Educational Adventures FAQs
Why should we choose an Educational Adventure with Small World Journeys?
While other companies may offer "teen tours" that involve hours of bus travel between attractions, Small World Journeys creates custom authentic and educational trips.
Unique custom programming – such as a local school visit, an overnight making didgeridoos with an aboriginal family, planting trees in the Daintree Rainforest or a chartered boat trip with a marine biologist to the Great Barrier Reef—is what we're about.
Our emphasis on sustainable travel means everybody wins – you, the community and the environment.
Do teachers travel free?
Yes. For every eight paying participants, one teacher travels with us for free (airfare not included). This is our way of saying thanks for your hard work.
What is included in the price?
Inclusions will depend on you – we can work with almost any budget. However, most trips will include the following:
|A. experienced naturalist guide|
|B. airport pickups and all transport|
|C. all activities|
|D. all meals|
|E. accommodation in budget hotels|
|F. holiday cabins or hostels (or camping if preferred –tents and sleeping pads provided)|
|G. park permits and levies|
|H. water bottle|
|I. cloth shopping bag|
|J. carbon offsetting through Sustainable Travel International's ClimateCare™ program.|
|K. flora and fauna field guide|
What is your safety record?
Our safety record is immaculate. Yes, we have had students receive minor cuts and bruises, but no injury requiring a hospital visit. We carry a first aid kit in our vehicles, as well as on the guide's person when in remote areas.
Safety is absolutely our number one concern at all times. We do everything in our power to make sure each trip is as safe as it can possibly be.
Do you do risk management assessments?
Yes. We evaluate and re-evaluate the safety of each of our destinations and activities, and we always reserve the right to modify or cancel an itinerary if the guide feels that conditions are unsafe. We will gladly provide a risk management assessment specific to your trip on request.
Small World Journeys' staff also adhere to a comprehensive Risk Management Strategy.
What kind of food will we have?
We understand how important food is to young people – and heaps of it!
A typical breakfast will be a continental breakfast including juices, cereals, toast & jams (and optional vegemite!) and a typical packed lunch will be a meat and salad sandwich, drink, chips, biscuits and a piece of fresh fruit. Café lunches and dinners will vary, but we place a big emphasis on variety and healthful options.
Best of all, we carry our snack box when we travel to ensure that no one is ever hungry.
Self-catering options are available for those who would like to prepare group meals. Most student groups request all meals be included in their trip.
Where will we sleep?
We choose accommodation for our educational groups that is safe and clean. Options range from sleeping in tents at well-appointed campgrounds to budget hotels and youth hostels – selected according to your budget and itinerary. At some accommodation it is possible to cook group meals yourselves.
Whenever possible, we use locally-owned accommodation options to keep income in the community.
We have a 24-hour mobile number that parents may ring at any time during their child's trip if there is an emergency, and we will also provide the group coordinator with contact details of where the group is staying each night.
What about sharks or jellyfish?
'The ocean is home to sharks, but the ones you may encounter at the Great Barrier Reef are small and pose little threat to swimmers. In fact, divers and snorkelers often consider themselves lucky to spot one of these shy, magnificent creatures. Australia's famed Great White sharks prefer cold water, and therefore are not found at the Great Barrier Reef.
Stingers, also known as box jellyfish, breed in estuaries and are rare at The Great Barrier Reef. Therefore, they do not pose a big threat to snorkelers or divers. Stingers are only a consideration on the beaches between November and April, and most of the local beaches have stinger nets so that people may still swim.
What do we need to pack?
A Suggested Packing List will be sent to every group organiser so students will be able to adequately prepare for their trip.
When is the best time to visit Cairns/Sydney/The Red Centre? What is the weather like?
Cairns is a tropical place, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. In our summer (December-February), the weather is at its warmest and wettest. You can expect hot days with occasional tropical storms, producing lush green hillsides and plenty of waterfalls. Average temperatures are 23-31 degrees Celsius/73-87 Fahrenheit.
