• The perfect intro to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
• Travel with the same group of guests and crew for three days
• Visit multiple snorkel/dive sites at the outer reef
• Share a cabin with another traveller of the same gender
• Log up to 11 dives - including 2 night dives!
• Advanced eco-certified boat and award-winning budget accommodation
Overview - 5 Days / 4 Nights
On this active adventure perfect for the single traveller in Australia, or travellers looking to join others, you see The Great Barrier Reef at its best.
Small World Journeys will welcome you when you arrive in Cairns, get you set up for your reef adventure, and give you fish and coral ID tiles to help you identify what you're looking at underwater
Then for 3 days you discover the wonders of the Great Barrier Reer on a liveaboard boat, your captain choosing from 16 exclusive reef sites. Snorkellers will delight in swimming in a turquoise sea among hard and soft coral gardens, turtles and brightly coloured fish.
Certified divers can log up to 11 dives among some of the best biodiversity in the world. Two night dives capture the magic of moonlight phosphoresence and the interesting creatures of the deep.
Combined with delicious buffet meals, air conditioned twin-share cabins, and a chance to get to know other travellers, this is an ideal adventure for a solo holiday.
Day 1: Arrival, Welcome Orientation and Reef Presentation
Welcome to the tropics! You are greeted by a friendly Small World Journeys staff member when you step off the plane, who will give you your detailed itinerary and an orientation to Cairns. You are then transferred from the Cairns airport to your accommodation.
Your accommodation was recently inducted into the Tourism Tropical North Queensland's Hall of Fame for consistently rating excellent in the budget accommodation category: it is located only a few blocks from the waterfront, and attractions, restaurants and shops are all within easy walking distance.
Your accommodation features an outdoor pool, laundry facilities, large communal area with couches and pool table, free internet and WiFi. Your immaculate room has its own bathroom, kitchenette and either balcony or a leafy garden courtyard.
In the early evening you will attend a fun and dynamic presentation by a marine conservationist designed to help you understand coral biology and ecology, the major invertebrate groups and the different types fish that live at the Great Barrier Reef. In addition, you find out about threatened species and the consequences of climate change on the reef. On the lighter side, you’ll discover fish that you can watch change colour, fish that change gender, which animal breathes through his bum, and how and where to find “Nemo.” There’s plenty of hands-on time, and this is a great way to enhance your reef experience.
Accommodation: The Northern Greenhouse
Days 2-4: Snorkelling or Diving The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the natural wonders of the world. Encompassing more than 2900 individual reefs, its ecosystem supports some of the best biodiversity on the planet and it is on every snorkeler's and diver's list of places to see.
For three days you will get to experience the enchantment of the outer reef. You will be picked up at your accommodation and transferred to the marina to begin your excursion. Your boat is 25 metres (80 feet) long and features 14 twin share and 2 double cabins with private amenities for every 2 cabins. The boat is centrally air-conditioned, light and airy with 2 large decks --one for gear and one strictly for sun tanning and relaxing. With the same friendly crew and small group of travellers for three days, you are certain of making friendships in this fantastic setting.
Your captain will choose from 16 different snorkel and dive sites, depending on the tides, currents and weather, for your best possible experience in the water. Snorkelers will encounter a host of hard corals, anemones, giant clams, turtles, a rainbow of parrot and butterfly fish, and perhaps the Great Barrier Reef's most famous resident - Nemo.
SCUBA divers can log up to 11 dives during these three days, diving among gorgonian fans, nudibranches, sweetlips, large pelagic fish and bommies draped with colour and life. This evening divers can also experience the magic of the reef with a phenomenal night dive among sleeping turtles, painted lobsters and the occasional harmless reef shark.
At the end of the trip you can join other solo travellers for a meal out on the town and a celebration of your adventures together.
Accommodation Days 2 and 3: Live aboard boat
Accommodation Day 4: The Northern Greenhouse
Included Days 2, 3, 4: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Included Day 4: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5: Trip Conclusion or Extension
After breakfast, you prepare for your journey home or enjoy more adventures in Cairns focused on the rainforest or aboriginal culture.
- Meet & Greet by Small World Journeys staff at the Cairns airport
- Transfer from Cairns airport to accommodation
- Two nights central Cairns budget accommodation (single room with ensuite and kitchenette)*
- Two nights live aboard boat (double or twin-share cabin with one bathroom/shower for every 2 rooms)
- All activites as specified in the itinerary
- All breakfasts
- 3 lunches
- 2 dinners
- Transportation to/from marina
- Snorkeling gear and wetsuit rental
- Prescription lens mask (if required)
- Dive insurance
- Background information and cultural etiquette tips
- 24-hour emergency local support (call us if you need assitance!)
- Waterproof coral and fish ID tiles
- Small World Journeys water bottle and cloth carry bag
- Carbon offsetting through Sustainable Travel International's ClimateCare™ portfolio to neutralise your carbon footprint
What's not Included:
Airfare to Cairns, transfer back to Cairns airport, alcohol, items of a personal nature, $60 AUD Reef tax payable on board the boat, 2 dinners, optional SCUBA diving (equipment hire is included)
Optional SCUBA diving:
Certified SCUBA diving: An additional $75 AUD for an 11-dive package, including a night dive. Includes wetsuit and equipment hire.
