New Zealand & Australian Diving Trip [ST-NZD4]
14 Days: New Zealand & Australian Diving Trip [ST-NZD4]
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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Tutukaka (4 Nights), Auckland (1), Cairns (3), Liveaboard (3), Cairns (1)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Auckland, Auckland to Cairns, Brisbane to Los Angeles
  • Australian Domestic Flights - Cairns to Brisbane
  • Shuttle Transfers - Auckland Airport to Tutukaka Accommodation, Tutukaka Accommodation to Auckland Accommodation, Auckland Accommodation to Airport, Cairns Airport to Accommodation (Return)
  • Day Tour Included - Tutukaka: 4 Days of Diving
  • Overnight Tours Included - Cairns: 3 Night Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Dive Expedition
  • Live-Aboard Diving Expedition includes: Transfers to/from city or accommodation, Opportunity for dives, En-suite cabin with daily service, Chef prepared meals, Australian wine & soft drinks with evening meals.
  • All other Day Tours listed are Optional (Not Included)
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (additional US$15.00 per person)
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organised Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Itinerary Details
Day 1 (Fri) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Auckland

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

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 (Sun) - Shuttle Transfer - Auckland Airport to Tutukaka Accommodation

Travel from Auckland Airport to your vacation accommodation in Tutukaka, New Zealand.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

Days 2 to 6 (Sun-Thurs) - 4 Nights Accommodation Pacific Rendezvous Resort

Travel to your accommodation in Tutukaka, New Zealand where you will be staying for 4 nights.

The resort overlooks the whole of the Tutukaka Harbour with a breathtaking ocean panorama across the deep sea fishing grounds from the historic Poor Knights Islands to the Hen and Chicken Islands. A coastal area where man and nature combine to provide a whole host of things to do, swimming, boating, fishing, surfing, scuba diving, sight-seeing, line fishing trips, deep sea fishing, exciting beaches to discover and explore.

Days 3 to 6 (Mon to Thur) - 4 Days of Diving with Dive Tutukaka

Go diving with Dive Tutukaka New Zealand’s premier full-service dive charter operator.

Dive Tutukaka is New Zealand’s premier full-service dive charter operator. The Poor Knights Islands are on Jacques Cousteau’s list of top 10 dive sites in the world! The turbulent sunlit waters and kelp forests on the upper reaches of the tumbling ‘giant staircase’, to the waters of the islands’ many caves, offer an extraordinary variety of underwater experiences. There are sponge gardens and gorgonian fields inhabited by a myriad of fish, shellfish, urchins and anemones. The islands’ famous arches are fascinating to explore. In the warmer months, stingrays can be seen cruising the waters of the archways.

Days 6 (Thur) - Shuttle Transfer from Tutukaka Accommodation to Auckland Accommodation
Days 6 to 7 (Thur to Fri) - 1 Night Accommodation Auckland

Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Auckland is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world– renowned as that ‘City Of Sails.’ Dramatic landscapes and seascapes provide a diverse playground in which a compelling range of attractions are available. Visitors come to enjoy an array of exciting entertainment, leisure, culture and dining possibilities in New Zealand’s largest city.

Day 7 (Fri) - Shuttle Transfer Auckland from Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, to the Airport.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

Day 7 cont (Fri) - International Flight, Auckland New Zealand to Brisbane, Australia

International flight from Auckland to Brisbane, Australia

Day 7 cont (Fri) - Australian Domestic Flight, Brisbane to Cairns

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Brisbane to Cairns.

Day 7 cont (Fri) - Shuttle Transfer Cairns from 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.

Days 7 to 10 (Fri to Mon) - 3 Nights Accommodation in Cairns

Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 3 nights.

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.

Days 8 - 9 (Sat to Sun) - Free Days to Explore Cairns

Take the day and explore what could be considered the capital of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns!

A major outlet to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest amongst its many attractions, the tropical paradise of Cairns is sure to enchant you. With many area activities centrally located there’s enough to occupy everyone in the family because Cairns literally has it all! Have a visit to the Esplanade where you can experience all walks of life and make memories. With a nightlife that caters to singles and families alike you’re visit will be filled with so many things to do, so take a deep breath and have fun!

Photo Credit: Tropical Tablelands Tourism

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest

Travel along a scenic coastal drive to Port Douglas to experience the wildlife, rainforest, rivers and beaches of the region.

Travel in air-conditioned comfort today in a luxury purpose-built vehicle on this eco-accredited tour led by experienced and knowledgeable guides.

Visit Mossman Gorge Centre and enjoy morning tea before boarding the shuttle for your transfer into Mossman Gorge. Discover secrets of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest as your driver takes you on a guided walk through the Gorge boardwalk, sharing their knowledge and the history of this World Heritage listed region.


Next you’ll hop aboard the Daintree River Cruise and reach an understanding of the intricate Daintree eco-system. Keep an eye out for wildlife including the elusive Saltwater Crocodile.

Enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch in the rainforest of Noah Valley – this area is renowned for the existence of primitive flowering plants including the Idiospermum which links back to the most ancient lineages of plants found in the world today.

Up next is Cape Tribulation where the rainforest meets the reef. Walk on this world-renowned rainforest beach named by Captain James Cook on his voyage of discovery in 1770; admire the coastline and fringing Coral Reef from the Kulki Lookout.

Stop for an afternoon refreshment included at the Daintree Ice Cream Company. Enjoy a delicious exotic fruit ice cream cup featuring four flavours (gluten free and dairy free options available).