In our winter (June-August), the climate is at its most mild, with warm days, cool nights, and little rainfall. Average temperatures are 18-26 degrees Celsius/64-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sydney has a temperate climate. Summer is warm temperatures at 18-25 degrees celsius/64- 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is spread throughout the year. Winters are mild, with average temperatures at 8-16 degrees Celsius/46-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alice Springs and The Red Centre is a desert environment. This means there is a great difference between daytime and night time temperatures. Summer is hot and dry, with average temperatures at 21-36 degrees Celsius/70-98 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is not frequent, with the most rainfall occurring during December - February. Winters are mild, with average temperatures at 5-20 degrees Celsius/40-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
What qualifications do your guides have?
Our Cairns guides have a government-issued "Blue Card" that is only given after an extensive background check, and allows them the ability to work with children. Each guide also has a Senior First Aid and CPR certification and government-issued Driver's Authority.
Many of our educational adventures guides have higher degrees in environmental science, marine biology or experiential education, and there is one thing which unites them: a love for teaching young people about the outdoors.
We choose guides with extensive experience having worked with young people. We will take into consideration your educational objectives and assign one of our guides who will be the best match for your group.
What kind of insurance do you have in place?
Small World Journeys has public liability insurance up to $10,000,000 and is required for us to maintain our commercial permits for the national parks.
What happens if a student cancels?
If an individual student cancels from a trip within 30 days of the trip departure, no refunds are given. For this reason, we strongly encourage all parents to purchase trip cancellation insurance in order to protect against unforeseen circumstances which are the main cause for student cancellations.
For details on cancellations of the entire group, please see our Terms & Conditions.
How does Small World Journeys incorporate our educational objectives?
We work directly with the teacher organiser or group leader to understand the goals of the trip. Then we suggest activities and learning opportunities to match these objectives.
For example, a group may be interested in learning more about marine biology. In this case we will facilitate some fun classroom time dedicated to marine science in Cairns, then a couple of days at the Great Barrier Reef with our marine biologist guide. We can include such things as waterproof fish and coral ID cards for each student, and mini-lectures after snorkel time. A SCUBA certification course may also be appropriate. Alternatively, we might suggest a few days at an island research station, during which students have classroom and snorkel time, as well as a service project monitoring coral bleaching on the reef.
Whether it is marine science, aboriginal culture, rainforest ecology or another topic, we will work with each group to ensure an educational yet fun experience for all.
What makes Small World Journeys "eco-friendly"?
An eco tour, in our opinion, is a trip in which everyone benefits: the community, the environment, you and us. Simply by joining one of our trips, you will be supporting carbon offsetting, Rainforest Rescue's Adopt-A-Square initiative, aboriginal cultural ventures and locally-owned businesses who are working towards a more sustainable future in tourism. As our guest, you are supporting us as well. Thank you! For more information on our eco-practices, see 10 Reasons Why We're Eco.
Do we need a visa to visit Australia?
All visitors to Australia need a visa, with the exception of visitors from New Zealand. An Australian entry visa, commonly known as an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) will let you spend up to three months in Australia. In most countries it is easily obtained by the travel agent who issues your ticket, and should be free of charge. There is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office to submit an application, and you do not need a stamp or label in your passport. Upon check in at the airport, the airline agent will be able to confirm your ETA electronically.
All visitors will also need a passport, valid for at least six months after the planned return date.
Why should we purchase travel insurance?
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance for your protection. Should a participant need to cancel their trip for any reason, our cancellation policy applies. However, travel insurance protects any loss they may experience should s/he or an immediate family member become ill or sustain an injury that prevents them from going on the trip. For insurance options, one provider is World Nomads.
How do we book our group on an Educational Adventure?
It's easy. Each student will need to fill out a Booking Form and a Liability Waiver. These will be sent to the group organizer upon confirmation of the trip.
Could we contact any other educators that have traveled with you?
You are welcome to contact other teachers who have traveled with us. Please contact us at + 61 7 4053 2878 or email@example.com for references.