Australia

Mike Ball’s Australia adventures

Experience this amazing adventure down under as a family aboard Spoil Sport:  Family Dive Adventures is offering a family trip.

Premium cabins: $4,500 pp,

Standard Cabins at $3,900 pp 

Club cabin at $3,600 USD pp

Shea-Minke

7 Nights  Minke Whale expeditions. Give us a call.
Free ScubaPro Chromis -1 per reservation.
22 dives, including 4 night dives The expedition departs and returns from Cairns


Minke Whale Dive Expeditions – Unique Opportunity on the Great Barrier Reef

 Dwarf minke whales travel through the Great Barrier Reef each winter. The Great Barrier Reef is the only location where snorkel and dive tours with minke whales are available. Most sightings occur in June and July at Ribbon Reef # 10, where some of our best dive sites are!
2015 will be the 20th year Mike Ball Dive Expeditions have supported the James Cook University Minke MWP (Minke Whale Project). A James Cook University MWP researcher is present on all our minke expeditions. Mike Ball Dive Expeditions have conducted more swim with minke whale experiences than any other company.

Dive specials:

Coral Sea Safari – Itinerary

Spoilsport – 7 nights (unlimited dives): Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef – Experience the best of far north Queensland. Buddy up with diver size fish at the world famous Cod Hole, witness Osprey Reef’s shark population including hammerheads and silvertips and cruise the Ribbon Reefs. Walk in Capt. Cook’s footsteps on Lizard Island. Specials must be confirmed at time of booking.

X nights with X days of diving 2 morning boat dives daily, breakfast daily, lunch included on dive days, , round trip airport transfers. from $1,975 per person dbl. Advanced Open Water, Wreck Diver and more available upon request

 

2017 Australia: Per diver and per vacationer in room
Cabin types Premium Standard
3 Nights – Fly Dive Cod Hole / Minke Whale Expedition $2435 each $1,827
 4 Nights – Fly Dive Coral Sea  /  Minke Whale Expedition $2686 each $2,073
7 Nights – Coral Sea Safari (inc. Exploratory Itinerary) $4987 each $3,596
 7 night Minke Whales $4,500 3,900

3 Nights – Fly Dive Cod Hole

Showcasing the best of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Dive Ribbon Reef sites with the best marine life biodiversity and the Cod Hole.  All dives are 100-150 miles north of Cairns.

3 nights –12 dives
Diving Experience:
Novice to Advanced divers including snorkelers.
Location: Ribbon Reefs and Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Embarks: Monday 7am – Mike Ball Office, 143 Lake St, Cairns. Transfer to Airport.
Disembarks: Thursday 8am – Trinity Wharf, Cairns. (courtesy inner city hotel transfers)


Fly Dive Cod Hole Map

The Fly Dive Cod Hole showcases the best of the Great Barrier Reef featuring:

  • A spectacular low-flying start to Lizard Island,
  • The prime Ribbon Reef sites,
  • Exciting marine life encounters,
  • The world famous Cod Hole,
  • Outstanding marine life biodiversity,
  • All dives sites north of Cooktown,
  • Guaranteed access to restricted dive sites,
  • 50% reduced cruise time and within sheltered waters,
  • Superior vessel stability in adverse weather conditions,
  • Minke whales (Jun/Jul).

 

What awaits you? Imagine yourself on a spectacular ‘flying start’ to Lizard Island. On the way you will have a birds-eye view of the Great Barrier Reef. Half of your 150 mile flight is at a very low 180 metres (600ft) above the sites you will dive along the Great Barrier Reefs continental shelf. A truly spectacular beginning to your expedition.

Lizard Island: See where the famous English navigator James Cook climbed in 1770 to find a way out of the labyrinth of reefs. Naturalist Joseph Banks lamented in his log that he had too little time to study the wealth of strange creatures he saw in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Will you have space in your log to record the wealth of creatures you find?

Diver and Fish, The turquoise chain of Ribbon Reefs: This 55 mile chain of reefs from Lizard Island to Cooktown is the most prized dive region of Australia ’s Great Barrier Reef . This is where you can see more of the Great Barrier Reefs 1500 fish and 400 coral species than elsewhere. The currents that channel between the ribbon reefs attract large fish populations.

