Dive Lord Howe Island Option 1 [DiveLHI1]

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Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia Dive the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, Australia 13 Days/11 Nights

Great Barrier Reef & Live-Aboard Diving Expedition on Spirit of Freedom, Lord Howe Island, Sydney

This itinerary departs from the USA on Friday evening with arrival into Australia on Sunday.

Stay in Cairns for one night before you board the diving vessel the next morning (Monday). After disembarking from the dive vessel stay in Cairns for one more night. Then travel to Lord Howe Island for four nights. Complete your journey with two nights in Sydney. Your arrival day back into the USA will be on Thursday morning.

Australia's north eastern town of tropical Cairns is the gateway for two of the world's greatest diving icons, the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. It is also the base for the awesome Spirit of Freedom 120ft Liveaboard dive boat.

The dive vessel departs Cairns 12:00 noon Monday and returns midday the following Thursday. You will be transferred to and from your accommodation.

Cairns the colourful, sophisticated capital of the tropical north is alive with life and charm. Experience the majesty of this underwater playground which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and is known as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Here, warm northern hospitality and enthusiasm are the order of the day. With many unique attractions and activities such as a cruise to the reef or islands, a 4WD safari to the outback, trek into the rainforest or see it from the rainforest cableway above its green canopy on your way to or from Kuranda. These year round natural attractions are truly memorable and inspiring.

Lord Howe Island is widely regarded as the most beautiful island in the Pacific. It's less than two hours flying from either Sydney or Brisbane off Australia's east coast. It is one of just four island groups to be inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list for the global significance of its natural beauty and heritage. The crystal lagoon is bordered by the world's most southerly coral reef. Just wander in off the beach to snorkel among colourful tropical and sub-tropical fish, turtles and other marine life. Or head further off-shore to SCUBA dive on world-class dive sites. The water is so clean and clear, it's like swimming in an aquarium. Families love the safety and variety of kids' activities; lovers find romance in the island's secluded corners, natural beauty, luxury lodges and fine dining establishments.

Enjoy the sights of Sydney, a World Class City from your Downtown Accommodation. Experience the beauty of the Harbour, the Opera House and marvel at the expansive Sydney Harbour Bridge. Take advantage of the many tour options or just go at your own pace and enjoy the excellent restaurants and entertainment that only Sydney can offer.

Travel Package Features

[DiveLHI1] Dive Lord Howe Island Option 1
  • Accommodation - Cairns (1 Night), Live-Aboard Dive Vessel (3 Nights), Cairns (1 Night), Lord Howe Island (4 Nights), Sydney (2 Nights)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Cairns (via Brisbane), Sydney to Los Angeles (via Brisbane)
  • US Domestic Flights - not included (as per your own arrangements)
  • Australian Domestic Flights - Cairns to Lord Howe Island, Lord Howe Island to Sydney,
  • Day Tours - Lord Howe Island - Scuba Diving Package (6 Dives)
  • Shuttle Transfers - Cairns, Lord Howe Island, Sydney: Airport to Accommodation (return)
  • Live-Aboard Shuttle Transfers: Cairns: Accommodation to Live-Aboard
  • 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 11 dives, En-suite cabin with daily service, Chef prepared meals, Australian wine & soft drinks with evening meals.

Travel Package Detailed Itinerary

Fri (Day 1) - International Flight from Los Angeles to Cairns (via Brisbane)
From USA to Australia Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing.

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.
Sun (Day 2) - Shuttle Transfer from the Cairns Airport to Accommodation
Cairns, Australia Travel by shuttle from the Cairns Airport to your vacation accommodation in Cairns, Australia.

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

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.
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, wireless internet, Bushfire
Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.
Mon -Thur (Days 3 to 6) - 3 Night Liveaboard Dive Expedition Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef Diving, Australia 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.

