AUSTRALIA

MINKE WHALES, RAINFOREST & REEF

24 JUN - 08 JUL 2019  ●  16 DAYS  ●  14 GUESTS

On this exhilarating journey, discover the secrets of the reef, the rainforest, the “Aussie” bush and Aboriginal culture. Explore the largest Coral Reef system in the world and come eye to eye with Minke whales. Rich, lush landscapes, vibrant reefs teeming with life, along with Australian culture and aboriginal traditions, make this the ultimate Australian adventure!

Described by Sir David Attenborough as “the most extraordinary place on earth” the Daintree Rainforest is the oldest tropical rainforest in the world and a world heritage listed site. Ancient ferns, emerald green vines, and glistening rivers cover the vast area and are home to a plethora of birds, mammals and reptiles. Overnight in gorgeous eco-lodges situated in the heart of the Rainforest, walk through dense rainforest and the Australian bush in search of kangaroos, Lumholtz’s tree kangaroos, rock wallabies, possums, bandicoots, Boyd’s dragons, Emus, Cassowary birds, and Australia’s own Bird of Paradise, the Golden Bowerbird. Meet shy, nocturnal marsupials, reptiles and insects on night walks. Enjoy a boat cruise to see large saltwater crocodiles, pythons and birds along the riverside.

Spend a week diving and snorkeling the pristine waters of the northern Great Barrier Reef from the comforts of our chartered dive yacht. Discover the best of what the famous Ribbon Reefs have on offer, as well as face to face encounters with giant Potato groupers at the world-famous Cod Hole. Explore towering coral pinnacles filled with marine life. Experience one of the most exhilarating and incredible close-up marine encounter on the planet as the Southern Dwarf Minke Whales come to socialize. These playful and inquisitive whales actively seek out snorkelers and divers to interact with. They never seem to tire of gliding majestically past, with behavioral displays that include spy hops, full body breaches, bubble blasts, belly presentations, head rises and jaw gapes.  This natural phenomenon only happens a few weeks each year, providing us with a unique and incredible experience that cannot be had anywhere else in the world and is only possible with Researchers onboard who will be giving talks and lectures on a daily basis.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Come eye to eye with Minke whales for one of the world’s greatest wildlife encounters.

  • Snorkel /dive on the Northern Barrier Reef, including the Ribbon Reefs, and the world-famous Cod Hole.

  • See many of Australia’s iconic animals including Kangaroos, wallabies, possums, cassowaries and Emus.

  • Let local Aboriginal guides and elders share their ancient cultural and environmental knowledge with you.

  • Experience dense rainforest, the Australian outback, lush plateaus, deep desert landscapes and the reef

  • Stay in wonderful lodges, eat delicious food and be guided by the best local guides and Leaders.



RESERVE MY SPACE & ENQUIRIES

You've got that "I don't want to miss out" feeling for a good reason. Our expeditions are life changers and we have a solid following of Wild Earth Explorers who love returning to adventure with us. Don't hesitate in reserving your space today.  



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CLICK MAP TO VIEW IN GOOGLE MAPS


ITINERARY OVERVIEW

MINKE WHALES, RAINFOREST & REEF

Day 01 | Jun 23 Depart Home / En-Route to Cairns

Day 02 | Jun 24 Arrive in Cairns, Australia / Welcome Cocktail party and dinner

Day 03 | Jun 25 Atherton Tablelands

Day 04 | Jun 26 Malanda falls / Granite Gorge / Mareeba Wetlands

Day 05 | Jun 27 Cooktown

Day 06 | Jun 28 Laura / Daintree Rainforest

Day 07| Jun 29 Mossman Gorge / Port Douglas

Day 08 | Jun 30 Daintree Rainforest / Cape Tribulation

Day 09-15 | Jul 01 – 07 Great Barrier Reef and Minke Whales onboard “Spirit of Freedom”               

Day 16 | Jul 08 Disembark Cairns / Fly home


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BROCHURE

Request to view our online brochure with full itinerary, costing and trip information. 

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SPIRIT OF FREEDOM

The Spirit of Freedom was custom built for long range cruising and to optimise the sea conditions of the Coral Sea region. Design features such as the specific length of the vessel, combined with electronic stabilizers ensure maximum sea keeping capability for greatest passenger comfort. Heavy duty medium rev marine diesel engines provide fuel efficiency, reliability, and low vibration and sound emission. The Spirit of Freedom undergoes an annual 4-week refit or maintenance period, to keep her in top condition. She carries a current 1B Queensland survey to 260 miles offshore range, which includes all Coral Sea Reefs and Islands. WIFI is available when in range.


COST & INFO

AUSTRALIA - MINKE WHALES, RAINFOREST & REEF

Double Occupancy: USD $12’980 per person

Single Supplement Surcharge: USD $5’790 per person

Spirit of Freedom Upgrade to OceanView Deluxe (double bed): USD $1000 per person

Spirit of Freedom Upgrade to OceanView Standard (double bed) & Stateroom (queen bed): USD $700 per person

 

INCLUDED

All accommodations in twin/double share rooms and cabins as outlined in the itinerary; All group meals; Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions; Soft drinks, drinking water, tea and regular filter coffee during lunch and dinner at all hotels and onboard the Spirit of Freedom; Drinking water while on tours; All group transfers and baggage handling; All tours, excursions, diving and snorkeling as outlined in the itinerary; Exclusive services of English speaking professional guides and naturalists; Services of 2 Wild Earth Expedition Leaders; All gratuities to porters, guides, drivers, dive crew, ship-, resort- and wait staff; Government- Service- and Room taxes; All permits, Harbor fees, Entrance and Marine park fees; Complimentary slideshow and photos; Recaps and Lectures by whale researcher; Dive tanks/weights for Scuba divers. Donation to Minke Whale Foundation.

 

NOT INCLUDED

All international and domestic airfares; Any airport arrival and departure taxes; Passport and visa fees; Immunization costs; Meals outside the group travel itinerary; Mandatory Travel insurance (including medical, medical evacuation and accident); Excess baggage charges; Personal items, such as laundry, any alcoholic beverages or bar charges (unless specified above), WiFi, telephone, fax calls; Tips for your 2 Wild Earth Leaders and any non-group services; Nitrox air fills and dive gear rental.

Any sudden increase in price, due to currency fluctuations, a steep hike in fuel cost, change in government tax policy or for any reason beyond our control, will be adjusted with the final invoice due 4 months prior to the expedition.

 

SINGLE OCCUPANCY

We only have limited single spaces available on this expedition and single occupancy rates apply. If you are wanting to share accommodations, a roommate will be assigned to you and double occupancy rates apply. If we cannot pair you with a roommate, the single supplement surcharge applies.


WILD EARTH LEADERS

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Natalia Baechtold

Founder, Director of Visual Media, Expedition Leader & Dive Master

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TRAVEL WITH NATALIA

2017 FIJI & TONGA

2018 PHILIPPINES & PALAU

2018 INDONESIA

2019 EASTERN BHUTAN

2019 BHUTAN

2019 BHUTAN COMBO

2019 AUSTRALIA

 

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Thomas Baechtold

CEO / Founder, Expedition Leader & Dive Instructor

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TRAVEL WITH THOMAS

2017 INDIA

2017 COCOS ISLAND & COSTA RICA

2017 MEXICO

2017 INDONESIA

2017 CUBA

2018 BORNEO

2018 PAPUA NEW GUINEA

2018 INDONESIA (Private Expedition)

2019 EGYPT & RED SEA

2019 AUSTRALIA

2019 FRENCH POLYNESIA


 

PHOTO CREDIT © Thomas & Natalia Baechtold