Manta Ray Overhead, Exciting Marine Life Encounters: Marine life encounters range from pygmy seahorses to manta rays and whales. The Great Barrier Reef has 9 species of anemone fish, 43 species of butterfly fish, 1001 species of nudibranch, and 6 of the worlds 7 turtle species.

Diving the Cod Hole, Diver size fish at the Cod Hole and Cod Wall: One of the Great Barrier Reefs most amazing phenomenon’s await you at the Cod Hole. Swim with, ‘small diver size’ or ‘giant fish size’ potato cod. Spend the dive amongst shallow sunlit coral gardens of acropora coral or venture deeper into the parallel gullies forming the front of the reef where huge Queensland groupers face into the current.

Bay ’s Baza:  Another highlight is a night dive at Challenger Bay, home of Baza the barracuda and of many moray eels and clever lionfish, who, are very active at night and have learnt how to use the light of your torch to find their supper.Minke Whale coming to surface for air
Lighthouse Bommie & Acropolis: And your next stop? Scuba diving Lighthouse Bommie,  pinnacle rising from the sand at 30 metres. In the months, of June to August you can enjoy more Minke whale sightings and longer encounters than elsewhere in the world.  Acropolis Plateau is the new hot site, shrouded in spectacular corals and festooned with baitfish, predatory fish and critters.

Leafy Scorpionfish, Pixie Pinnacle, Vertical Gardens: You will spend the next morning at Pixie Pinnacle where you may find harlequin ghost pipefish, leafy scorpion fish and lace scorpion fish. Vertical Gardens is a natural amphitheatre, and home to a herd of large green bump head parrotfish. They make an awesome procession crunching their way through the reef!

Diver and Giant Clam
Clam Beds, Andy’s Postcard.
Clam Beds is a beautiful shallow coral garden where dozens of giant clams show off their majestic mantles. Andy’s Postcard is an isolated bommie rising from 80 metres. Fluorescent purple and orange anthias attract trevally and barracuda to these photogenic sites.

Fairy Basslet and Soft Coral
Steve’s Bommie, Flare Point, Joani’s Joy.
At Steve’s Bommie, hiding amongst the coral you can find lion fish, frog fish and leaf scorpion fish. Fluorescent anthias amass on the reef edge.  Scuba dive amongst large schools of blue-lined snapper, big-eye trevally and barracuda circumnavigate the pinnacle. Flare Point has beautiful pristine coral gardens where cuttlefish are regularly seen.

Spoilsport and reef
Dive Site Guarantee!
All your dives will be north of Cooktown including ‘prime’ Ribbon Reef sites that have restricted access. If weather forces an itinerary change our surety of access to the prime Ribbon Reef sites is your guarantee of the best scuba diving available. Spoilsport’s outstanding stability minimizes disruption to your itinerary and your scuba diving experience.


 

Mike at Camera Table
Dive Freedom!
You will notice there is no rush or limit placed on your dive time. Spoilsport’s itineraries normally provide 3 dive sites per day with opportunity for relaxed or unlimited diving. At sites like Challenger Bay some photographers do 2 hour dives to capture special fish behavior photographs.
Chromodoris nudibranch at Steve’s Bommie
Scuba Diving Service.
(see dive procedures)
Most guests prefer to plan and dive independently with their buddy. Guests who require supervision are offered a combination of: complimentary orientation dives to enhance skills; a scheduled morning and afternoon guided dive and dives with our staff on an ad hoc basis. Our crew will locate species like one of the 1001 nudibranchs. The complimentary Reef Ecology Program will assist you identify the marine life.Spoilsport = 5 Star Service!
We aim to spoil you! To ensure your needs are met, on arrival the ‘trip director’ will have a private consultation with you. In between dives you enjoy Spoilsports luxurious motor yacht atmosphere and attentive crew. Spoilsport is the Great Barrier Reef’s most awarded liveaboard.

