ADVENTURE & EXPLORATORY DIVING IN THE FAR NORTH
The Far Northern section of the Great Barrier Reef is home to one of the most significant sea bird rookeries in Australia as well as the largest Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting site in the world. During the summer months, thousands of turtles arrive here to lay eggs on their natal (birthplace) beaches during one of nature’s great migrations.
Shadowing their movements are Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo curvier), apex predators that congregate around the islands to feast on the abundance of easy prey. This area is truly unique and provides our guests with the opportunity to explore untouched reefs and rare animal encounters – the ultimate in wilderness adventure.
With no other trips accessing these remote areas, the Eye to Eye Marine Encounters expedition is one of a kind. We always endeavour to have guest scientists on board (when permits and itineraries allow) to carry out shark and turtle fieldwork including photo id, tagging and tracking studies.
We believe that the research, interpretative talks and discussions provided by our Eye to Eye team significantly enhances the guest’s experience and leads to a greater understanding and appreciation for the marine world.
Board your vessel from the Port Douglas Marano’s Wharf at 5:00pm. Meet your crew, organize/hire dive gear and complete paperwork. Enjoy a meal in town with fellow guests and return to the boat for a 7:00pm departure and trip briefing. Steam overnight and awake at your first dive/snorkel site on the Ribbon Reefs (varies depending on weather conditions).
Days 1- 3
Wake up to the Ribbon Reefs stretching out before you. Enjoy close encounters with giant potato cod, maori wrasse and moray eels. Anticipate spectacular coral gardens, shoals of colourful fish and inquisitive reef sharks as you explore some of the most famous sites on the Great Barrier Reef (e.g the Cod Hole, Steve’s Bommie, Pixie Pinnacle). At night, join in the search for decorator crabs, nudibranchs, cowry shells, eels, crayfish and much more.
The daily schedule is flexible (based on weather conditions and seasonal marine highlights) but will follow this basic plan; a light breakfast upon waking to get you ready for the first dive of the day. You will then be served a full hot cooked breakfast followed by some free time (for relaxation/recreational activities) often whilst steaming to next dive site, then the second dive, lunch, free time/steaming, third dive, afternoon tea, free time/steaming and a night/evening dive before dinner. We aim to keep you fueled with fantastic food throughout the trip so that you can get the most out of your experience with us.
Over the following days travel through a complex system of reefs as you dive your way into the remote Far Northern sector. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for Whale Sharks and Bryde’s whales (the only baleen whale that has been known to spend its entire life in tropical waters) that have been spotted here in the past.
Awake in the remote reaches of the Far Northern Great Barrier Reef – the Holy Grail for divers and one of nature’s last sanctuaries. Spend your time exploring a maze of untouched reefs and absorb the kaleidoscope of colours and shapes as many fish species congregate to spawn (a must see for every diver). Some dives will be exploratory and leave you face to face with animals that may have never before seen a human!
In between recreational dives take advantage of our team’s extensive knowledge and experience with onboard lectures and informal discussions. Topics range from coral reef ecology, fish reproduction, shark and turtle biology/behaviour, environmental threats and the history and ethos behind our tourism-funded research /conservation expeditions.
After anchoring off Lockhart River you will be transported to the beach via tender. A car will be waiting to take you to the airstrip for your scenic flight back to Cairns.
When booking your return flight please be sure to factor in the 24 hour no fly-dive rule