Agriculture and Agronomy – 9 Day Adventure

Agriculture Tour in the Australian Tropics

Agriculture systems around the world are facing significant challenges under pressure from climate change, land and water limitations, and the demand for more food. On this educational tour, students explore solutions to these challenges by exploring both traditional methods by Australian farmers—with crops ranging from bananas to coffee to sugar—but also innovative new techniques. On this guided student group adventure, you also explore the sun-splashed Great Barrier Reef from an eco-friendly boat and learn about medicinal and edible plants with Australian Aboriginal people while walking in the rainforest.

Between delicious meals, naturally you will also be sampling the bounty of Queensland’s agricultural products – crisp organic veggies, robust coffees, juicy tropical fruits and boutique wines. Through in-depth talks with farmers, observation of operations, and discovery of new techniques, you leave with a greater ability to make informed decisions on the use of agricultural technologies and natural resources while planning for a more sustainable future.

Highlights:

  • Learn from Aussie farmers about a wide variety of crops and growing styles
  • Make cheese on a dairy farm and learn about bio-dynamic growing principles
  • Crack whips and milk the cows on a family outback cattle station
  • Visit a native plant nursery to learn about their special clonal seed propagation
  • Understand resource management  with an Aboriginal guide
  • Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and learn how farmers hurt and help it
  • Taste delicious coffee at a plantation and learn about the bean growing process
  • Explore highlands and lowlands rainforest, savannah land, and outback country and learn the challenges of growing in each location

Benefits & Bonuses:

  • All accommodation, meals, guides and transport to activities included
  • We plan everything–making it easy for you
  • Price Guarantee: price will not change once you sign up for your trip
  • Expert local guides – not “bus drivers”
  • We cater to student special diets and swimming levels
  • Goodies! Water bottle, field guide, cloth shopping bag and rainforest plot adopted in your name
  • MAKE IT YOUR OWN – This trip is fully customisable. Ask us for details!

 

 

Day 1: Arrive in Cairns and Orientation

Day 1: Arrive in Cairns and Orientation

Arrive Cairns: Welcome to the tropics! You are met at the airport by a member of the Small World Journeys team and then you are transferred to your accommodation.

Accommodation: Your accommodation is at a breezy award-winning hostel in the centre of Cairns’ restaurant and shopping district, and only a few blocks from the waterfront.  Well shaded by tropical trees and plants, the hostel features an outdoor pool, pool table, large kitchen, guest laundry and free internet and Wi-Fi.

Before dinner, you can explore the nearby Esplanade – a lively stretch of waterfront with night markets, occasional performers and an expansive swimming lagoon.

Field Guide: 101 Plants of The Wet Tropics, written by Dr. Martin Cohen, helps you to better understand species native to the region and is yours to keep (and the book makes a great souvenir!)

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Eco Banana Farm, Agronomist Talk, Sugar Cane Mill Tour

Day 2: Eco Banana Farm, Agronomist Talk, Sugar Cane Mill Tour

Banana Farm Visit: This morning you visit Pacific Coast Eco Bananas, the producers of the red-tipped banana.  As a shining example of fruit produced without the use of fertilizers or pesticides, the company is a great model of sustainability.  You have the opportunity to speak with the owners of the plantation about their “Ecoganic” farming, witness their growing techniques, and enjoy a delicious banana smoothie!

Agronomist Talk:  Accompanying you  is Richard Piper – an agronomist and research director of Scientific Advisory Services (SAS – SAS specialises in plant protection and the development of integrated pest management in horticulture). He has more than 15 years experience living and working on plant protection in the tropics, on a range of tropical fruit crops including banana, papaya, lychee, mango and passionfruit. He conducts research on disease diagnostic methods, pheromone trapping and monitoring systems and novel biological control technologies. In addition he is involved in conducting efficacy and residue trials for registration of new pesticides.  You discuss plant protection at length.

Tully Sugar Cane Mill: During this one hour tour you will be shown the inner workings of the Tully Sugar Mill. The Tully Mill is one of the largest in Australia and their principal activity is to produce raw sugar. (Please note this activity is only available during crushing season, June-November)

Josephine Falls: Finally you make a stop in Wooroorooran National park. You take an easy walk through the jungle, where Josephine Creek plunges down a gorgeous set of cascades. Below the falls, boulders surround a swimming hole and a natural water slide down a smooth sloping rock face.

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3: Farm Visits, Waterfalls and Outback Cattle Station

Day 3: Farm Visits, Waterfalls and Outback Cattle Station

Farm Visit: Today with your guide you spend your time on a farm in the Atherton Tablelands, the major agricultural area of the region. You have time to talk with the farmers about their techniques, view their equipment, and ask specific questions about their methods.

