Lord Howe Island is one of the world’s most epic and most diverse dive destinations. The diversity is breathtaking. There are algal reefs, coral reefs, blue water, schooling sharks, endemic fish and both cool and tropical-water species congregate.
This package is designed for divers who want to enjoy some of the comforts of Lord Howe Island at a very competitive price. To the best extent possible, diving will be tailored to suit your level of experience (for groups of 8, there is the option to create a tailored dive itinerary).
Lord Howe Island sits approximately 380 NM east of Australia. This breath-taking island was chosen as a World Heritage Area in 1982 and the waters surrounding the island were recognised in 1999 when the Marine Park was established.
Lord Howe Island boasts the world’s most southerly barrier reef, which is fed by temperate and tropical currents, which allows both tropical and temperate species to co-exist. These currents consist include two temperate currents from the Tasman Sea in the south and one main tropical current that is fed from the East Australian Current. By December one should expect the blue tropical water to be the dominant water current feeding the island. When this happens, visibility massively improves and water temperatures start to reach 24 - 25 degrees.
On this warmer tropical current we get many visitors from the Coral Sea to the north as well as huge schools of pelagic fish such as Yellow Tail Tuna and Barracuda. For the macro-lover the sea floor is covered with a plethora of soft corals, hard corals, nudibranch, wrasse, crustaceans, crayfish and cowry shells. On any one of our dives you are likely to see Galapagos Whaler Sharks, Bull Stingrays, Half Banded Angel Fish, Three striped Butterfly Fish, The endemic Double Header Wrasse and McCulloch Anemone Fish as well as Kingfish, Amberjack, Trevally, Huge schools of Pacific Drummer and Yellow Tail Snapper.
Day 1 You will be picked up and transferred to your accommodation to settle in before lunch. In the afternoon, local naturalist Ian Hutton will meet you for a short introductory walk around settlement and shops; close up look at White terns, Black Noddies and other bird life. At 5:30PM, there will be an introductory lecture to Lord Howe Island at the museum including special Lord Howe Island Phasmid viewing and story. Evening will be at a local restaurant. /p>
Day 2 -7 A double dive each morning followed by an afternoon at your leisure on the island.
Day 8 Following an early breakfast, transfer to the airport to check in for your flight home.
Contact us for a specific snorkelling tour. We can also accommodate anything from twin-share to groups of eight. If you have a group, we can develop a custom snorkelling itinerary.
Admiralty Islands The ‘Admiralties’ is a cluster of islands to the north. These islands are made up of some of the oldest rock on Lord Howe Island and as a result have had water encircling them for many thousands of years. The underwater structures found out here are some of the most spectacular in the world. Big pinnacles, deep basaltic dykes and cracks as well as huge boulders, walls spectacular reefs. This is all taking place in water that is generally 20-25m visibility minimum. We have records of 70m visibility in the past. With no major rivers within 380nm the bottom composition is all coral and as such settles very quickly.
Malabar Directly north of Lord Howe Island is a shallow plain that hosts some of the best diving. The Malabar cliffs drop into the ocean and display evidence of erosion reclaiming Lord Howe since volcanic activity ceased. This erosion has left some reef structures which are surrounded by pristine white coral sand. This composition of kaleidoscopic reefs and sand is beautiful enough, but then one can also enjoy swim through structures, healthy coral and abundant marine life. All this takes place in gin clear water.
Front Reef The barrier reef that creates the lagoon on the western side of Lord Howe is the world’s most southerly fringing coral reef. This structure boasts a variety of sites that comprise of coral archways, crevices and overhangs. The reef is predominantly made up of hard corals and weeds with highlight it unique make up.
Lagoon Inside the barrier reef structure is a pristine lagoon that hosts a number of quality dive sites. The main sides are Comets Hole and Erscott’s Hole. Comet’s Hole is a fresh water upwelling caused by a spring. This fresh water has created a nutrient spike and the coral wall that runs along the hole is home to a diverse array of marine life. Black Bullray and Galapagos sharks are common at this site along with schools of Butterfly Fish, Painted Mowongs, Dotted Sweetlips and Double Headder Wrasse to name a few. This site is where we would do the majority of introductory dives, refreshers and training. Erscott’s Hole is another depression in the lagoon, however this site is quite different to Comets. It has a thick seagrass floor butting up to a beautiful coral wall. The site is larger than Comets Hole and Turtles are often seen swimming past or feeding on the seagrass.
Relict Reef Lord Howe boasts an ancient sunken relict reef. This structure once encircled the island and created a massive fringe reef and lagoon. When sea levels rose the structure petrified and sank beneath the waves. It was not until 2008 when Geoscience Australia and University of Wollongong conducted a scan of the bathenic plain of the Lord Howe Island seamount, that it was discovered that this was indeed an ancient fringing reef. The paper was released in 2010 and since the middle of 2013 Pro Dive Lord Howe Island has been exploring the 149.9 square kilometres of reef structure on what we have dubbed ‘exploratory diving’. On such dives we choose a feature form the geomorphology map, drive to the location and execute a drift dive to assess the dive site. Customers are then able to name the dive site. On these dives it is not uncommon to have anywhere up to 50+ Galapagos Whaler Sharks. These inquisitive reef sharks are beautiful to behold when they are in large schooling numbers, and Lord Howe Island (along with Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs) are the only place in Australia where you can dive and snorkel with them.
