: 2:15pm & Return: 5:00pm
Minimum Ages: 13 years or older; Payable on Board: AUD$25.00 Environmental Levy

Upgrade Available (extra cost): Full Day Tully River (Grades 3-4)

Need to Know:
By booking this tour you confirm that you do not have a medical condition that would make it unsafe to participate. If you are pregnant you will be unable to raft. If you have a medical condition or are unsure that you are physically able to participate, we recommend that you consult with a medical practitioner.
Prior to your rafting trip you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and sign our liability waiver (either online or on paper).

Tue (Day 11) - Shuttle Transfer, Cairns Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your Cairns vacation accommodation to the Airport in Cairns, Australia.

Luggage restrictions apply as per standard economy Australian domestic flights of 2 standard bags under 30kg (66 lbs) per passenger. Excess baggage is AUD$5.00 per bag payable on board. If traveling with excess baggage please advise the shuttle company upon reservation confirmation so appropriate trailer size is available.

Tue (Day 11) - Australian Domestic Flight, Cairns to Ayers Rock

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Cairns to Ayers Rock (Uluru).

Tue - Sat (Days 11 to 15) - 5 Day Uluru & Kings Canyon Escape

Spend two nights at in Kings Canyon and enjoy an exclusive tour of the grounds of a cattle station for a chance to spot wild camels, kangaroos and other wildlife. With time in both Uluru and Alice Springs, this 5 day tour is a fantastic introduction to Outback Australia.

Day 1. Mutitjulu Waterhole, Mala Walk, Uluru Sunset Drinks.
Be welcomed at Ayers Rock Airport and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon visit the Cultural Centre then walk to the waterhole of Mutitjulu. Join the Mala Walk along the base of Uluru and explore Kantju Gorge. As you watch the sunset over Uluru, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine. Tonight you might like to enjoy the Uluru Aussie Barbecue additional cost).

Day 2. Uluru Sunrise, Kata Tjuta (Olgas).
Rise early for sunrise at Uluru, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee then travel to the giant domes of Kata Tjuta. Join the guided Walpa (Olga) Gorge walk and marvel at the sheer walls that flank you as you enter the gorge. Depart for our exclusive Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge. Tonight, dine around the campfire (weather permitting) under
the stars of the southern sky.

Day 3. Station Tour, Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge at Leisure.
After breakfast join an exclusive tour of the grounds of the cattle station for a chance to spot wild camels, kangaroos and other wildlife. See ancient Aboriginal petroglyphs (rock engravings). The remainder of today is at leisure to relax and enjoy this secluded location. Dinner tonight is under the stars of the southern sky, served around the campfire (weather permitting). (BD)

Day 4. Kings Canyon, Kings Creek Station.
Explore majestic Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park, with a choice of walks. The rim walk takes you up to the canyon rim for stunning views of the canyon walls and surrounds, then through the Lost City and Garden of Eden. The easier floor walk takes you deep into the canyon. This afternoon travel to the town in the heart of Australia, Alice Springs, arriving at 6.30 pm.

Day 5. Alice Springs at Leisure.
Explore ‘The Alice’ before transferring to the airport or railway station.

Sat (Day 15) - Australian Domestic Flight, Alice Springs to Sydney

Travel within Australia by domestic air from the heart of the Outback, Alice Springs, to Sydney.

Sat (Day 15) - Shuttle Transfer, Sydney Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle transfer from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Sydney, Australia.

Sat - Mon (Days 15 to 17) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Sydney

Travel to your accommodation in Sydney, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights in your studio room apartment.

Just 30 minutes from Sydney Airport, your accommodation is conveniently located between Darling Harbour and the Sydney CBD.

The friendly staff at your accommodation can attend to your every need with 24 hour guest reception. Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at their signature restaurant.

Relax in a stylish and comfortable haven whilst being in close proximity to shopping at Westfield’s Pitt St Mall and Darling Harbour. Don’t forget to take a stroll down Pitt St towards Circular Quay to take in more of Sydney’s world famous sites- like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sun (Day 16) - Free Day to Explore Sydney

With Sydney at your fingertips, take the chance to explore the Darling Harbour area at your leisure, which is a modern collection of Shopping Malls, Parkland, Restaurants and Harbour Front activities.