After winding through the rainforest, you’ll finish the day with a spectacular lookout over the Daintree River Estuary, Snapper Island and beyond to the Coral Sea.

Operates Daily: Pickup appx 6:45am Drop-off appx 6:00pm

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Sailaway Low Isles

Enjoy a day to remember with a sail out to the protected Low Isles, an unspoiled coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef. You have 4.5 hours to explore the coral cay, white sandy beaches and coconut palms whilst marveling at the coral gardens and the Coral Sea that surround you.


Enjoy the relaxing sail to and from the island as you will be transferred by tender to the island itself which is situated on a large coral platform consisting of a small coral cay, a large mangrove island, mudflats, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. Surrounded by 55 acres of coral reef comprised of 150 species of hard corals and dominated by 15 species of soft corals it is an ideal place for snorkelling.



Living in the blue lagoon are a large variety of reef fish including angelfish, damselfish, anemones, giant trevally, sweetlip, fusiliers and many green turtles are sighted daily. Be sure not to miss out on the Heritage Walk where you can learn about the islands history and environment and visit the lighthouse built in 1878. There are also a number of bird species on which you may encounter including pelicans, honeyeaters, white breasted wood swallows, mangrove kingfishers, reef egrets with sea eagles and ospreys wheeling overhead. Includes: Courtesy transfers from Cairns accommodation, relaxing sailing time, morning/afternoon tea, coffee, cakes and fruit platter, Alfresco gourmet tropical buffet lunch, glass bottom boat for viewing, unlimited access to Low Island, Heritage Walk, guided snorkel with marine naturalist, all snorkel equipment and tuition to include lycra suits and flotation devices, fresh hot and cold showers, spacious luxury interior with an air conditioned bar & saloon.

Payable on board: $6.00 Environment Management Charge (Not Included)

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Hartleys Croc Adventure

Make wise time of your stay in Cairns with a half-day tour to the best place to experience crocodiles in Tropical North Queensland with Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure!


This Croc Adventure provides an innovative approach to viewing and interacting with wildlife, enabling visitors to become immersed in a natural environment with safety. A series of timber boardwalks provide elevated viewing of wildlife as visitors journey through a range of natural habitats. It is home to a range of habitat types including melaleuca wetlands, riverine rainforest and eucalypt woodland.



In this eco adventure you can cruise the lagoon which has guaranteed croc sightings with opportunities for great action photos of pole feedings. See the head shakes and death rolls of huge crocs at the Crocodile Attack Show and see some of the world’s most venomous snakes at the Snake Show. Explore the parks abundance of wildlife which includes water birds, turtles, wallabies and cassowaries. If you’re brave enough take a photo with you holding a crocodile! (Own expense)

Suggested Itinerary: Crocodile Feeding, optional Digital Photo Opportunity (Own expense), Wetlands Cruise, Snake Show & Crocodile Attack Show

Includes: Transfers to and from Accommodation, Entry into Hartley’s Crocodile Park, Park Shows, a scenic drive along the Captain Cook Highway

Estimated Times: Departure: 12pm Return: 5:30pm

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - White Water Rafting

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).

Insiders Tip: 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

Days 10 to 13 (Mon to Thur) - Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard Dive 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

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 to the north of Cairns, for an afternoon orientation dive and a twilight or night dive.

Days 2 & 3

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

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, you have the opportunity to go ashore and explore Lizard Island. At 10:30am you will board a twin-engine light aircraft at Lizard Island for your low level flight over the reef back to Cairns. Arriving back at Cairns airport at approximately 11:30am, the Spirit of Freedom courtesy coach will meet you for your transfer back to your Cairns city hotel.

Operates
Departs every Monday

Need to Know
Diver experience recommendation: Open Water certification with minimum 10 ocean dives including 5 dives in the last 12 months. Less experience may result in limited diving due to environmental conditions. We recommend a Scuba Diver Refresher course prior to your trip.

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: Snorkeling on Spirit of Freedom is in waters which are exposed and not ‘calm sheltered waters’. The itinerary is best suited to Scuba Diving and you may not be able to snorkel at every site. There are opportunities to snorkel as the reef top of the Ribbon Reefs are relatively close to the surface. Most of the guests are scuba divers, however experienced snorkelers with a good level of fitness are welcome to join this tour. Please note that a snorkel buddy may not always be available, you may be required to snorkel alone and to wear our floatation equipment. You will be safe under the watchful eye of the ‘look-out’ crew.

Times
Departing: Cairns 12:00 pm every Monday
Returning: Cairns 11:30 am every Thursdays

Inclusions

  • Transfers to/from Cairns city accommodation
  • Low level reef flight – Lizard Island to Cairns
  • Opportunity for up to 11 dives
  • Cabin with private bathroom and daily service
  • Chef prepared meals
  • Australian wines & soft drinks with evening meals

Upgrades Available
Extend this trip to 7 day nights by including the Coral Sea and Ribbon Reefs Adventure

Days 13 to 14 (Thur to Fri) - 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.

Days 14 (Fri) - Shuttle Transfer from Cairns Hotel to Airport

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

Days 14 cont (Fri) - Australian Domestic Flight, Cairns to Brisbane

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Cairns to Brisbane.

Days 14 cont (Fri) - International Flight, Brisbane to Los Angeles

Mid-day Departure from Brisbane, In-flight Dinner and Movie with arrival in the USA. 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.