A Diver's Utopia

Lodges visited

3

ITINERARY

A Diver’s Utopia

Suggested duration

11 nights (plus suggested add-on and extra nights en route if desired)

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To enquire about cost or book, contact your trusted travel planner or agent. Or you can DIY by contacting each lodge direct using the link below.


The Australian coastline covers some 25,000 kilometres and is surrounded by many thousands of fringing islands and reefs. Three of the most outstanding coral reefs, all World Heritage Listed, are the Great Barrier Reef, the barrier reef at Lord Howe Island and Ningaloo Reef. These are a dream discovery for divers and snorkelers of all ages.

From cairns general aviation terminal take a 60 minute hinterland air flight to lizard island.

1 Lizard Island Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (3 Nights)

The Great Barrier Reef stretches some 1200km along the tropical north Queensland coast and is one of the seven wonders of the natural world and a world heritage listed, natural inspiration. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.

Lizard Island is a beautiful, natural, remote island retreat and northern-most Great Barrier Reef resort, Lizard Island offers 24 white powdery sand beaches, five star cuisine, indulgent spa treatments and an outstanding dive and snorkel destination. It is the quintessential active reef experience.

A selection of must do’s

  • Cod Hole – Accessible via Lizard’s purpose-built dive boat, the MV Serranidae, this world famous dive destination is known for its giant potato cod but is also home to a plentiful array of other marine creatures and is a magnificent dive experience.

  • Mrs Watsons Bay – Walking distance from the resort, this relaxing shallow dive (or snorkel) provides an extraordinary view of the Giant Clam. The enormous 100 year-old giant clams spread across the seabed forming captivating garden beds and provide a memorable backdrop while encountering the usual colourful array of tropical fish found on the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Night Diving
- An afternoon dive familiarises divers with the site, and following a surface break, a night dive then provides a unique opportunity to see nocturnal marine animals.

1 Lizard Island Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (3 Nights)

The Great Barrier Reef stretches some 1200km along the tropical north Queensland coast and is one of the seven wonders of the natural world and a world heritage listed, natural inspiration. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.

Lizard Island is a beautiful, natural, remote island retreat and northern-most Great Barrier Reef resort, Lizard Island offers 24 white powdery sand beaches, five star cuisine, indulgent spa treatments and an outstanding dive and snorkel destination. It is the quintessential active reef experience.

A selection of must do’s

  • Cod Hole – Accessible via Lizard’s purpose-built dive boat, the MV Serranidae, this world famous dive destination is known for its giant potato cod but is also home to a plentiful array of other marine creatures and is a magnificent dive experience.

  • Mrs Watsons Bay – Walking distance from the resort, this relaxing shallow dive (or snorkel) provides an extraordinary view of the Giant Clam. The enormous 100 year-old giant clams spread across the seabed forming captivating garden beds and provide a memorable backdrop while encountering the usual colourful array of tropical fish found on the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Night Diving
- An afternoon dive familiarises divers with the site, and following a surface break, a night dive then provides a unique opportunity to see nocturnal marine animals.

60min scenic flight to cairns general aviation terminal, hosted ground transfer to main terminal, 3hr flight to sydney airport, overnight in sydney, next day 2hr flight to lord howe island airport.

2 Capella Lodge Lord Howe Island, Queensland (3 Nights)

Often referred to as the last paradise on earth, Lord Howe Island is home to Capella Lodge, a contemporary luxe beach-style lodge offering an exclusive and unique island experience. With a mixture of temperate and tropical marine life, many endemic to the island, Lord Howe has a unique under water world to explore. The Island has a spectacular underwater topography of trenches, caves and volcanic drop-offs.

A selection of must do’s

  • Ball’s Pyramid and surrounding sites – World class diving and species endemic to the region. Expect to see massive schools of Violet Sweep, Amberjack, Kingfish, Silver Drummer, Ballina Angelfish, Rainbow Runners, Trevally and occasionally Marlin, Dolphins and Wahoo. The dive sites average 25 metres in depth and range from drift dives, cave dives or simply following a coral wall.

  • Deacon’s Delight – Discovered in 2008 this ‘new’ reef rivals some of the best dive sites around Lord Howe. Carpets of mauve soft corals are home to a variety of species; Galapagos reef shark, schools of Blue Streak Fusiliers, Trevally, Kingfish, butterfly fish and the rare harlequin tuskfish and clown trigger fish.

  • Malabar Landslide – Located at the base of Malabar cliff at the north end of the island. Long swim throughs with a pair of small caves at the beginning of the dive makes it a memorable navigational dive. A great site to get up close and personal with the Coral Crayfish and large Spanish Dancers, and if you’re lucky you may see the very photogenic Silver Sweetlips.

2 Capella Lodge Lord Howe Island, Queensland (3 Nights)

Often referred to as the last paradise on earth, Lord Howe Island is home to Capella Lodge, a contemporary luxe beach-style lodge offering an exclusive and unique island experience. With a mixture of temperate and tropical marine life, many endemic to the island, Lord Howe has a unique under water world to explore. The Island has a spectacular underwater topography of trenches, caves and volcanic drop-offs.