Walk to Circular Quay and catch a ferry to our wonderful harbour-side Taronga Park Zoo, or take the 30 minute ferry ride to Manly Beach, Sydney’s premier beach resort. Here you can enjoy the laid back beach culture as well as many festivals and events. If you prefer to stay closer to downtown Sydney, Bondi Beach is approximately a 10 minute train ride and is one of Australia’s most famous and iconic beaches. Save some time to take a beach walk from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach, it’s known to be a true highlight. If visiting on a weekend then go to the Rocks Market and shop for local Arts, Crafts & unique Australian Souvenirs.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Sydney Bridge Climb

Reach new heights and climb the famous Harbour Bridge in Sydney!

Achieve exhilaration and personal satisfaction as you climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For approximately 3.5 hours you and 11 other eager climbers will join a climb guide and weave through catwalks, climb up ladders and then arrive at the most spectacular point of all – the upper arch climb. The steady incline to the upper arch leaves you free to focus your attention on your Sydney experience, with opportunities for 360 degree views of Sydney, including east to the ocean, west to the mountains and the harbor city surrounds.


It is at this point that you not only have a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Sydney Harbour and the city, but have the exhilarating and rewarding experience of reaching the top of the iconic Harbour Bridge.

When you reach the top you will have a sense of achievement you’ll remember forever – you’ve conquered an Australian icon recognized the world over! No other Sydney tourist attraction can give you this feeling of standing at the top of the world, with the harbor spread before you.

All climbers will be issued a complimentary photograph of your climb group.

Operates: Daily, in all weather conditions (except in cases of extreme weather conditions like electrical storms or high winds).

Need to Know: Wear comfortable, enclosed rubber-soled shoes and comfortable clothing; Secure lockers will be provided to store your personal belongings; No cameras, phones, GoPros or other video and mobile devices are allowed on the climb; Children ages 8 – 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Children younger than 8 are not permitted on the climb; Maximum of 14 people per group.

Times: The climb lasts approximately 3.5 hours. Climbs are available at dawn (limited departures), day, twilight or night.

Inclusions: BridgeClimb cap; Certificate of Achievement; A complimentary Climb Group photo.

Photo Credit: BridgeClimb Sydney

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Breakfast with Koalas

Enjoy Breakfast with the koalas and gain early entry into the Sydney Wildlife World to escape the morning crowds and see the animals at their most active time!

Enjoy a hot buffet breakfast in a bush garden setting with gum trees and banksias overlooking the red sands of our semi-arid habitat surrounded by koalas! Our experienced animal keepers will entertain you with informative talks, followed by your chance to cuddle up next to our iconic Australian koalas for a magic photographic moment.

Operates: Saturdays & Sundays
 
Need to Know: Maximum of 35 people

Times: 7:15am – 9:00am (Times subject to change)

Inclusions: Entry to WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo; A guided highlights tour of the zoo; A hot buffet breakfast on Koala Rooftop, amongst the company of our koalas; An informative koala keeper talk; Koala Photo – The chance to get up close to our iconic Australian koalas for a magic photographic moment; A photo to take home as a memento of your koala experience

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Americas Cup Sailing Experience in the Sydney Harbour

Take a unique opportunity to participate as crew on a real America’s Cup yacht.

Take the helm, trim the sails, work on the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the ride as you soak up the atmosphere and sights of spectacular Sydney Harbour.

The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest and most prestigious sporting trophy and ultimate yachting regatta. Usually the domain of billionaires and elite professional yachtsmen, these amazing yachts offer a remarkable chance to participate in sailing on these grand prix racing machines.

Australia was the first country to break the American hold on this famous old trophy in 1983, a 132 year winning streak that dated back to 1851.

No sailing experience necessary; Sailings daily, 2.5 hour duration

Mon (Day 17) - Shuttle Transfer, Sydney Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Sydney, Australia, to the Airport.

Mon (Day 17) - International Flight, Sydney to Los Angeles

Depart Sydney from the International Airport and fly to Los Angeles. Note: You will be traveling back across the International Date line so you will gain a day. You actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Australia.

  • a) All prices are USD$/person (including all Taxes). Subject to availability and seasonality. Other Conditions Apply (see Terms and Conditions).
  • b) Land Content Only represents the pricing for the full itinerary as detailed, except the International Flights from the USA (and return) are NOT included.
  • c) An Infant (Lapchild) must be less than 2 years old on the date of departure. Infant must travel with at least one adult. An infant with a seat pays the price of a Child.
  • d) A Child must be aged between 2-11 years on the date of departure. Child must travel with at least one adult.