Departing: Cairns 12:00 noon Monday
Returning: Cairns 11:30 am Thursday

Trip Includes:
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

Not-included (payable on board): Fuel & Marine Park Levies

Day 1: Boarding 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.
Thur - Fri (Days 6 to 7) - 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, wireless internet, Bushfire
Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.
Insiders Tip: Visit The Esplanade in Cairns
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
Tues (Day 11) - Shuttle Transfer from Cairns Accommodation to Airport
Cairns, Australia 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.
Thur (Day 6 cont) - Domestic Flight from Cairns to Lord Howe Island
From Cairns to Lord Howe Island, Australia Travel within Australia by domestic air from Cairns to Lord Howe Island via Sydney.

Fri -Tue (Days 7 to 11) - 4 Nights Accommodation Lord Howe Island
Island Vacation Accommodation Travel to your Lord Howe Island accommodation where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 4 nights.

Lord Howe Island is the ideal location for visitors wanting to explore and discover the natural attractions that have made this island famous. Enjoy a leisurely stroll to popular Neds Beach where you can hand feed the fish, swim and snorkel; or wander down to the beautiful reef fringed lagoon, where you can swim in the crystal clear water and laze on the white sandy beach.

Your vacation accommodation units are nestled in subtropical palm groves alive with splashes of colour from Hawaiian hibiscus and fragrant frangipani flowers. The grounds are well planned, with tracks meandering through the palms and gardens, giving a sense of seclusion and tropical mystery.

Accommodation facilities include outdoor and undercover gas barbecues on paved, well-lit areas, small library with a selection of books and magazines, and also internet connection for laptop computers.

Pushbike is the main form of transport on the Island however, complimentary bus services are available in the evenings to transport you to and from the restaurants.

Includes courtesy bus for airport transfers.

Serviced rooms upgrade available
Sat - Sun (Day 8 to 9) - Scuba Dive the Lord Howe Island Marine Sanctuary (6 Dive Package)
Scuba Diving, Lord Howe Island, Australia Enjoy Six Dives in the New South Wales Marine Park off the coast of one of the worlds most beautiful World Heritage listed islands. Warm tropical waters and cooler currents have created a diverse range of marine life, A unique mix of both tropical and temperate water fish...a diving paradise.

Morning double dives depart at 9am from the Boatshed and return approximately 1pm. Dive Sites are determined on the day of diving. We welcome suggestions of dive sites with particular diver's interests. With over 60 dive sites available we will not dive the same twice when possible unless requested. If diving boat diving is unavailable arrangements will be made for shore dives when possible. Dive Packages include any local dives with the exception of Ball's Pyramid which is an additional cost.


Insiders Tip: Walking and Hiking in the Lord Howe Island Park Preserve
Although only 11km long and 2km wide, Lord Howe is laced with dozens of delightful, well-marked walking trails: nearly two thirds of the island is a Permanent Park Preserve. The choice ranges from easy strolls at sea level through lush Kentia palm and banyan forests, to moderate cliff-top hikes where you'll see seabirds wheeling on the thermals, to the challenging 875 metres.

The choice ranges from easy strolls at sea level through lush Kentia Palm and Banyan Forests, to moderate cliff-top hikes where you'll see seabirds wheeling on the thermals, to the challenging 875 metres MT GOWER CLIMB.

Maps and guides to the Lord Howe Island Park Preserve are available.
Tue (Day 11) - Domestic Flight Lord Howe Island to Sydney
Travel within Australia by domestic air from Lord Howe Island to Sydney.

Tue (Day 11) - Shuttle Transfer from the Sydney Airport to Accommodation
Sydney, Australia Travel by shuttle transfer from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Sydney, Australia.

Tue - Thur (Days 11 to 13) - 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 accomodation 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.
Wed (Day 12) - Day Tour: Sydney Opera House Tour
On your vacation participate in an inspiring tour of the Sydney Opera House.

