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Spirit of Freedom – Cod Hole Trip

4 Day / 3 Night Trips | Operates: Weekly | Departs: Monday 12pm | Transfers available: Yes, Cairns city included

The Cod Hole is a ‘must see’ for any certified diver! It frequently ranks on international dive lists as one of the best places in the world to scuba dive and you are guaranteed many memorable moments during this 4 day / 3 night Spirit of Freedom trip from Cairns.

The Cod Hole is located on the Great Barrier Reef’s far northern Ribbon Reefs, which are 120km north of Cairns. The Ribbon Reefs are a scuba divers paradise: sheltered, relatively shallow tropical waters, absolutely teeming with colourful marine life of all shapes and sizes. To visit, you must book a liveaboard trip to maximise your experience. Spirit of Freedom is a luxurious, 37m monohull providing five-star trips to the Ribbon Reef and Cod Hole.

Customer service is outstanding, with the crew helping with everything, from putting on and taking off your fins and defogging your mask before every dive. The meals are delicious and plentiful, the boat spacious and comfortable. Spirit of Freedom has three levels of air-conditioned interior, featuring a dining and lounge saloon, a large dive deck and exterior sun deck. Cabins are serviced daily and come in a range of options (quad share, double/twin, stateroom and ocean view deluxe) each with their own ensuite, allowing you to tailor your trip to your needs and budget.

This exciting liveaboard tour is suitable for snorkelers and divers (for more information on these activities, please see tabs below) but recommended for certified scuba divers. The tour price includes: Cairns city hotel transfers, 3 nights accommodation, meals and linen aboard Spirit of Freedom and a scenic, low-level flight from Lizard Island to Cairns. Diving equipment hire is extra. Crew to guest ratio is 10:26.Trip departs Monday and returns Thursday.

Diving Highlights:

Two of the Highlights diving on the is trip are the Cod Hole and Steve’s Bommie.
Steve’s Bommie never fails to impress even the most discerning diver. There is not a better way to spend a Sunday morning. Rising up from thirty-five metres to its apex at around five metres. All you need to do is open your eyes to be astounded by the sheer quantity of schooling fish and the pristine condition of the corals. Look a little closer and you will find more of the reef’s masters of camouflage including Stonefish, Leafy Scorpionfish and Wobbegong Sharks. Located at twenty-two metres is a marble plaque commemorating the site’s namesake – ‘Steve’.

What Marine Life Can You See:

Big Eye Trevally, Barracuda, Giant Potato Cod, Leafy Scorpionfish, Octopus, Nudibranchs, Pipefish, Stonefish, Wobbegong sharks, Mantis Shrimp, Flame File Shells, Anemonefish and Reef Sharks.

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Spirit of Freedom at the Cod Hole on the Great Barrier Reef

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Book this trip or any selected liveaboard dive trip with us and receive a Free Cairns Underwater Camera Hire for the trip.

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Special - FREE Digital Underwater Camera Hire - Valid until the 30th DEC 2019

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Rate Option # Dives Price Taxes Total Deposit
Ocean View Deluxe Certified Diving 11 $2,700.00 $50.00 $2,750.00 $540.00
Ocean View Standard Certified Diving 11 $2,500.00 $50.00 $2,550.00 $500.00
Stateroom Certified Diving 11 $2,500.00 $50.00 $2,550.00 $500.00
Double/Twin Certified Diving 11 $2,175.00 $50.00 $2,225.00 $435.00
Quad Share Certified Diving 11 $1,850.00 $50.00 $1,900.00 $370.00

Rates Valid to the 30th JUNE 2020 – Spirit of Freedom will be out of the water on boat maintenance starting – 27/04/2020 and Finishing – 31/05/2020

Inclusions: Accommodation, transfers (City), all meals.

Optional Extras:
3 Day Full Dive Equipment Rental – $130.00
3 Day Nitrox Tank Fills Package – $75.00
PADI Advanced Course – $295.00
PADI Nitrox Course – $325.00

Reef Tax: $50.00 per person Marine Park Fee is payable direct to Spirit of Freedom. This is included in the price table above.

Prices are shown in Australian dollars and include GST. Prices subject to change without notice.

Detailed below is a basic itinerary, based on a standard trip. Please note, the itinerary may vary, pending weather and conditions. We have included highlights, as well as detailed trip information, for ease of reading. Please contact us for more information.

MONDAY. Highlights: Boarding Spirit of Freedom, departing Cairns, two (2) certified dives on the Great Barrier Reef and going to sleep on the Coral Sea.

