Academic Student Trips Exploring Australia’s Biodiversity
A literal treasure trove of biodiversity, the Daintree Rainforest and The Wet Tropics region of Australia is significant to any student studying biology and ecosystems at risk.This region showcases a living record of the ecological and evolutionary processes that shaped the flora and fauna of Australia over the past 415 million years. Twelve out of the world’s 19 families of primitive flowering plants grow here and within these families, there are at least 50 species found only in the Wet Tropics. In addition, this area hosts about a third of Australia’s 315 mammal species – 13 of these species are found nowhere else in the world.
Explore the many different types of tropical rainforest – parts of which are some of the oldest continuous rainforest in the world—and learn about its ecology through walks, talks and hands-on activities.
Biology, ecology and rainforest studies are incoroprated into the following tours:
Sustainability and Service
8 Days / 7 Nights
An Adventure That "Green" Dreams Are Made Of
Trips starting from: $1565 per student
Ecosystems at Risk: Reefs and Rainforests
6 Days / 5 Nights
Geography Studies at The Earth's Biodiversity Hot Spots
Trips starting from: $1095 per student
Australian Tropical Biology
13 Days / 12 Nights
Marine and Terrestrial Biology in the Tropics
Trips starting from: $2595 per student
Reef and Marine Studies
6 Days / 5 Nights
Marine Science in Paradise
Trips starting from: $995 per student
Ecosystems at Risk: Coral Reefs Study
4 Days / 3 Nights
Discover the Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef
Trips starting from: $645 per student
Ecosystems at Risk: Rainforests
4 Days / 3 Nights
Ecology and Geography Studies in the Tropical Rainforest
Trips starting from: $595 per student
Australian Flora and Fauna - For Adults
7 Days / 6 Nights
The Unique World of Australia's Plants and Animals
Trips starting from: $2525 per person
Or combine these activities into your custom educational tour in Australia:
Rainforest Interpretation with Naturalist Guide
The Cairns region is blessed with tropical lowland and highland rainforests. Whether a leisurely walk to waterfalls, or hiking to the peak of the area’s tallest mountain, your naturalist guide provides interpretation of the flora and fauna you see. Your guide helps you look for the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly, listen for the call of the king parrot and kookaburra, or even taste a green ant’s abdomen (a citrus tang!)
James Cook University 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 allows students to observe flora and fauna up close, as well as view panoramic views of the Daintree Rainforest in this World Heritage area. This canopy crane is by special access only and is not open to the public.
Perform Biologists' Field Techniques
In a swath of upland rainforest, learn from your guide how biologists perform vertebrate transects, which allows them to survey life within the rainforest. Data collected in the rainforest is then sent to the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change at James Cook University in Townsville. This is a valuable tool for biology and ecology students, and you will particpate in a real-life field technique used by biolgists.
Native Tree Planting and Seed Propagation
Help restore biodiversity with seed propogation and tree planting in an area considered a “hotspot”. Here your service project helps protect new endangered species–a rainforest frog (Kuranda Tree frog or Myola frog) and a palm–in this buffer zone for a World Heritage area.
Study Mangrove Systems
Home to reputedly the most biodiverse mangrove system in Australia, Cooper Creek is internationally recognized as significant for its precious flora and fauna. For one hour you wind your way from Cooper Creek’s Coral Sea mouth towards Queensland’s 3rd highest mountain, Thornton Peak, on a leisurely and informative cruise into this unique world of mangroves. On the cruise you have the chance to document with pen and camera the zonation of mangrove forests. Alternatively, explore the mangroves with an aboriginal guide the traditional foods collected by indigenous people and then cook up what you’ve caught.
Nocturnal Wildlife Spotting
Explore a rare type of volcanic pipe – a.k.a “the Crater”- and the abundance of nocturnal wildlife that appears in this high-altitude rainforest once the sun goes down. A naturalist guide will help you collect data on unique mammal and marsupial populations like Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroos, Green Ringtail Possums, Sugar Gliders, Musky Rat-kangaroos and numerous other kangaroo and wallaby species that live in the forest.
Photo credit: Dr. Martin Cohen
Learn Uses of Rainforest Plants from Aboriginal Guides
On a rainforest walk with an aboriginal elder, see the rainforest through indigenous eyes. The Kuku Yalanji are the some of the only tribal rainforest people in Australia who still have their own culture and language and students learn what native plants were used for food, medicine, and even soap. Your guide also explains aspects of aboriginal culture.
Observe and Study Crocodiles
No visit to Far North Queensland is complete until you have seen the region’s most infamous resident – the crocodile. Lagoon boat rides enables safe, guaranteed viewing of giant saltwater crocodiles in a natural setting. Trainers demonstrate with real crocs how they hunt their prey, escape detection, and use their infamous “death roll”. Alternatively, look for crocs in the wild on an eco-friendly solar-powered river boat in Daintree National Park. An on board “croc-cam” lets you get up close and personal with these magnificent estuarine crocodiles.
Explore an Interpretive Centre
Learn more about the precious lowland rainforest an award-winning world class interpretive facility. You get easy access to this unique rainforest wilderness via a boardwalk tour, a 23-metre high Canopy Tower, Aerial Walkway and comprehensive Display Centre. With a large indoor display area, the latest touch screen technology and an audio visual theatre, the Centre provides easy-to-understand information about one of the most biologically complex spots on the planet and you’ll leave with a greater appreciation of this special place.
Visit a Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Learn what contributes to the deaths and injuries of “Crush” and his friends at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Volunteers have just built a new turtle clinic facility on Fitzroy Island, which is an extension if the existing facility in Cairns. The centre treats and cares for sick, injured and stranded sea turtles, and in small groups you tour the facility to learn how volunteers’ efforts help save these creatures.
Explore a Permaculture Farm
Learn more about “permaculture” principles at an organic farm. Permaculture is sustainable land use design modeled on natural ecosystems. At this orchard you are treated to a succulent tropical fruit tasting in the Daintree rainforest, involving at least 10 different rare fruits in any season including the Star Apple, Miracle Fruit and even the Ice Cream Bean.
Discover Diverse Bird Habitats
The diversity of the Cairns Highlands attracts unique wildlife within a relatively small area and a large number of bird species. Perhaps the area’s best place to observe nesting behavior, Nyleta Wetlands, attracts more than 190 bird species to its different aquatic environments. Here you can expect to see a wide range of resident and migrant birds, but not in the large numbers which gather here in the dry season. Bloodwoods, melaleucas and rose gums dot this landscape for a uniquely Australian backdrop.
Photo credit: Dr. Martin Cohen
Interested, But Don’t Know Where to Start?
Even if you don’t see your group’s interest above, chances are we can make it happen. Our trips are hand-crafted for those who cannot find exactly what they want from the inflexible set itineraries of large tour operators.
Call or email to see what we can offer your group!