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Outerknown Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
AU$ 4,750

Find freedom and solitude on this adventure into the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Spend a week aboard the Coral Discoverer and snorkel alongside potato cod and reef sharks in the Ribbon Reefs, follow in the footsteps of Captain Cook in Cooktown, and search for saltwater crocodiles and cassowaries on the Daintree River.


This 8-day Australian cruise explores the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland. It features moderate accommodations aboard a cruise vessel, small group tours, and is a great add-on to a longer stay in Australia.

Your journey begins in Cairns in northeastern Queensland, the gateway city to the Great Barrier Reef. Board the Coral Discoverer and begin your journey towards Cooktown. The Coral Discoverer is built for comfort, with the same luxury and convenience as larger vessels, but accommodating only 72 passengers, ensuring a more private environment and the ability to access parts of the reef that larger vessels cannot. Once you reach Cooktown, you’ll enjoy a traditional welcome to the country with a smoking ceremony led by the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people to inhabit the land. You’ll learn about Captain James Cook, who spent time here repairing his ship in 1770, before you continue to Lizard Island to enjoy drinks near Turtle Beach, overlooking waters full of giant trevally and tawny nurse sharks. On Lizard Island, you’ll hike to the summit of Cook’s Look and snorkel through giant clam gardens in Watson’s Bay.

Turn towards the reef and head to Osprey Reef, where you’ll dive through waters that offer exceptional underwater visibility and large schools of colourful tropical fish. Head into the Ribbon Reefs and reach Ribbon Reef #9, where you’ll head on a guided snorkel tour to see potato cod, sharks, and turtles. Afterwards, reach Hope Island where you can relax on the secluded beach. Head back to the coast and reach the Daintree River region, where you’ll search for saltwater crocodiles and the massive cassowary bird. Return to the Ribbon Reefs and dive Ribbon Reef #3 before reaching Fitzroy Island, where you’ll hike through the Secret Garden and up to the decommissioned lighthouse that offers stunning views of the Coral Sea. You can snorkel the fringing reef along the island and learn about conservation efforts at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre before heading to Sudbury Cay, where you can stroll through the shallow waters and enjoy a bit of leisure time on this secluded stretch of sand in the midst of the waters.

At the end of your adventure, you’ll return to Cairns where you’ll disembark and connect to your next destination.


 

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
AU$ 4,750

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Depart Cairns

Board Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm where there is time to settle into your cabin before our 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard as the cruise heads northwards from Cairns toward Cooktown. At days end join fellow explorers and crew for the Captain's Welcome Drinks.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Accommodation

Coral Discoverer

More Info

  • Coral Discoverer


    Built for comfort and safety, the Coral Discoverer provides the luxury and convenience of larger cruise ships, yet with just 72 passengers, is small enough access sites beyond the reach of larger vessels. The Coral Discoverer features plenty of open deck space and air-conditioned lounge …

    Built for comfort and safety, the Coral Discoverer provides the luxury and convenience of larger cruise ships, yet with just 72 passengers, is small enough access sites beyond the reach of larger vessels. The Coral Discoverer features plenty of open deck space and air-conditioned lounge areas for guest comfort. There are outdoor and indoor bars and single-seating dining indoors. Its 2016 refurbishment has brought on board amenities to an even higher level -- the Sun Deck is a new social space and hub of on board community, underneath of which is a covered deck area complete with round bar, a sundeck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment. Our captain welcomes you on the bridge to observe ship operations and have a friendly chat. Coral Discoverer excursions are made on board the specially-designed excursion vessel 'Xplorer', and a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs.

    Facilities

    • Air Conditioning
    • Bar
    • Gift Shop
    • Laundry Facilities (Surcharge)
    • Library
    • Lounge
    • Scuba Diving
    • Spa/Jacuzzi
    • Sundeck
    • WiFi

    More Details

Day 2

Cooktown

Come ashore in historic Cooktown and experience a traditional welcome to country ceremony. Share a spiritual connection through storytelling and the traditional smoking ceremony with the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people of this ancient country. Discover recent European history with a visit to the site where Lt. James Cook beached HMB Endeavour to effect repairs in 1770. Wander through the rare flora collection at the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, where the story of Cook's landing is told from an Aboriginal perspective and where artifacts are on display. Later, we cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset drinks at Turtle Beach. After dinner, look for giant trevally and tawny nurse sharks during a fish feeding exhibition off the aft deck.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Lizard Island

We spend a whole day at Lizard Island where there is time to hike to the summit of Cook's Look and enjoy the same view Lt. James Cook did when searching for safe passage through the maze of coral reefs. Snorkel over giant clam gardens from the beach at Watson's Bay, relax on the white-sand beach beneath shady she oak trees and learn about the tragic story surrounding Mary Watson. There may be an opportunity to visit Lizard Island Research Station, operated by the Australian Museum to facilitate coral reef research and education on the Great Barrier Reef.

(Note: Tours of the Lizard Island Research Station are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed due to operational considerations.)

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000m mountain located beyond the continental shelf with no landmass visible. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility here, and observe magnificent corals, plummeting drop-offs and many fish in the crystalline waters. Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an "oasis for living creatures of all kinds" by Sir David Attenborough. Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Ribbon Reef #9 and Hope Island

Due to their location far offshore from the Australian coast, the Ribbon Reefs offer excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities, with Ribbon Reef #9 a favourite for its wide variety of marine life and pinnacles cloaked in coral. Join a guided snorkel tour led by our expert Expedition Team and witness this extraordinary ecosystem up close. These northern reefs are renowned for spotting iconic marine species such as potato cod, wrasse, sharks and turtles. In the late afternoon we stretch our legs on remote Hope Island before joining fellow explorers and crew for sunset drinks on the beach as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Daintree River and Ribbon Reef #3

With an expert guide onboard, we look for the region's famed wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles, rare and endangered cassowaries and the prolific bird species that inhabit the forest and mangrove-lined river banks. We step ashore at a Daintree wilderness centre on the banks of the river and walk on forest trails overhung with lush vegetation. Immersed in the rainforest, we learn more about the diverse Wet Tropics ecosystem which contains the largest habitat of flora and fauna in the world. Cruising southwards along the Ribbon Reefs, there are more spectacular diving and snorkeling opportunities at Ribbon Reef #3 where we look for iconic species as well as the vibrantly coloured coral gardens the Ribbon Reefs are renowned for.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Fitzroy Island and Sudbury Cay

At Fitzroy Island enjoy a walk through the Secret Garden rainforest or for the more adventurous, a walk to the de-commissioned lighthouse rewards hikers with panoramic views of Coral Sea, islands and mainland mountain ranges. Snorkel over the fringing reef, relax on the beach and lend a hand to the volunteers as you learn about the turtles at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where sick and injured turtles are cared for before being returned to the wild.

Late in the afternoon, we arrive at Sudbury Cay, a tiny sand cay that barely rises above the Coral Sea. Far removed from the bustle of civilization, slip off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes as the tropical waters of the Coral Sea lap gently against the shoreline. Surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, we enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as we relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon, enjoying the Captain's Farewell Drinks at sunset on our own private sand island.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Arrive Cairns

Our Great Barrier Reef adventure concludes in Cairns this morning as we bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew, disembarking at 8:00am.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2021: Wednesdays Jun 30- Oct 13

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • All excursions and sightseeing
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • Daily lectures and briefings
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines, selected beers, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Coffee and selection of teas
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
  • Tips and gratuities

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB CORALPRCAI0120CR: OAGBR MDB
13 Oct 2021
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