INTRO SCUBA diving: An additional $50 per dive. Includes wetsuit and equipment hire.
NOTE ON SCUBA DIVING: In order to participate in SCUBA diving, you will be required to fill out a medical form. It is important to note that Australian diving standards are some of the most rigorous in the world, and certain medical conditions will require a medical exam by a certified Australian dive doctor even if you are ALREADY certified. Although dive medical exams (at your cost, approximately $60 AUD) are available at a 24-hour clinic in Cairns, you need to know BEFORE the dive trip that you need this medical exam. Some of the medical conditions that may disqualify you from diving or will require a medical exam are, but not limited to, the following: Diabetes, Asthma, Migraine Headaches, Previous Head Injuries.
We will email you a medical form on request if you are interested in diving – please let us know.
If you prefer a little more luxury...
You can upgrade to accommodation in Cairns at The Pacific International, including full hot cooked breakfast for an additional $198 AUD total for the trip.
Other Post-Trip Optional Add-Ons:
Small Group Aboriginal Culture Adventure: the Kuku Yalanji are the last rainforest tribal people to have retained their own language and customs – learn from an indigenous guide who will show you how to catch food the traditional way, cook up what you've caught, and share in an aboriginal art experience with an indigenous artist-in-residence. $209 AUD adult and $189 child (to 14 yrs.) and includes transport from your hotel.
Small Group Whitewater Rafting the Tully River: A full day paddling Class III-IV rapids through UNESCO World-Heritage rainforest. No experience necessary. Minimum age 13 years. $195 AUD which includes the river levy of $30 and transport from your hotel.
Other Destinations in Australia, Pre or Post Trip:
Is this a holiday for singles?
This holiday is appropriate for people travelling solo, or with a partner or friend.
Even though not being specifically for SINGLES, this trip maximises opportunities for
solo travellers to meet other people. The central Cairns-based accommodation offers
a single room for your privacy, but a social atmosphere with movie nights, pool tables,
tropical swimming pool and a small bar.
Once I arrive at the Cairns airport - what next?
One of our friendly staff will meet you in Baggage Claim and will have a sign with your name on it. They will they have a detailed itinerary description for you, along with extras such as a town map, recommended restaurants for your first and last night, water bottle, cloth shopping bag and your underwater fish and coral ID tiles.
What is the weather like in Cairns?
Cairns has a tropical climate, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. In our summer (December-February), the weather is at its warmest and wettest. 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.
In spring (September - November), days are warm to hot and in autumn (March - May) temperatures are still warm to hot, with more chances of rain than in spring.
What do I pack?
We will provide you with a suggested packing list in your Confirmation Packet. Please bring lightweight clothes for the tropics, sunscreen, hat, swim suit and SCUBA certification card (if applicable).
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 the cold waters of the southern coast, and therefore are not found at the Great Barrier Reef.
Box jellyfish, irukandji and other jellyfish, collectively known as "stingers" breed along the coast in estuaries and are not commonly found at The Great Barrier Reef. Therefore, they do not pose a major threat to snorkelers or divers at the reef. However, as a precaution you can use a full body lycra suit from the reef boat (provided free) so that you may still enjoy snorkeling and/or diving. Stingers are only a consideration between November and April/May.
How do I arrange airfare?
We do not arrange airfare in house, however we do work closely with several travel agents. In Australia, we recommend Kim Salter, our Sydney-based travel agent. Contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call + 61 0433 324 455 or toll free within Australia 1 300 640 821.
In the US, we recommend:
Sandra Marron at Millennium Travel California. Contact Sandra at
email@example.com or call toll free at 1-888-700- 2182.
or Peggy Lichter at Wiser World Travel Colorado. Contact Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-303-443-0604
Do I 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. You can also get an ETA on line by visiting www.eta.immi.gov.au. 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.
Do I need to bring my own snorkelling or dive equipment?
You may bring your own equipment if you wish; however mask, fins and snorkel are provided on the Great Barrier Reef trip for snorkelers and all dive equipment is included in the diver package.
Why should I travel with Small World Journeys?
LOCAL SUPPORT & KNOWLEDGE
Our office is in Cairns – this means we are right around the corner for 24-hour support, to answer your questions, or if you have an emergency in the middle of the trip.
Local knowledge means we know the restaurant owners who catch their own fish (and then deliciously prepare it for you!), where to buy the real indigenous-made souvenirs, and the swimming holes where locals go.
Being an “eco” tour operator means more to us than just offering walks outdoors. It means we pay to offset the carbon emissions from your trip, give a percentage of profits to local environmental and community organizations, plant trees, recycle, and participate in Rainforest Rescue’s Adopt-a-Square program. See 10 Reasons Why We’re Eco for more on what we do for our environment and community.
HUNDREDS OF HAPPY GUESTS
We could tell you that we provide highly professional customer service, respond attentively and consistently exceed our guests’ expectations. But don’t believe us! Read some of our testimonials or ask us for references from past guests who are willing to tell you all about their experience with Small World Journeys.
You get a Small World Journeys water bottle, a cloth carry bag, and waterproof coral and fish tiles for you to keep so you know what you're looking at under water! Plus you get an unforgettable trip too.
Once you book your trip, we will send out a Confirmation Packet to you with detailed information that should answer most of your questions. In addition, you can feel free to email us anytime at: email@example.com