Spoilsport Premium Cabin
Spoilsport. (explore vessel)
Spoilsport was designed to provide divers with a new level of comfort and convenience. You get less rock’n’roll with more space and comfort. She has received 11 prestigious Rodale’s Reader Choice awards including Best Liveaboard and Most Environmentally Sensitive.

Champagne on arrival
Sumptuous Meals. (see menus)
Enjoy a sumptuous variety of meals that has earned Spoilsport an enviable reputation for catering excellence. Vegetarian and standard diets are catered for with Australian and International menus using fresh local produce. Please advise if you have special dietary needs.

Best Australian Dive Experience Award
Spoilsport Vessel Features:

  • Spoilsport is Australia’s most ‘Awarded’ liveaboard,
  • Length 30m (100ft); Beam 10m (36ft); Speed 15 knots,
  • Passenger average 20 (max 28) Crew 11,
  • Twin hulls reduce seasickness and maximize stability, space and privacy,
  • Twin or double cabins, most with ocean views. Daily cabin service,
  • Spacious: dining room; lounge; alfresco deck and sundeck,
  • Sensational chef prepared meals and in-between meal snacks,
  • Complimentary soft drinks and Australian wines with dinner.

Photographer and Cod
Spoilsport Dive Services:

  • Complimentary Reef Ecology Program,
  • Low key photo comp on every expedition,
  • Huge dive deck with convenient entry/exit platforms,
  • Photographer friendly with 3 large camera tables,
  • ‘Open dive deck’ allows flexible dive planning,
  • 3 dive sites per day is normal,
  • Underwater photography and video services,
  • Nitrox fills (see prices)
  • PADI instruction: Advanced, Nitrox, Naturalist and Photo/Video,
  • Dry towel after each dive,
  • Solo diving as per Mike Ball Safe Solo System,
  • 2 large inflatables for personalised dive service.

Details subject to change.

Photo Credits:
Geri Murphy and Mike Ball


7 Nights – Coral Sea Safari

7 nights – unlimited dives
Diving Experience: Novice to Advanced Divers. Snorkeling is limited to Ribbon Reef sites, Coral Sea sites not suitable.
Location: Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef.
Embark: Thursday 6pm – Trinity Wharf, Cairns.
Disembark: Thursday 8am – Trinity Wharf, Cairns. (courtesy inner city hotel transfers)
We also operate special 7 night ‘Exploratory Itineraries’. This itinerary may not visit Lizard Island.
Departure dates are identified with an * and can be found on our ‘Departure Dates’ at Prices.

Itinerary Summary.
Here’s the deal. The new 7night, 450 mile Coral Sea Safari includes some of the best dive sites on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea featuring:

  • Spectacular first dive at Challenger Bay,
  • Diver size fish at the Cod Hole,
  • plummeting Coral Sea wall dives in gin clear water,
  • Exciting shark action in the Coral Sea,
  • Schooling trevally and barracuda in the Coral Sea,
  • Exploration of Lizard Island,
  • The Cod Wall, outer edge big fish dive,
  • The prime Ribbon Reef sites,
  • All dives north of Cooktown, dive site guarantee!

What awaits you?
Imagine yourself as a feeling of excitement arises as you cruise north in the shelter of the Great Barrier Reef. On deck you are greeted by the fabulous turquoise waters of the Ribbon Reefs. To port is historic Cooktown to starboard is the vastness of the Coral Sea.
Sweetlip Schooling at the Cod Hole

Shallow but fantastic – Challenger Bay!
Challenger Bay is a spectacular introduction to the Great Barrier Reef. Gliding along, surrounded by schools of silver trevally, surgeon fish, diagonally lined sweetilp and yellow striped bream you explore pristine coral gardens in excellent visibility. You will understand why the ‘Great’ is in Great Barrier Reef.
Interact with curious Potato Cod at Cod Hole

Diver size fish at the Cod Hole!
One of the Great Barrier Reefs most amazing phenomenon’s await you at the Cod Hole. Swim with, ‘small diver size’ or ‘giant fish size’ potato cod. Spend the dive amongst shallow sunlit coral gardens of acropora coral or venture deeper into the parallel gullies forming the front of the reef where huge Queensland groupers face into the current.
Spoilsport

