Travel New Zealand & Dive the Reef [ST-NZD5]
16 Days: Travel New Zealand & Dive the Reef [ST-NZD5]
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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Cairns (1 Night), Liveaboard (7), Cairns (1), Tutukaka (3), Auckland (2),
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Brisbane, Cairns to Auckland, Auckland to Los Angeles
  • Australian Domestic Flights - Brisbane to Cairns, Cairns to Brisbane
  • Day Tour- Cairns: 7 Nights Great Barrier Reef Dive Expedition Live-Aboard; Tutukaka: 3 Days of Diving
  • Shuttle Transfers - Airport to Accommodation (return), Accommodation to Dive Centers (return)
  • 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 2 (Sat) - Domestic Flight Bribane to Cairns

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Brisbane to Cairns.

Day 1 (Fri) - 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 cont (Sat) - Shuttle Transfer from Airport to Hotel

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.

Day 2 to 3 (Sat to Sun) - 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.

Day 3 to 10 (Mon to Mon) - 7 Night 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: 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)

Day 10 to 11 (Mon to Tues) - 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.

Day 11 cont (Tues) - Domestic Flight, Cairns to Brisbane

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Cairns to Brisbane.

Day 11 (Tues) - Shuttle Transfer from Hotel 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.

Day 11 cont (Tues) International Flight, Brisbane to Auckland

Today fly from Brisbane to Auckland, Known as `The City of Sails` in New Zealand.

Arrive at Auckland Airport.

Day 11 cont (Tues) - Shuttle Transfer from 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.

Day 12 to 14 (Wed to Fri) - 3 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.

Day 14 (Fri) - Shuttle Transfer from Tututkaka to Auckland Accommodation

Travel from your vacation accommodation in Tutukaka, New Zealand, to Auckland 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 14 to 16 (Fri to Sun) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Auckland

Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

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 15 (Sat) - Free Day to Explore Auckland

Visit one of Auckland’s many attractions.

Fly a kite or throw a Frisbee in the beautifully landscaped Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park. Critique a giant selection of both traditional and contemporary art at Auckland Art Gallery. Take a walking, swim or hike through any of Auckland’s 25 Regional Parks. Have a laugh at The Classic Comedy and Bar in Queen Street, New Zealand’s home of live comedy. Take the bus over to Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest stadium. In the evening you can join the dancing on K’Road and party on till the wee hours at one of the many nightclubs. Or maybe you would rather visit the trendy suburb of Ponsonby and enjoy delicious cuisine, superb lattes or cocktails if more to your taste. And if it is cafes, bars and restaurants you’re after, the Viaduct Harbour has a great selection.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand – Julian Apse

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - America's Cup

The America’s Cup Sailing Experience offers the unique opportunity to sail on these grand prix racing machines!

Enjoy two hours as passengers become the crew and are encouraged to take the helm, exert energy on the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the action as we sail down the Auckland Harbour. The trip suits people of all experiences and abilities and is the perfect activity in Auckland, ‘City of Sails’.

WINTER SCHEDULE – APRIL 1ST TO SEPTEMBER 31ST 2014
Departs: 1pm daily

Age Restrictions: Children under the age of 10 yrs not permitted
Weather Restrictions: Sailings subject to weather conditions

Upgrade Available: 3 Hours Match Cup Race (extra cost) – Not Available from April-October.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Harbour Cruise

Visit a true thing of beauty and cruise the sparkling waters of Waitemata Harbour!



Head out on this one and a half hour tour to see the Devonport Naval Base, travel past the township and North Head, then cruise towards the iconic Rangitoto Island as you pass the historic Bean Rock lighthouse. You’ll pass under the Harbour Bridge twice and then off to Westhaven Marina to catch a glance at the viaduct harbour bustling with super yachts!



Daily at 10:45am & 1:45pm. Tours do not operate on Christmas day.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Piha Canyon

Piha Canyon Abseiling Adventure, North Island, New Zealand (Day Tour)

The Piha Canyon – Abseiling (repelling) down showering waterfalls surrounded by moss and fern covered volcanic rock walls, swimming through pools of blues and greens, jumps, caves, and slides as you explore the canyon! You will also see the remains of the original pioneers wood constructed logging dam and learn about the local history and Maori culture. Includes transport, bakery lunch / refreshments, full equipment, a visit to black sand Piha Surf Beach and a beautiful rainforest walk. All obstacles are optional, no experience needed.

Minimum age 12 years. Any booking of less than 4 pax will be confirmed as tentative.

Insiders Tip: Explorer Bus Tip

Take a unique, fun and informative tour of Auckland – New Zealand’s largest city on the Hop on Hop Off Auckland City Explorer Bus!

Nestled between two harbours, this beautiful vibrant city, has a diverse mix of culture and landscapes. With world-class attractions and activities, shopping and eateries – you can explore it all with a 24 or 48 hour pass.

Hop-On and Hop-Off as you explore the city at your leisure. There are two tour routes you can choose from to visit all the must-see attractions! Enjoy the ‘Live’ entertaining commentary from your friendly driver or catch up with your friends back home with free WiFi aboard the bus.

Plus your pass includes a free return trip to Devonport on the ferry!

Red Tour Stops
-Viaduct Harbour
-Bastion Point lookout
-Parnell Village
-Auckland Museum
-Kelly Tarlon’s
-Queen Street/Civic Theatre
-Pernell Rose Gardens
-Holy Trinity Cathedral
-Sky City & Sky Tower

Blue Tour Stops
-Auckland Museum
-Wintergardens
-Eden Garden
-Mt Eden/Maungawhau
-Westfield St Lukes
-Auckland Zoo
-MOTAT (Museum of Transport & Technology)

Multi-lingual commentaries also available.

Day 16 (Sun) - Shuttle Transfer 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 16 cont (Sun) - International Flight - Auckland to Los Angeles

Today depart Auckland and fly to the USA. Enjoy an in-flight dinner and movie with arrival in the USA. Note: you will be traveling back across the International Date Line. Gain that day back you lost on the way over, you actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Auckland.

Note: Flight may include a stop over in 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.