Bio-Dynamic Dairy Farm and Making Butter or Cheese: Next you visit a family-owned farm in the heart of dairy country. You learn what it means for farmers to “go beyond organic” by applying a diligent set of practices to the land. At a forward-thinking dairy farm, you learn how biodynamics—one of the first sustainable agriculture movements—accounts for ecological, social and economic sustainability. With a chance to sample delicious soft cheeses and creamy yogurts, you taste the magic that makes dairy products so yummy. You also have the chance to learn the art of making either homemade butter or rich ricotta-style cheese.

Millaa Millaa Falls: After lunch you visit Millaa Millaa Falls, the icon of tropical north Queensland and one of the most photographed natural sites in the region.  For those who are keen, you can swim out to the peculiar columnar basalt and view the falls from behind – a perfect tropical swimming hole.

Wind Farm: On the edge of the outback, you stop at Windy Hill Wind Farm for a look at the first wind farm that was constructed in Queensland. The Windy Hill Wind Farm produces 12 megawatts of electricity, or enough energy to supply 3,500 homes. You learn about why Australia requires energy retailers to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to achieve renewable energy targets, and how this wind farm is helping with these sustainability efforts.

Outback Cattle Station and Wildlife: As you cross the Great Dividing Range, you enter outback country, where the dirt turns red and gum trees prevail. Here you are welcome guests at a traditional working cattle station and homestead, opened to your group.  On arrival, you hop in the hay truck to trace a route through the station – much of which has been set aside as a sanctuary for wildlife—and look for the kangaroos and crocodiles that roam the property.

Aussie BBQ and Stargazing: After a classic Aussie “barbie”, you have a fire under starry outback skies. From this remote outback station, views of the southern hemisphere stars are phenomenal. You’ll learn how to find southern constellations—including the Southern Cross—most of which cannot be seen from the northern hemisphere. Students sleep in single-gender dorm-style bunk houses, while teachers sleep in single cabins tonight.

Accommodation: Outback Cattle Station (dorm-style bunk beds in a cabin)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: Outback Farm Activities and Urban Farm Visit

Day 4: Outback Farm Activities and Urban Farm Visit

Cow Milking, Animals and Whip Cracking: Breaking into small groups, you can visit the goats and chickens, learn how to milk the cows and crack a whip properly in true cowboy style. You also take a walk back through time on the homestead to the age of the early Australian pioneers, and you can touch the old furniture, trinkets and memorabilia all well-preserved by the family.

Urban Farm: Next you visit a local “urban” farm that is unique in its operations.  While the farmers grow chemical free organic produce to supply locally, they also grow everything on recycled, repurposed and salvaged materials. Depending on what’s in season, you can sample strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers and more, all that have come straight from the vine.  Throughout your tour you will discuss topics such as sustainable urban farming, soil and compost building, guerilla farming – and what it means, and how you can easily practice container gardening at home. This is a great opportunity for you to taste delicious “clean” fruits and veggies that you can’t do in most places, as well as the chance for a Q and A session direct with the farmers. Any projects in progress at the time of your visit you are invited to get hands on and assist with; this may include planting or harvesting a crop, making compost, building up garden beds and more.

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Sugar Cane and Cocoa Farm and Daintree Rainforest

Day 5: Sugar Cane and Cocoa Farm and Daintree Rainforest

Sugar Cane Farm: With its origins in the late 19th century, the Queensland sugar industry has played a significant role in the development of many regions in Queensland. Today you visit a family-run farm in Mossman where they farm 185 hectares of sugarcane.  Your host is Gerard Puglisi – member of a number of key agriculture advisory boards—who leads you on an exploration of his property. You also witness the harvesting of cane if the season is not yet finished.

Cocoa Plantation:  An on-site 2 hectare cocoa plantation was one of the first in Australia, and it’s the origin of chocolate lovers’ dreams.   The plantation is one of a small handful of “Plantation to Plate” cocoa producers (meaning they have total control over every stage of processing).  You see how cocoa moves from the trees through the fermenting and drying processes, and you then get to sample some of the end product of chocolate for yourself!

Daintree Rainforest & Beach Eco-Lodge: Later you enter the magical Daintree Rainforest – the oldest continuously growing rainforest on earth.  Your Daintree lodge boasts an attractive swimming pool, guest laundry, BBQ area, and a superb location in the rainforest but directly on the beach.  As a recipient of Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2015, the lodge also uses grey water for irrigation, locally-sourced food for its restaurant, and recycles 80% of its waste.

Students sleep in dorm-style cabins with ensuite, and the sounds of the jungle surround you.

Accommodation: Daintree Rainforest Cabins
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6: Daintree Rainforest Jungle Canopy Zip Line and Organic Fruit Orchard & Ice Creamery

Day 6: Daintree Rainforest Jungle Canopy Zip Line and Organic Fruit Orchard & Ice Creamery

Rainforest Canopy Zip Line: At Cape Tribulation experience the art of “jungle surfing”: an exhilarating zip line ride among the tree tops. By clipping into a series of steel cables arranged in the trees, you can fly across the rainforest canopy and get a bird’s eye view of the world.   This is a great way for students to safely challenge themselves in the care of naturalist guides.

