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Diving in Australia?

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Ok, here is the situation. My wife is being sent somewhere in central Australia for 2 weeks for work in November. We've decided that this would be an ideal opportunity for me to fly out there as well and do some diving. However, I know nothing about diving in Australia, or the surrounding areas.

 

Basically she'll get there, work, and then I'll fly in after her work there is complete.

 

So I can fly in to where ever the good diving is, and she can then meet me there.

 

So Question One: Where is the good diving in Australia?

 

Question Two: Is it worth doing a Live Aboard on the Great Barrier Reef? Any Recommendation?

 

Question Two: Should we even be in Australia? Another thought was for me to fly into one of the surrounding islands like Fiji or something and have her fly from Australia and meet me there. We haven't researched how much that would cost, but if people say that the diving on the Coast of Australia is not that great, and that we should go to XXXX instead, we would certainly consider it.

 

I tried to do some quick searching to figure out a good plan of attack for this trip, but mostly what I've found are sites that sell diving in particular areas, so obviously they rave about how great the diving is there.

 

They are working out the fine details of my wife's travel plans this week, so I'm looking for real quick information. Names of places, reefs, dive ops, live aboards, alternate suggestions, and most importantly I'm looking for the opinions of people that already have the experience diving the south pacific.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Jim, meet Christy in Bali and do a liveaboard to Komodo :D ....nothing against Australia, but you sure are close to Indonesia, PNG and the Solomons :cry:

 

Sounds like a great opportunity whichever way you go :)

 

Karl

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As an Aussie diver I would have to say we have some awesome temperate diving and amazing marine life which is well worth a look! But if you've only got eyes for the tropics ...

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We are currently leaning towards doing a liveaboard on the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Cost is a big issue, because I actually leave this Saturday for a 7 day Carribean cruise to Cozumel, Honduras, Belize, Cancun. So then turning around and doing a fairly expensive Australia thing next month is going to be tough, but considering my wife's airfare will be paid for, we figured it would be worth adding to our CC.

 

With that said, it would be ashame to go through all this trouble and not make the most of it.

 

I'm really not familiar with what the differences between diving Indonesia, Australia, PND, or the Solomon Islands would be.... Or how different it is from Cozumel for that matter.

 

Just as a really rough guestamite, we are thinking around $1500 for me to fly to Australia, and around $1500 per person for a live aboard on the GBR. So that is roughly $4,500.

 

I'm guessing that trying to do this on another island with my wife having to get a ticket from Australia to XXXX, is going to end up making it cost prohibative.

 

I've been reading quite a bit on diving the GBR today, and it looks like it would be pretty sweet.

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Check the air fares. Bali is a great alternative. The airfare may be comparable or less, and it might not cost much more for your wife to get to Bali than to somewhere else in Australia. The diving in Indonesia is, by most accounts and my own experience, the best. You are so close. A weeklong liveaboard out of Bali is liable to cost you more, though, than a 4-day Barrier Reef trip. I got a roundtrip Austin-Bali ticket on Continental last year for less than $800 in November. So it's definitely worth checking the situation.

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If you are doing a liveaboard on the GBR, DO NOT dive with Cairns Dive Centre even though they are the most price-conscious choice. I did and would never do it again.

 

Sydney has some nice dives, although a tad bit chillier than GBR.

 

Kim

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I would agree with the Bali option. You can dive very cheaply once there, without doing an expensive liveaboard. Try ENA Dive Centre, or Aquamarine. They'll put a tour together for you which includes both sightseeing and diving. Be sure to include a few days at Tulamben. As for a comparison with Cozumel......well....diving is diving, but the Indo-Pacific is simply astounding in comparison, particularly for photographers. More colour, more variety, more weird critters. Can't wait to get back.

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If your wife is going to be in central Australia, I'd be headed for Adelaide area. Go and dive on the Jetty(s) and see some leafy sea dragons, dive the Hobart, Whyalla cuttlefish migration (at the right time of year) and even Great White diving down thata way.

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Jim,

 

All previous suggestions are good ones.

 

Consider coming to sunny , warm, tropical Cairns. Just a two hour plane ride from Central Australia.