Friday night, heading N/E to Coral Sea.
Overnight aboard Spoilsport you venture 75 miles beyond the Great Barrier Reef to the remote Coral Sea. Without exception guests and crew are impressed by the superb seagoing ability of Spoilsport.
Diver and soft coral at Osprey Reef.
Plummeting walls in gin clear water.
Imagine, early morning dives on sheer walls that plummet to 1000 metres. Glide pass huge black coral trees, diver size soft coral trees and golden gorgonian fans. Observe or be observed by curious sharks cruising in the clear water.
Shark attraction at North Horn in the Coral Sea

Exciting shark action in the Coral Sea !
Your Osprey Reef adventure builds to a climax with a spectacular shark dive at North Horn. You will see 10-30 grey reef sharks, white-tip reef sharks as well as other species. You can photograph these sleek high order predators at close- range, or not so close, you choose! Off the deep wall solitary hammerheads are regularly seen, schools are occasionally seen.

 Schooling trevally & barracuda in the Coral Sea: Also observe the perimeter of the shark dive. You will see a queue for the scraps! Potato cod, Napoleon wrasse and moray eels forage the reef while trevally, barracuda and red bass control the mid-water.

Lizard Island: Sunday night you cruise to Lizard Island. Here the famous English navigator James Cook climbed to its summit in 1770 to find a way out of the labyrinth of reefs. Naturalist Joseph Banks lamented in his journal that he had too little time to study the wealth of strange creatures he saw in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Lizard Island Walk

Off gas and hike into history: At this halfway point guests on the Fly Dive option may join this Coral Sea Safari. Meanwhile 7 day guests can off-gas and take some unique photographs on Lizard Island. Includes: walk of Watson’s Bay; visiting the historic ruins of Mrs. Watson’s Cottage and exploring the Pandanus Swamp and Chinaman’s Ridge.

Interact with curious Potato Cod at Cod Hole: A short steam to the top of Ribbon Reef #10 permits an exciting alternative to the Cod Hole. At the reef’s outer edge the deep, pristine, Cod Wall, is a series of stepped ledges to 60 metres. Grey reef sharks, bull sharks, flowery cod and diver size Queensland groper roam this deep wall. The Cod Hole can be repeated if preferred!

Whale Shark and Snorkeller, The turquoise chain of Ribbon Reefs: This 55 mile chain of reefs from Lizard Island to Cooktown is the most prized dive region of Australia ’s Great Barrier Reef. This is where you can see more of the Great Barrier Reefs 1500 fish and 400 coral species than elsewhere. The currents that channel between the ribbon reefs attract large fish populations. Marine life encounters range from pygmy seahorses to manta rays and whales.

Challenger Bay ’s Baza: Another highlight is a night dive at Challenger Bay, home of Baza the barracuda and of many moray eels and clever lionfish, who, are very active at night and have learnt how to use the light of your torch to find their supper.

Minke Whale, Close Up Lighthouse Bommie & Acropolis: And your next stop? Lighthouse Bommie is a pinnacle rising from the sand at 30 metres. June/July this is the world’s hotspot for Minke Whale encounters. Acropolis Plateau is the new hot site shrouded in spectaacular corals and festooned with baitfish, predatory fish and critters

Leafy Scorpionfish, Pixie Pinnacle, Vertical Gardens: You will spend the next morning at Pixie Pinnacle where you may find harlequin ghost pipefish, leafy scorpion fish and lace scorpion fish. Vertical Gardens is a natural amphitheatre, and home to a herd of large green bump head parrotfish. They make an awesome procession crunching their way through the reef!

Diver and Giant Clam, Clam Beds, Andy’s Postcard: Clam Beds is a beautiful shallow coral garden where dozens of giant clams show off their majestic mantles. Andy’s Postcard is an isolated bommie rising from 80 metres. Fluorescent purple and orange anthias attract trevally and barracuda to these photogenic sites.