Balls Pyramid Balls Pyramid is the world’s tallest sea stack. This impressive monolith rises 561M above the ocean captivating the eye for miles around. Many describe it as looking like something out of a fantasy novel. The Pyramid is a separate volcano from Lord Howe Island and an oceanic trench of around 600 metres deep separates the two. Diving Balls Pyramid is a must for dive enthusiasts. The isolation of the seamount has allowed for a unique and varied experience. Balls Pyramid is the only place known in the world where one can witness the Ballina Angelfish at recreational SCUBA depths. This deep water fish is generally found in 100+ metres of water, can be seen diving around Balls Pyramid in depths as shallow as 8m. Couple this with the fact that there are huge coral trees, steep drop offs, a plethora of fish from a myriad of families, huge boulders, caves, swim-throughs and more crayfish than you could poke a stick at, and it makes for a good days diving.Inclusions
- Return flights from the mainland to Lord Howe Island
- Airport transfers
- Introduction walk and lecture on marine life of Lord Howe Island at the museum (includes special LHI phasmid viewing and story).
- Seven nights of accommodation
- Seven breakfasts.
- Two lunches.
- One evening meal delivered to your accommodation for you to BBQ.
- Ten dives (five double dives).
- Bicycle hire.
- Any items of a personal nature.
- Any meals or drinks not specified in inclusions.
- Anything not included in the list of inclusions (above).
- Domestic flights, unless specified in inclusions.
- Travel insurance.
The initial deposit is refundable for 5 days - a cooling off period long enough for us to send you precise final terms. Note, many of these are still being negotiated but this first payment will be held in trust, giving us time to determine the conditions for final payment without putting this payment at any risk.
Reservations are confirmed on receipt of a non-refundable deposit of $A500 per person or per booking, or the amount specified on your booking. On receipt of your reservation form and deposit, we will, subject to availability, reserve your place on your selected travel module. Additional deposits may be required and will be advised at time of booking. Final payment of land costs are due at least* 60 days prior to arrival and all reservations will be cancelled if full payment is not received by the due date, with loss of deposit. On receipt of your payment, we will send tour information and vouchers. Please ensure that you receive the information before you travel. Bookings made at least* less than 60 days prior to departure must be paid in full. Due to time constraints, tour information and vouchers may be collected on the first day of departure with Wildiaries from its tour guide. These arrangements will be confirmed to you in writing prior to travel. Every reservation amendment will incur an AUD$50.00 charge, subject to availability. Note that if travel documents have been issued, the fee will be AUD$100. *Special conditions may apply to some trips. You will be notified if this is the case.
All cancellations must be made in writing to Wildiaries, and all tours are subject to the following cancellation charges based on the number of days before tour departure: Over 60 days: No refund of tour deposit Between 0 and 60 days: No refund of tour cost There is no refund for any unused portions of the tour once the tour has commenced. [Please note that if the reason for cancellation falls within the terms of any holiday insurance policy which you hold, then any such charges will normally be refunded to you by the insurance company, subject to the terms of your insurance]. Any cancellation fees imposed by hotels, ground operators or other principals or suppliers of goods and services will be charged to you in addition to the cancellation amounts stated above.
Baggage restrictions may apply to charter air travel and small group tours and must be strictly adhered to. We recommend that you ensure you adhere to any weight restrictions indicated.
4. WILD ANIMALS
Please be aware that travel may take you into areas of extreme weather conditions [eg. heat] or bring you in close contact with wild animals. Cases of dehydration and attacks by wild animals are rare, but no tour can guarantee that this will not occur. Neither Wildiaries, its contractors, agents or staff can be held responsible for any injury or incident on your tour. Neither does Wildiaries guarantee sightings of any wild animals, even if these are listed as animals possible to see on a tour.
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7. CHANGES TO SCHEDULES
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You must take out comprehensive insurance cover before travel for cancellation, medical expenses, personal baggage and money. This should be arranged at the time of payment of any non-refundable costs to cover you for cancellation at that time.
10. PRICING & INSURANCE
We will do the utmost to keep to the prices published. Should increases be forced on us by tour operators, etc. Wildiaries reserves the right to surcharge without notice. All tour costs are based on all known costs at the time of publication.
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11. MEDICAL & HEALTH
(a)Hospital facilities in remote locations are often unavailable and evacuation can be difficult and expensive. Wildiaries assumes no liability regarding provision of medical care. A Medical Certificate must therefore be filled out and returned to Wildiaries. If you are aged 65 or older, the Medical Certificate must be signed by your physician. Once you have been confirmed on a trip, normal cancellation penalties apply if your doctor does not approve the Medical Certificate.
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(a) Share Basis for Single Travellers
Accommodations (both hotels and tented) are usually based on double occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a room-mate if possible. If there is no one with whom you can share, or if you prefer single accommodations, you are requested to pay a Single Supplement Fee.
(b) Tour Information
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