Trips That Study the Protection of Our Planet
In Australia’s far north Queensland, communities have taken great steps to protect some of the planet’s best biodiversity as well as its rainforest peoples. On Small World Journeys’ educational excursions focusing on sustainability, you see how “green” efforts extend beyond just recycling. Students can learn from indigneous people sharing their expertise, from eco-lodge managers who built their bungalows on their own, and from cattle station owners determined to preserve land for conservation purposes. You can also visit a “mass” tourism attraction that has garnered dozens of awards for minimal impact and education, and learn secrets behind its success. From the reef to the outback to the rainforest–you see how both businesses and individuals in this region have initiated innovative practices for a more sustainable future.
Educational tours that include a focus on sustainability or community initiatives are:
Australian Tropical Biology - 14 Day Adventure
14 Days / 13 Nights
Marine and Terrestrial Biology in the Tropics
Trips starting from: $3098 per student
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
Service Learning Adventure - 6 Day Adventure
6 Days / 5 Nights
A Fun and Practical Community Service-Oriented Trip
Trips starting from: $1375 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
Or Let Us Create FREE For You a CUSTOM Tour - Choose Any Elements Below:
Fieldwork at a Rainforest Revegetation Site
Using DBH tapes and a clinometer, you learn from JCU researchers how to evaluate the health of trees at a critical Daintree Rainforest site. You investigate herbivory and parasitism, and collect data on which trees survive in this soil and climate. Data results are then used by James Cook University scientists to measure the success of the revegetation site.
Service Project with Eye on The Reef
Participate in Eye on the Reef–a community-based initiative developed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). Contribute to Small World Journeys’ ongoing data collection at an island on the inner Great Barrier Reef to monitor coral bleaching, coral predators and other species.
Encounter Endemic and Endangered Wildlife
In the Wet Tropics UNESCO World Heritage area near Cairns, unique and beautiful creatures like the southern cassowary–a giant flightless bird with a brilliant blue head and neck–have become endangered. In the care of a naturalist guide, learn more about endemic species to the Wet Tropics, such as Boyd’s Forest Dragons, and look for these creatures in the wild.
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 biologists.
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.
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.
Marine Biologist Reef Presentation
A must for every marine-based trip! You learn from a marine biologist what you are likely to see during your time at the Great Barrier Reef. From corals that take whimsical shapes to a host of colourful and sometimes bizarre fish and crustaceans, you learn how to identify the most common creatures at the reef. More importantly, you learn about the real hazards at the reef (like the innocent-looking cone shell) versus the imagined ones (like scary sharks) fueled by Hollywood myths. This presentation is the perfect introduction to the reef and region’s biodiversity, and helps you appreciate the underwater world you are about to experience.
Study "Indicator" Species in Ecosystems at Risk
An indicator species, or bio-indicator, is one that is sensitive to environmental change and therefore can act as an early warning to monitoring biologists. Together with a naturalist guide, visit ecosystems at risk and study how the health and numbers of indicator species are analysed, and what they say about the overall condition of the environment.
Explore a Rainforest 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.
Overnight Stay at Reef HQ and Turtle Hospital
Stay as a group among the creatures of the sea at Townsville’s celebrated Reef HQ. Here you can experience the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet! Reef HQ boasts the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium, and you go behind-the-scenes of the 2.5 million-litre Coral Reef Exhibit. Studnets get to observe the nocturnal habits of the reef creatures, have dinner and then fall asleep with the amazing reef creatures that call Reef HQ Aquarium home. As part of your stay, you visit the turtle hospital–a dedicated facility where sick and injured marine turtles are cared for and rehabilitated.
Behind-the-Scenes Service Work at a Wildlife Park
Set up “camp” at a wildlife park that also serves as a hospital and rehabilitation centre for countless injured, sick, and orphaned animals. You get a special behind-the-scenes experience of the sanctuary at night and you stay in a sheltered area as a group. The next morning you have the opportunity to do service work that helps keep this sanctuary going. You may be asked to help with repairing enclosures for birds, landscape work in the open-air kangaroo area, or collecting gum tree leaves for the koalas’ food.
Marine Debris Service Project
Give back to the community by helping clean up a section of coastline indentified as a “marine debris hotspot”. With the help of your marine debris identification manuals, you will collate data on what you find, which is submitted it the National Marine Debris Database. This database is then used by industry, educational facilities, local, state and federal government agencies and other community groups for research and education as well as to help in finding ways of reducing marine debris in the local area. Students also learn how their their data helps support local non-profit organisation’s efforts to affect major organizations and companies’ policies.
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.
Visit to a "Green" School
A highlight of your trip to Australia may be visiting a local school that has been recognised for its practices in protecting the environment, in which every student plays a part in being ecologically responsible.
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!