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This one hour tour outlines the intricate and controversial history of the Sydney Opera House along with details of the unique design of this architectural masterpiece. You will visit a number of the six performance venues, including the magnificent wood paneled Concert Hall and the Opera Theatre as well as the new Utzon room. You will also visit the glass enclosed northern foyer areas which boast spectacular views of Sydney Harbour - a perfect photo opportunity.

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Upgrade to Opera House Tour & Tasting Plate Available
Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Bridge Climb, Sydney, Australia On your vacation climb the famous Harbour Bridge in Sydney.

<a href="//youtu.be/vNBOOE8Lydk" target="_blank"><img src="//abt-aus-images.s3.amazonaws.com/images/Sydney-Harbour-Bridgeclimb-Australia.jpg" width="350" height="197" class="alignleft"></a>

Achieve exhilaration and personal satisfaction as you climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For approximately two hours you, along with 11 other eager climbers and a climb guide, 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 harbour 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 exhilaration of the truly rewarding experience of reaching the top to the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia. When you reach the top you will have a sense of achievement that you'll remember forever - you've conquered an Australian icon recognised the world over! No other Sydney tourist attraction can give you this feeling of standing at the top of the world, with the Harbour spread before you. All climbers will be issued a complimentary photograph of your climb group.

Photo Credit: Bridgeclimb Sydney
Insiders Tip: The Rocks
Located on the Harbour just a stroll away from the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge is the place where Sydney itself began, The Rocks!

<a href="//youtu.be/5usMxoE1s_U" target="_blank"><img src="//abt-aus-images.s3.amazonaws.com/images/Insiders-Tip-The-Rocks-Sydney.jpg" width="350" height="197" class="alignleft"></a>

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Business District, this unique village features a centre with more than 70 shops, boutiques and galleries with everything from hand-made puppets, vintage clothing and accessories, antiques, art supplies, jewelry and some of Australia's finest arts and crafts.

If hunger takes over there are a myriad of places to eat, from some of the finest restaurants to quaint cafes and casual eateries with many offering stunning views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. If quenching a thirst is what you're after don't forget to stop off at one of the 13 Heritage pubs serving local wines and beers!

On Saturdays and Sundays, be sure to check out the market held at the northern end of George Street. Perfect for gifts and souvenir shopping, it has more than 150 stalls selling quality crafts, home wares, jewelry and Australian-designed goods, all under a unique sail-like canopy.

With the transport to The Rocks serviced by the Explorer and just a five minute walk from the Circle Quay it is easy to get here. The Sydney Visitors Centre on the corner of Argyle & Playfair Streets at The Rocks: open 9.30am - 5.30pm every day of the year (except Christmas Day and Good Friday). Opening hours may vary on some public holidays.

Photo Credit: Tourism New South Wales
Insiders Tip: Pylon Museum
Pylon Museum, Sydney, Australia See the fantastic views of the city, the harbour and the world famous icon - the Sydney Harbour Bridge! This is a wonderful alternative if you do not wish to climb the bridge.

Access is via the pedestrian pathway on the Eastern side of the Bridge from the city side (use the Bridge Stairs in Cumberland Street, The Rocks). There are 200 stairs to the Lookout, but on the way up there are 3 levels of exhibits where you will discover the history and construction of the Bridge, the men who built it, and the vision of JJC Bradfield, chief engineer

At the end of (or even before) your visit to the Museum, enjoy the scenery and walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The walk to the North side of Sydney will take approximately 15-20 minutes from the Pylon.

Costs are (AUD) $15.00 ages over 13, $8.50 ages 5-12 and under 4 Free. Open Daily 10-5 (Closed Christmas)
Thur (Day 13 cont) - Shuttle Transfer from Sydney Accommodation to Airport
Sydney, Australia Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Sydney, Australia, to the Airport.

Thur (Day 13 cont) - International Flight from Sydney to Los Angeles
From Australia to USA 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.





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[DiveLHI1] Dive Lord Howe Island Option 1

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