MORE DETAIL: Your Spirit of Freedom Cod Hole adventure begins around 11am on Monday morning, with complimentary coach pick-ups from Cairns city hotels. Transfers are provided to the near-by Trinity Inlet, where Spirit of Freedom is moored awaiting your arrival. The crew welcomes you aboard, providing an orientation of the boat and showing everyone to their cabins. Afterwards, guests gather for introductions and to receive a quick briefing on the day ahead.

As the boat fires up its Rolls Royce engines for a 12pm departure, a delicious buffet lunch of cold meats and salads is served in the downstairs saloon. As Spirit of Freedom makes its way to the Great Barrier Reef, your trip director provides a comprehensive introduction, safety, boat, trip and dive briefing to all passengers. Certified divers are issued with dive equipment and allocated places on the dive deck, before meeting with the dive master individually to discuss their diving experience and certification levels. Any divers travelling on their own will be paired up with a buddy of similar experience / skill levels at this time.

The first two dives of the trip are completed on the reefs off Cairns. These are considered introductory / refresher dives, allowing divers to
become familiar with the equipment and familiarise themselves with diving, if they have not been scuba diving for a while. There is the option of guided or unguided dives this afternoon.

After a quick shower, it’s time for dinner, which is served ala carte style in the saloon by the crew. It’s always a hot meal, which is served with complimentary house wine (red or white), followed by dessert.

As the guests turn in for the evening, Spirit of Freedom commences its overnight motor to the far northern Ribbon Reefs.

TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY. Highlights: Some amazing scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs, including at least one visit to the Cod Hole. Certified scuba divers can enjoy up to nine (9) dives, including early morning and night dives. Chef prepared meals, cruising the Ribbon Reefs and sun rise and sun set over the Great Barrier Reef.

MORE DETAIL: The next two days of the trip are spent exploring the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs. Reef site sequence and dive / snorkel times
may vary, pending weather and conditions, but you will have at least one visit to the world famous Cod Hole.

The Spirit of Freedom trip director does an excellent job of keeping everyone informed of the daily plans, dive times and boat movements. The trip director is in constant communication with the Spirit of Freedom captain and in addition to briefings, there is a notice board in the saloon which is kept up to date with the latest news and plans for your easy reference.

There are two things of which you can be assured: the reef sites will be excellent, with a mind blowing amount of colourful marine life and corals, and the meals and snacks will be constant, delicious and plentiful. A ‘basic’ daily plan aboard Spirit of Freedom is as follows.

Wake up and have “first breakfast” which consists of cereals, yoghurt and tropical fruit. Then have a scuba dive / snorkel, before coming back to the boat for “second breakfast”, which is always a selection of hot items, including bacon, eggs, toast and more. Then it’s back into the water for more fun and exploration before a hot / cold lunch is served buffet style in the saloon. After lunch, there’s more time in the water and when you emerge, help yourself to a selection of snacks, which varies from day to day (cakes and slices, to tropical fruits and nuts). More time in the water in the afternoon, before dinner is served around 6pm. There is always the option of taking a night dive and dessert will be served after this is completed.

The reef sites you will visit vary depending on the conditions during your trip, but may include: Two Towers, Challenger Bay, Pixie Pinnacle, Rod’s Rock, the Snake Pit and more.

On Wednesday afternoon, Spirit of Freedom makes its way to Watson’s Bay, just off Lizard Island. It moors here for the evening and that night, there is an excellent BBQ dinner which weather permitting, is cooked and served on the top deck. The crew will also feed sharks off the back deck and you can expect to see several reef sharks, giant groupers and tawny nurse sharks.

THURSDAY. Highlights: A guided tour of Lizard Island and low-level, scenic coastal flight back to Cairns, passing over the Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation and Low Isles.

MORE DETAIL: There is no water action today. Today is all about packing up and preparing for departure. Officially, your day will start around 6.30am with cereals, fruit and yoghurt being served in the saloon for breakfast. There’s a final briefing about plans for the day ahead, before everyone assembles on the sun deck for final farewells and group photos. After this, everyone booked on the Cod Hole trip departs Spirit of Freedom with a tender transfer to the nearby Lizard Island.

There’s time to enjoy a quick guided tour of the island and its historical points (Mrs Watson’s Cottage) before climbing the hill to enjoy views over the ocean. Then you make your way to the airport, where the Hinterland Aviation flight will collect you and return you to Cairns with a low-level and very scenic flight along the coast.