A selection of must do’s

  • Ball’s Pyramid and surrounding sites – World class diving and species endemic to the region. Expect to see massive schools of Violet Sweep, Amberjack, Kingfish, Silver Drummer, Ballina Angelfish, Rainbow Runners, Trevally and occasionally Marlin, Dolphins and Wahoo. The dive sites average 25 metres in depth and range from drift dives, cave dives or simply following a coral wall.

  • Deacon’s Delight – Discovered in 2008 this ‘new’ reef rivals some of the best dive sites around Lord Howe. Carpets of mauve soft corals are home to a variety of species; Galapagos reef shark, schools of Blue Streak Fusiliers, Trevally, Kingfish, butterfly fish and the rare harlequin tuskfish and clown trigger fish.

  • Malabar Landslide – Located at the base of Malabar cliff at the north end of the island. Long swim throughs with a pair of small caves at the beginning of the dive makes it a memorable navigational dive. A great site to get up close and personal with the Coral Crayfish and large Spanish Dancers, and if you’re lucky you may see the very photogenic Silver Sweetlips.

From lord howe island airport, 2 hour flight to sydney airport, connect to 5 hour flight to perth airport, overnight perth, next day 2 hour flight to exmouth/learmonth airport, 1.5 hour self-drive or transfer to sal salis.

3 Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia (3 Nights)

Where the Outback meets the reef, Ningaloo Reef is one of Australia’s great undiscovered treasures. Home to luxe coastal camp Sal Salis, this is regarded as the best place in the world to swim with whale sharks and manta rays. Ningaloo Reef offers over 500 species of fish, 250 species of coral, and 600 species of molluses. It is also a major breeding area for hawksbill, green and loggerhead turtles, which are seen daily in the waters in front of the camp.

A selection of must do’s

  • Swim with Whale Sharks (April to July) – Technically this is not a dive but must be mentioned, as Ningaloo Reef is known as one of the best places on earth to see and swim with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.

  • Exmouth Navy Pier – Voted as one of the top ten dive sites in Australia, it has a maximum depth of 14 metres and is right next door to Bundegi Reef. The pier has been closed to fishing for a number of years so is an underwater playground for wobbegong sharks, whitetip reef sharks, large cods and groupers, stonefish, scorpionfish, lionfish, anglerfish, moray eels, frogfish, octopuses, trevally, barracuda the list goes on.

  • Ningaloo Reef – Explore this magnificent reef, some 260km in length, teeming with colourful reef fish, octopuses, eels, turtles, manta rays and abundant corals with a knowledgeable guide and appreciate how important it is to protect these rare pristine environments.

3 Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia (3 Nights)

Where the Outback meets the reef, Ningaloo Reef is one of Australia’s great undiscovered treasures. Home to luxe coastal camp Sal Salis, this is regarded as the best place in the world to swim with whale sharks and manta rays. Ningaloo Reef offers over 500 species of fish, 250 species of coral, and 600 species of molluses. It is also a major breeding area for hawksbill, green and loggerhead turtles, which are seen daily in the waters in front of the camp.

A selection of must do’s

  • Swim with Whale Sharks (April to July) – Technically this is not a dive but must be mentioned, as Ningaloo Reef is known as one of the best places on earth to see and swim with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.

  • Exmouth Navy Pier – Voted as one of the top ten dive sites in Australia, it has a maximum depth of 14 metres and is right next door to Bundegi Reef. The pier has been closed to fishing for a number of years so is an underwater playground for wobbegong sharks, whitetip reef sharks, large cods and groupers, stonefish, scorpionfish, lionfish, anglerfish, moray eels, frogfish, octopuses, trevally, barracuda the list goes on.

  • Ningaloo Reef – Explore this magnificent reef, some 260km in length, teeming with colourful reef fish, octopuses, eels, turtles, manta rays and abundant corals with a knowledgeable guide and appreciate how important it is to protect these rare pristine environments.

ADD MORE NIGHTS:

For the true dive junkie add a heli-diving excursion over the Great Barrier Reef to the beginning of this trip and visit qualia, Great Barrier Reef.

Arrive hamilton island airport and private 5 minute transfer to qualia – direct flights from sydney, brisbane, cairns and melbourne. then continue to lizard island by flying 1.5 hours from hamilton island airport to cairns, then 60 minute flight to lizard island.

+ qualia Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (3 Nights)

qualia, located on the secluded northern tip of Hamilton Island, surrounded by the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef, this world-class resort immerses you in a sophisticated, sensory and relaxed atmosphere.

A selection of must do’s

  • Heli-dive – Fly to Reefworld by helicopter to dive the Great Barrier Reef, with stunning aerial views of Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsunday Passage en route.

  • Bait Reef Marine Park – About 38 nautical miles from qualia in the Outer Great Barrier Reef, this dive location is acknowledged as one of the most spectacular of the region. Offering underwater canyons, vertical stepping stones, shallow lagoons with an abundance of coral gardens and marine life.

  • Black Reef – Accessed via boat, soft corals walls inhabit alongside hard coral gardens where you will engage with the always-inquisitive Maori wrasse as well as octopus, turtles, reef sharks, and rays.

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