 

We have a liveaboard trip diving the Coral Sea ( Osprey Reef - Shark feeds ) , The Cod Hole & the Ribbon Reefs departs every Friday at 5PM returns Tuesday 3.00pm. 125 Foot purpose built vessel - 12 months old.

 

Cost from $700.00 USD ( depends on cabin ) all inclusive. Nitrox available. we cater to photographers - no problems.

 

Any questions feel free to contact me directly.

 

Cheers

 

Peter Mooney

 

www.scubapix.com

wwww.takadive.com.au

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I'd be really wary of Taka II. Its a great boat, nice cabins, good food, nice setup. However carries a lot of divers. The crew all dive as well so up to 40 divers in the water means some very crowded dive sites.

 

Some of the sites they dive are very small - single pinnacles and just can't cope with the number of divers that they put in the water.

 

I did this trip in August and was very disappointed both by number of divers and quality of diving. The highlight was a dwarf minke whale though which sort of made up for the rest.

 

Have a look at http://www.undersea.com.au/ - the Undersea Explorer - I have heard positive things about this boat but have not been on it.

 

Also be aware that at times the boat will be outside the reef and it can be very rough, although we found that most of the travel was completed by midnight so you could sleep then.

 

Mark

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A lot of people have recommended the Mike Ball Live Aboards. There 3 night trip to the Cod Hole that leaves on a Monday and Returns on a Thursday seems to fit in the perfect time frame, and seems to be a decent price.

 

As of right now, we are leaning towards them. Anyone have any experience with this trip or the sights invloved?

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Anyone have any experience with this trip or the sights invloved?

 

Jim, you're probably referring to the Cod Hole trip. If so, I have a (almost excessively) detailed run down of the trip, what you can expect etc etc on my website:

 

Minkes with Mike...

 

My wife and I did this trip in 2001, we did the North->South itinerary, the vessel goes North->South, South->North etc etc. We were there in the Australian winter, and the trip was specifically marketed as a chance to see the Minke Whales.

 

During November the water is warmer and the Minkes are not there.

 

Feel free to PM or email me if you have nay other questions.

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Thanks for that trip report! I enjoyed the read. We are currently planning on doing that same South bound Cod Hole trip, minus the mink whales.

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Jim,

 

What are you after? Wrecks, Macro, Big Fish, Open Water, Coral?

 

Is there something specific you want to see or just do an all rounder?

 

and in what city or town is your wife going to be based?

 

You might get something out of http://www.diveoz.com.au

 

Cheers,

 

Aengus

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Detonate,

 

I just left Carins yesterday after a week of diving. Peter from Scubapix is right! Do a liveaboard only. The day trips are C__P.

 

We've been here for 6 months and have been diving SA, NSW, QLD and Papau New Guinea. Without the first hand experience of the livaboard experience to the Ribbon Reefs, Osprey Reef or Cod Hole, I'd pick PNG hands down.

 

For about the same money, or perhaps a few hundred more, you can dive Lissenung in Papua New Guinea. Do an internet search on lissenung and see what you think.

 

We did a 10 day trip there and the diving was awesome. Big stuff and macro city all in one spot. AWESOME!

 

If you have any more questions about what I learned after last week in Cairns, PM me and I'll do my best to answer any questions.

 

BTW- do stay away from CDC- they jerked us around and bumped us off a boat because of poor follow through on their part.

 

 

shep

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Detonate,

 

I forgot when mentioning Lissenung that the few hundres extra dollars are Australian dollars! We did a RT from Sydney to Lissenung, 8 days, 10 dive, all accommodations, and food for $1,280US funds.

 

The Cairns liveaboards vary in price depending on your berth. On the liveaboard we are considering, it's $1,300 AUS, twon share with a privte bathroom for 6 days on a nice boat. That is under $1,000US.

 

The day boats were around $200 for 3 dives, 20 minute SI (!), and a total rush job on the rest....and this was a highly recommended operator out of Port Douglas!

 

DO avoid the day boats out to the GBR. We saw one boat that holds 480 people! Most of those snorkel, but they can have up to 90 scuba divers in the water at once!

 

You'll see more divers than fish!

 

 

shep

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