You will arrive back at Cairns Airport around 11.30am with Spirit of Freedom coach transfers back to your Cairns city accommodation.

This trip is recommended to certified divers only. Open Water certification is a minimum requirement and there is no solo diving on Spirit of Freedom. Any divers travelling on their own will be paired up with someone else onboard of similar experience / skill levels. Most of the diving is unguided, however, Spirit of Freedom dive crew are in the water on every dive and can provide assistance if required.

Diving equipment is not included in the tour price. You are welcome to bring your own (some weight restrictions apply, ask us for more information) or hire it on the boat ($120 for 3 day full equipment rental). Other extras include Nitrox and the choice to participate in some dive courses (PADI Advanced or Nitrox).

The dive service aboard Spirit of Freedom is excellent. The crew will help you to take on and off your fins for each dive, as well as defogging your mask. There are cold / hot freshwater showers on the dive deck and hot, fresh towels available after every dive.

Certified divers can enjoy up to 11 dives on this trip: you do not have to do all of the dives, do as many or as few as you like. Dive safety is considered paramount and there is no reverse profiling. Comprehensive dive site briefings are provided before every dive. In regards to depth, divers should dive to their experience levels or certification. There are no set limits on dive time: although divers must return to the boat with a minimum of 50 bar of air left in their tanks.

Certified divers will be required to show evidence of their certification: through current dive licenses and log books. All divers will be required to sign a Waiver Release and Indemnity Deed onboard the boat. You will also be required to complete dive medical paperwork onboard.

Spirit of Freedom is really a dive boat, however, snorkelers and non-diving partners are more than welcome to join their diving partners on the Cod Hole trip. There are lots of things for you to enjoy, from the extensive selection of onboard books and DVDs, to the sun lounges on the sun deck and the air-conditioned lounge. Experienced snorkelers are welcome to explore the Ribbon Reef sites, but please note that these are open water sites and water depth and conditions (waves and current) may vary. Discounts apply for snorkelers: contact us for more information on prices.

SPIRIT OF FREEDOM – 3 DAY DIVING REVIEW - Reviewed by Julie on the Sunday 6th of March 2011

Are you looking at me?

Spirit of Freedom is a professional operator committed to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and delivering their guests a luxurious, first class experience in paradise. The boat is spacious and comfortable. The dive deck, equipment, briefings and crew are modern, friendly and informative. They even help you put on and take off your fins, as well as defogging your mask prior to every dive: now that’s service! The Ribbon Reefs were a joy to dive, vibrant hard and soft corals, feather stars, sea stars, lionfish, reef sharks, turtles, stingrays, giant potato cod, tiny jewel-like damselfish and everything in between. This is a once in a lifetime trip, creating many memories. It is highly recommended... read full review

Wonderful trip to beautiful reef on a modern luxurious boat - Peter McClure

Very friendly and professional booking and service through Cains Dive Adventures. Very safe and attentive crew on Spirit of Freedom. Dive equipment modern and well maintained. Food plentiful and top class. Great fun interacting with like-minded people of multiple age groups from all over the world. Diving was great. Excellent information sessions before every dive, and guides in the water to assist as required. Weather and sea conditions very good. Potato Cod feeding, drift diving and night dive were highlights. Highly recommended ... travelled on 11/12/2017

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Great trip and fantastic support from Cairns Dive Adventure - Peter McClure

This is the second booking I have made with Cairns Dive Adventures and have only praise for Clint and this booking agency. After making recommendations and excellent fast communication to book us on Spirit of Freedom, Clint came back into the office at 5:30 on a Saturday afternoon to hand over a camera and give us the heads up on the way to get some good shots. This was much appreciated. The 3 day Cod Hole trip on Spirit of Freedom recommended by Cairns Dive Adventures was fantastic. Well done Clint and thanks from Peter and Meredith ... travelled on 11/12/2017

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3 Day Code Hole and Ribbon Reefs - Micahel Petrovski

Really good diving, very friendly staff, excellent food. Highly recommend them. ... travelled on 16/09/2013

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Breathtaking, fabulous first dive experience. - Gemma Packer

I contacted Cairns Dive adventures not sure what to do as I was such a new and in-experienced diver and I was recommended this trip and I am very thankful, I don't think I could have chosen a better company myself. Excellent Staff, couldn't fault them at all, I did 11 dives in total including my first night dive and I loved it. I honestly never expected to see anything as amazing as I did, my favorites being the Reef Sharks, Eagle rays and Cod fish. ... travelled on 12/08/2013

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