Fairy Basslet and Soft Coral, Steve’s Bommie, Flare Point: At Steve’s Bommie, hiding amongst the coral you can find lion fish, frog fish and leaf scorpion fish. Fluorescent anthias amass on the reef edge while lined snapper, big eye trevally and barracuda circumnavigate the pinnacle. Flare Point has beautiful pristine coral gardens where cuttle fish are regularly seen.

Spoilsport and reef, Dive Site Guarantee: All your dives will be north of Cooktown including ‘prime’ Ribbon Reef sites that have restricted access. If weather forces an itinerary change our surety of access to the prime Ribbon Reef sites is your guarantee of the best diving available. Spoilsport’s outstanding stability minimizes disruption to your itinerary and your diving experience.

Mike at Camera Table,
Dive Freedom: You will notice there is no rush or limit placed on your dive time. Spoilsport’s itineraries normally provide 3 dive sites per day with opportunity for relaxed or unlimited diving. At sites like Challenger Bay some photographers do 2 hour dives to capture special fish behaviour photographs.

Dive entry on Spoilsport , 
Diving Service. (see dive procedures): Guests who prefer supervision are offered a combination of: complimentary orientation dives to enhance skills, a scheduled morning and afternoon guided dive and dives with our staff on an ad hoc basis. Our crew will locate species like the beautiful leaf scorpion fish. The complimentary Reef Ecology Program will assist you identify the marine life.

Spoilsport, 5 Star Service: We aim to spoil you! To ensure your needs are met, on arrival the ‘trip director’ will have a private consultation with you. In between dives you enjoy Spoilsports luxurious motor yacht atmosphere and attentive crew. Spoilsport is the Great Barrier Reef ’s most awarded live aboard.

Spoilsport Premium Cabin, 
Spoilsport. (explore vessel): Spoilsport was designed to provide divers with a new level of comfort and convenience. You get less rock’n’roll with more space and comfort. She has received 11 prestigious Rodale’s Reader Choice awards including Best Live aboard and Most Environmentally Sensitive.

Spoilsport service,
Sumptuous Meals. (see menus): Enjoy a sumptuous variety of meals that has earned Spoilsport an enviable reputation for catering excellence. Vegetarian and standard diets are catered for with Australian and International menus. Please advise if you have special dietary needs.

Rodale’s Reader’s Choice Awards
Spoilsport Vessel Features:

  • Spoilsport is Australia ’s most ‘Awarded’ live aboard,
  • Length 30m (100ft); Beam 10m (36ft); Speed 15 knots,
  • Passenger average 23 (max 28) Crew 11,
  • Twin hull’s reduce seasickness and maximises stability, space and privacy,
  • Twin or double cabins, most with ocean views. Daily cabin service,
  • Spacious: dining room; lounge; alfresco deck and sundeck,
  • Sensational chef prepared meals and in-between meal snacks,
  • Complimentary soft drinks and Australian wines with dinner,


Photographer and Cod
Spoilsport Dive Services:

  • Complimentary Reef Ecology Program,
  • Low key photo comp on every expedition,
  • Huge dive deck with convenient entry/exit platforms,
  • Photographer friendly with 3 large camera tables,
  • ‘Open dive deck’ allows flexible dive planning,
  • 3 dive sites per day is normal,
  • Underwater photography and video services,
  • Nitrox fills (see prices)
  • PADI instruction: Advanced, Nitrox, Naturalist and Photo/Video,
  • Dry towel after each dive,
  • Solo diving as per Mike Ball Safe Solo System,
  • 2 large inflatable’s for personalised dive service.

Details subject to change.  


Package prices do not include some or all of the following: Departure tax, airline reservations, luggage fees, gov’t taxes, port taxes, fuel surcharges, and marine park fees. These are beyond our control and generally payable to vendor directly. Kids Sea Camp and its agents act solely as a reservation service for selected suppliers and operators. It is your responsibility to provide proper documentation for international travel. We highly recommend DAN Trip and DAN Dive Insurance, www.diversalertnetwork.org/trip/?rc=275458www.diversalertnetwork.org/insurance/dive/?rc=275458

Packages online are subject to availability. You will be contacted by a booking agent upon completion of your booking. We are not responsible for errors in typesetting on forms.