Great Barrier Reef Ultimate
Cairns - Gold Coast
Join the TRUE NORTH in Cairns for some very exclusive adventure! Visit iconic destinations such as Whitehaven Beach, the Whitsundays and Fraser Island.
Drink-in some of Australia’s most treasured tropical island scenery and snorkel the revered Great Barrier Reef. Try your hand at catching a monster mud crab or something even more delectable for the dining salon! Sample the chef’s beach-cooked delights and indulge with a glass of champagne as the sun sets on beautiful Rainbow Beach. Take a dive on a WWII wreck, squeeze-in a hike to spectacular vantage or be the first to the top in the TRUE NORTH’s helicopter. Not be missed nature-based adventure!
This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the indicated tariff as a package or individually.
Your “welcome aboard” the TRUE NORTH is in Cairns, the gateway to the rainforest and, the Great Barrier Reef!
Embarkation is 1700 hours – time for a cocktail with your fellow adventurers before departure at approximately 1800. Dinner is served shortly after leaving port and then enjoy a relaxing overnight voyage to Hinchinbrook Island.
Wake to the tropical island backdrop that is Hinchinbrook, fringed by mangroves, reef and seagrass.
Our crew will be on-hand to personally introduce everyone to the delights of this pristine environment. Join the hunt for gamefish or mud crabs. Lace up the hiking boots and discover a local waterfall; or take a scenic adventure boat ride with our naturalist. Spot dolphins, turtles, and crocodiles as the helicopter adds dimension to the adventure!
Enjoy lunch as we weigh anchor and set sail for Bramble Reef. Don a mask and, snorkel the lagoon-like waters over Bramble Reef. The adventure boats will also be standing-by for those who would prefer to wet a line!
Cape Bowling Green is the longest spit in Australia visited by all manner of wildlife including dingoes. At the base of the spit Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse guides seafarers around the rocky coastline.
Spend the morning in the adventure boats sightseeing, fishing and crabbing.
Divers will be in for a treat! Considered one of the world’s top dive sites, the wreck of SS Yongala has become an artificial reef, teeming with fish and coral species. Larger marine life such as turtles, rays and schools of giant trevally also circle the mostly intact wreck. The helicopter will offer more spectacular views and there will be more fishing, snorkelling and diving action at Old Reef before we re-join the TRUE NORTH for another perfect night in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Today we visit one of North Queensland’s iconic destinations – the Whitsundays!
In the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, this group of 70-odd tropical islands are highly regarded as a holiday destination.
Join the crew ashore and try your hand at kayaking or paddling a stand-up board. Take a morning stroll on the white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach or enjoy a more strenuous hike to the top of the lookout.
Climb aboard the helicopter to see natural art as the tides swirl a myriad of colour in the shallow waters of a picturesque cove. The region is renowned for its diverse underwater life and highly regarded for both snorkelling and diving.
When you are not on excursion, relax onboard the TRUE NORTH and indulge in our renowned cuisine – the alfresco bar and lounge will be the spot to admire unblemished beauty at sunset.
This morning we wake in the Percy Islands. These pristine islands off the coast between Mackay and Rockhampton are uninhabited and
protected by national and conservation park status.
There are numerous snorkelling and dive sites in the area and the avid angler will have opportunity to target pelagic species such as Spanish mackerel and giant trevally.
The TRUE NORTH’s naturalist will take an adventure boat to explore the numerous coves and fringing reefs and the helicopter will take to the skies for a different view altogether. Later the chefs will prepare something special on the beach whilst you enjoy a refreshing drink and the setting sun!
Another day in tropical paradise as we explore both above and below the water!
The tidal waters of Island Head Creek are popular mating grounds for green turtle and, they are also home to arguably the biggest mud crabs in Australia! Join the adventure boats and drop a net in the mangroves. If lady luck is on your side, you might just add a hand-sized claw to tonight’s sunset fare!
There will also be more time for snorkelling and diving, catching a monster tuna or a leisurely wonder along the beach. And don’t miss seeing this stretch of coast from the air! Queensland’s Central Coast Hinterland is crystal blue water on one side and World Heritage listed rainforest on the other. The picturesque Great Dividing Range stretches as far as the eye can see and is overgrown with Gondwana rainforest.
By now you will be addicted to snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef and your wish is our command!
We will spend the day exploring the Swain Reef island group, a remote and untouched wilderness.
The sandy cays are also important breeding grounds for the roseate terns and the surrounding waters produce some of the best sports fishing on the Queensland coast.
Days Seven and Eight
We’re reaching the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, straddling the Tropic of Capricorn.
Start the day with an early morning stroll on your ‘very own’ beach, its nesting season so keep an eye out for turtle tracks!
Divers and snorkelers will marvel at the underwater paradise that awaits in the Capricorn and Bunker group of islands. Lady Elliott Island is also beckoning and lies in the highly protected “Green Zone”. The helicopter will be out spotting manta ray and the divers and snorkelers will be spoilt for choice as the surrounding reef supports great diversity in marine life. A walking tour will also delight – Lady Elliott has been a conservation area for more than 50 years! Two days in this stunning location might not be enough!
Today we will discover Rooney Point, the tranquil waters of Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.
The traditional owners of Fraser Island, the Butchulla people, call the island “K’Gari, meaning “Paradise” and it’s easy to see why! Today’s activities will include taking a dive on HMAS Donnybook, swimming with dugong and a helicopter flight over the largest sand island in the world!
More time to explore Fraser Island and to discover the crystal-clear waters of the Great Sandy Strait.
Fishing, crabbing and sightseeing boats will explore lagoon and reef. Or take an inland tour and visit freshwater lakes, rivers, and pockets of rainforest. And, as the sun sets on another spectacular day on the Great Barrier Reef, join us for our pearl and diamond party! Enjoy a glass of bubbly whilst trying on exquisite pieces created by the artistes at Allure, Jewels of the Kimberley, and Kimberley Fine Diamonds.
The divers onboard will be up early for a highlight – Double Island Point offers some of the best diving in Australia! The area can be difficult to access by road but fortunately getting there on the TRUE NORTH is a piece of cake!
Schools of shark and playful manta and eagle rays will surely entertain, whilst humpback whales could also prove to be showstoppers!
The surfers onboard can head-off to catch a wave while others stretch their legs with an easy stroll around Carlo Sandblow. The sheer enormity and splendour of the Carlo Sandblow will take your breath away.
Heli-flights over the spectacular Sunshine Coast will round-off today’s adventure nicely. Then, marvel at the multi-coloured sands of Rainbow Beach as the setting sun puts on a colourful show of its own!
It is your last day onboard so squeeze in as much as you can! Around Moreton Island, 15 ships were deliberately sunk to create a break water and, an amazing man-made reef structure to delight the snorkelers.
Join the crew for a walk to the local lighthouse or grab a board for some more action in the surf. The divers will don their tanks for one last time – this time for a wreck dive on HMAS Brisbane and there’s also time for one more chopper flight!
Then finish the day with another round of stunning sunset drinks and, a farewell dinner to remember!
0800 disembarkation on the Gold Coast.
Maiden Voyage in 2020.