Australian Natural Adventures

nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific


Custom Australia Tour



Day 8 – Saturday, August 21: Great Barrier Reef.
You wake this morning at sea, amid the coral reefs of the largest reef system in the world. Taka arrives at the Cod Hole at approx 9 am. The first dive is at the Cod Hole, which allows divers to get back into the swing of things as well as check out the huge variety of marine life that lives in this area. The second dive at the Cod Hole is the Cod Feed, where huge schools of fish and Maori Wrasses compete with the large family of Potato Cod for a fish dinner. This would have to be one of the world's premier dive experiences. You then do another dive in this area at either Dynamite Pass or Snake Gully, then a night dive. Taka departs this area at approximately midnight to travel to Osprey Reef.        (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Sunday, August 22: Coral Sea
Dive Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea, the most exciting shark diving location in Australia. Enjoy a shark feed and some stunning wall dives in this world famous area that has an average visibility of 40 metres. Dive sites include North Horn, where on a second dive we feed the sharks, Entrance and Exit.        (B,L,D)

Day 10 - Monday, August 23: Great Barrier Reef
This day is spent divng the Ribbon Reefs at various locations chosen for their diversity of marine life and coral architecture. You will see giant clams up to 2 metres across, huge coral gardens, and swim through an abundance of marine life unmatched anywhere on this planet. Dive sites include Clam Gardens, Temple of Doom, Little Anderson and Beer Gardens, which is done as a night dive.      (B,L,D)

Day 11 - Tuesday, August 24: Great Barrier Reef / Cairns
There are just two dives today, as you are now nearing the end of your trip. These dives are on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef and feature unique coral formations and fish life. Dive sites include Hog's Breath and No-name Bommie. Taka then cruises through the reefs arriving back into Cairns at approx 3.30 pm. You are then transferred to your Cairns accommodation.       (B,L)

Day 12 - Wednesday, August 25: Cairns
Most of today is free to relax and look at what Cairns has to offer. Later this afternoon you will be picked up by Wait-a-While tours, for a tour to the rainforest of the Atherton Tablelands, an elevated plateau about one hour west of Cairns. Your guide will take you to find platypus, see the rainforest, and go spotlighting for the mammals that occur here. This will be a rich day in terms of wildlife and natural history. Dinner will be taken while touring, and you will return to Cairns about 10.30pm.

Day 13 - Thursday, August 26: Cairns / Undara National Park
This morning you pick up your rental car and return to the Tablelands, driving through them to Undara National Park. Although the Tablelands are rainforested, as you drive west you break into the shadow of this 3000ft range, and emerge into typically Australian dry eucalypt habitat. The park is about 3 hours away, a pleasant drive through ever-changing landscape. The Undara Lava Tubes were formed some 190,000 years ago when a major volcano in the McBride volcanic province erupted, its molten lava flowing down a dry river bed. As the top layer quickly cooled and crusted, the fiery magma below continued to flow through the tubes taking it further and further from the volcano. The eruption slowed and then stopped, the lava drained out of the tubes leaving a series of long, hollow tunnels. Ancient roof collapses created deep, dark and moist depressions where fertile pockets of rainforest can now be seen. Rainforest plants and animals thrive in this environment; each tube offers a rare insight into this unusual geological wonder. The word Undara means 'a long way' in the Aboriginal language, and one of the lava flows from Undara extends 160 kilometres (or 100 miles) making it the longest lava flow from a single volcano on our planet. The original tube formed by the flow extended for approximately 100 kilometres, and several sections are accessible. During the eruption cycle, the Undara volcano spewed forth 23 cubic kilometres of lava covering 1550 square kilometres. So far, 68 separate sections of cave have been identified from over 300 lava tube roof collapses. On arrival you can explore the immediate area around your lodge, where you may find a frisky kangaroo or two, before your outback dinner. Your accommodation is in the form of a hard-base tent, allowing you to take in the sounds and scents of the Australian bush at night.       (D)

Day 14 - Friday, August 27: Undara National Park
Spend the entire day on guided tours around the tubes, park and surrounding formations and savannah habitats. You visit several different sections of the Lava Tube line beginning with an easy walk around the rim of Kalkani Crater where the collapsed line of the lava tube is highly visible and the vast scope of the tube system is most evident. Your Savannah Guide explains environmental, geological and historical features. Tour includes morning tea, lunch taken back at the lodge, and afternoon tea. Return late afternoon in time for a sit around the camp with a cool drink, and then another outback dinner followed by good company, bush yarns and singing around the campfire. A short walk usually reveals rufous bettongs, small members of the kangaroo family.        (B,L,D)

Day 15 - Saturday, August 28: Undara / Cairns
This morning take an easy drive back to Cairns at your leisure, perhaps looking at a bit of the southern Tablelands on the way. Back in Cairns you may wish to look for some mementoes to take back with you, and for those back inthe States. There is excellent shopping in Cairns, including Aboriginal crafts and decidely Australian books and other goods. During your stay in Cairns you may wish to vist the Outback Opal Mine, where as well as buying opals you can learn from a educational film and display how and where they are mined. Return your car this evening.      (B)

Day 16 - Sunday, August 29: Cairns / Sydney / Los Angeles / Home City
Leave this morning for your flight back home, arriving in Los Angeles this morning, the same day you leave Australia.    (*D,*B)


B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; M-meal; *in-flight meal


<<< return to start of itinerary


<<<  return to nature itineraries