Student Excursions to Explore Our World
Our student geography tours aim to inspire students to ask geographical questions and to look for answers through investigative activities. Far North Queensland boasts myriad landscapes ripe for exploration: the ancient Daintree Rainforest, lava tubes and volcanic formations of the Atherton Tablelands, and the islands of the inner and outer Great Barrier Reef. In fact this region in Queensland showcases a living record of the ecological and evolutionary processes that shaped the flora and fauna of Australia over the past 415 million years. Through walks, talks and hands-on activities, students enhance their knowledge of geography in a fun and dynamic way on our geography camps.
Geography topics and activities are incorporated into the following tours:
Ecosystems at Risk: Coral Reefs Study - 4 Days
4 Days / 3 Nights
Discover The Great Barrier Reef: A Fragile Ecosystem
Trips starting from: $749 per student
Ecosystems at Risk: Rainforests - 4 Days
4 Days / 3 Nights
Ecology and Geography Studies in the Tropical Rainforest
Trips starting from: $759 per student
Ecosystems at Risk: Reefs and Rainforests - 6 Days
6 Days / 5 Nights
Geography Studies at The Earth's Biodiversity Hot Spots
Trips starting from: $1395 per student
Reef and Marine Studies - 6 Day Adventure
6 Days / 5 Nights
Marine Science in Paradise
Trips starting from: $1296 per student
Community Service & Sustainability - 9 Day Adventure
9 Days / 8 Nights
Service Projects and Sustainability Learning in One Fun Trip
Trips starting from: $2226 per student
Service Learning Adventure - 6 Day Adventure
6 Days / 5 Nights
A Fun and Practical Community Service-Oriented Trip
Trips starting from: $1375 per student
Or Let Us Create FREE For You a CUSTOM Tour - Choose Any Elements Below:
Mapping Activity on Tropical Island
Students explore a tropical island at the Great Barrier Reef by land and by sea and hone their geography skills at the same time. Students review map reading (such as using degrees and minutes of latitude and longitude as well as explaining relationships on a map) while simultaneously learn about management strategies for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Mangrove Exploration and Optional Service Project
A raised walkway takes you through a critical mangrove ecosystem which is the breeding ground for many important aquatic species. Your guide teaches you about the interesting aspects of mangrove systems and their importance to the Great Barrier Reef. Afterwards you can participate in an optional cleanup at a one of the creeks that makes its way to the ocean via the mangrove ecosystems. Unfortunately household rubbish also often makes its way into these creeks and your service project helps protect both the mangroves and the reef. You tally your “rubbish results” at the end and the team with the top results gets a prize.
Plant Evolution at Botanic Gardens with Expert Botanist
The Cairns Botanic Gardens reign as one of the best tropical gardens in the world. With an expert botanist/entomologist, you trace a loop through the Gondwanan Heritage Garden, where you witness how plants evolved as the continents pulled apart. You meet descendants of plants that turned into our present coal beds, which ones killed Aborigines slowly over time, and the plant that was recently discovered in the Daintree Rainforest that was thought to have been gone forever. You also discover how, by a strange twist of geological fate, the Wet Tropics UNESCO World Heritage Area became the oldest continuously growing rainforest on earth.
Fieldwork Techniques: Fish Population Survey and Water Quality Testing at The Reef
Undertake an in-water biodiversity study with our marine scientist using the waterproof SWJ Fish ID & tally slates that has them identifying & recording the number of specific indicator species that exist at an island on the Great Barrier Reef. Small World Journeys collects these tallies from each group that visits the island so we can log this data, analyse the results over time, and look for any long term trends. You also learn to measure water quality using a Secchi disk, refractometer and chemical tests.
Special Speaker on Protected Area Management
Learning about both traditional and contemporary protected area management is crucial to any student’s understanding of geography. Guest speakers can include university professors, consultants to the Wet Tropics Management Authority or Aboriginal rangers and Traditional Owners to provide insight on global and regional issues such as protected area management, climate change and human impacts
Aboriginal Guided Rainforest Walk and Economic Enterprise Case Study
Wander the Daintree Rainforest at Mossman Gorge with an Aboriginal guide and discover how indigenous Kuku Yalanji people found their way through dense rainforest, made shelter and learned which native plants served as medicine and those that were tasty to eat. As an Aboriginal-owned tourism venture in the rainforest, Mossman Gorge Centre may be a good case study of the geography of a local economic enterprise. By speaking with key staff you can learn about the centre’s training program and its effects on the economy and community.
JCU Rainforest Observatory and Canopy Crane
As one of only a handful in the world, the James Cook University Canopy Crane gives students (and researchers) unparalleled access to the rainforest canopy. At 47 metres tall with a 55 metre radius, the crane offers students views of various land formations and the Daintree Rainforest in this World Heritage area. This canopy crane is by special access only and is not open to the public. (Please note students must be at least 15 years old to participate.)
Fieldwork Techniques: Great Barrier Reef Monitoring Service Project
During a timed snorkel session, you record your underwater findings within a defined boundary at The Great Barrier Reef. Your guide and waterproof tiles help you identify a host of marine life and calculate benthic zone coverage. You look for signs of coral bleaching and coral predators which greatly affect the health of the reef. Your data is then collected and contributes to the central reporting system used by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to manage the long term sustainability of this UNESCO World Heritage area. Your group receives a reef health report after your excursion that includes your contributions.
Debate about Local Development Controversy
Participate in a debate in which each small group takes on a role and presents their argument either for or against the development of a major Las Vegas-style resort, still in the planning stages for Cairns. This is a fun way for you to get involved with all sides of an environmental debate with a real-life example that has gained significant media attention.
Fieldwork Techniques: Data Collection on Rainforest Revegetation
Participate in an important service project at the James Cook University Daintree rainforest research station. Hundreds of trees have been planted for re-growth on site, and students are taught how to do condition assessments of the trees as biologists and botanists do in the field. Students learn about pioneer species, herbivory, and how to use a clinometer and DBH tapes to measure tree growth. The results of the condition assessments are then contributed to the ongoing research on the success of “pioneer species” used by JCU staff.
Australian Curriculum Links for These Activities
Year 7: The influence of social connectedness and community identity on the liveability of place (ACHGK046)
Year 8: Spiritual, aesthetic and cultural value of landscapes and landforms for people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACHGK049)
Year 9: The perceptions people have of place, and how these influence their connections to different places (ACHGK065)
Year 10: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ approaches to custodial responsibility and environmental management in different regions of Australia (ACHGK072)
Contact Us for a Complete List of Curriculum Links