“Jungle Surfing”: At the highest point you fly over 22 metres above the valley, and the flight choice is yours – slow, fast, or even upside down. During this unique adventure, you learn more about the rainforest while keeping an eye out for Boyd’s Forest dragons and the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly.

Organic Fruit Orchard: Next you visit a unique 22-acre site encircled by rainforest-clad mountains that showcases lush tropical gardens and unique sweeping vistas (a rarity in rainforest ecosystems normally covered by canopy). In keeping in harmony with the surrounds the orchard is organically farmed and the best is done to work with the natural systems. Being in the rainforest, there is no need to irrigate and all trees are watered by mother nature. The Daintree Ice Cream Company’s orchard contains more than 15 species of rare and exotic fruit trees as well as dedicated revegetation/wildlife areas…and you get to try their delicious flavours!

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Aboriginal Culture & Bush Tucker Guided Walk, Reef Presentation

Day 7: Aboriginal Culture & Bush Tucker Guided Walk, Reef Presentation

 Local Aboriginal Culture:  This morning you meet an Aboriginal Yirrganydji elder to see the region through his eyes. Having worked with the Historical Society for more than 20 years to research Indigenous artefacts as a “surface archaeologist”, your guide is also an author and a source of many compelling stories. Starting at a local museum, your guide tells of life sanctioned on Aboriginal Reserves in Cairns and about the significance of land and sea country to his people.

Bush Tucker Walk: Tracing a route on land that has had significance to the Yirrganydji  people, your Aboriginal guide also shows you what is currently blooming and in season.  Sweet berries, fruits and other bush tucker becomes central to your discovery today, and your guide also shares with you his personal stories of living his whole life in this area. This is a great way to better understand flora from a traditional owner and get insight into local Aboriginal way of life.

Marine Biologist Reef Presentation: During this presentation taught by a marine biologist, you learn more about biodiversity and the significance of the Great Barrier Reef.   From colourful corals that take whimsical shapes like broccoli, brains and baskets to a host of fish such as the chocolate-dipped damsel, the Picasso triggerfish and the giant Maori wrasse, you learn how to identify the most common creatures at the reef.  You find out about threatened species and coral predators – such as the Crown of Thorns—and the consequences of climate change and human activity on 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.  You leave with a greater understanding of the reef environment and an appreciation of the natural wonder you are about to experience.

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8: The Great Barrier Reef – Sailing and Snorkelling

Day 8: The Great Barrier Reef – Sailing and Snorkelling

Biodiversity at The Outer Reef: For students, the outer Great Barrier Reef is perhaps the world’s best classroom in which to witness the interconnectedness of species and biodiversity.  Today at the outer Barrier Reef you witness why this is one of the most complex natural systems on Earth.

Eco-Friendly Catamaran: Today you sail to the Reef aboard an eco-friendly catamaran, recipient of the Advanced Ecotourism Climate Action Innovator Award and the most eco-friendly reef boat in Cairns.  No worries if you are new to snorkeling – staff will ensure you are safe and relaxed, and you can join in a guided snorkel tour with one of them.

Snorkelling: Snorkelling can be done right off the back of the boat.  For snorkelers, giant clams, angel, butterfly and parrot fish, turtles, sea stars and corals of a thousand hues are all within reach.  Among the 1,800 species of fish and 450 species of coral, you can expect to see Wally the giant wrasse, fan corals, sea cucumbers and just about the entire cast of “Finding Nemo”.   You also may see beauties such as luminescent parrot fish, the chocolate-dipped damsel, the Picasso triggerfish and several species of turtles.

Buffet Lunch:  Lunch is a tropical buffet of delicious hot and cold items, including prawns, pasta salads and fresh fruit.

Fish and Coral ID:  A field guide for the creatures at The Great Barrier Reef is included in your trip so that you better understand the creatures you’re looking at (and the book makes a great souvenir!) You return to Cairns in the late afternoon and have a delicious dinner on the town to celebrate the week’s adventures.

Optional SCUBA Diving: Snorkellers can also opt to learn about SCUBA diving from a dive instructor—an intro dive (also known as “resort diving”) is a fantastic way to see the reef without having a certification. (Extra cost and medical restrictions apply, please see end of document).

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: Shopping Time, Transfer and Departure

Day 9: Shopping Time, Transfer and Departure

This morning after breakfast you have some time to do some last-minute shopping.  Then eventually all good things must come to an end. You are transferred back to the Cairns Airport for your flight home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

Is this agriculture-focused program too long or too short? Contact us for custom tour options that match your budget and objectives!

 School Trip Fees Include:

  • All airport transfers
  • Small World Journeys guide for Days 2-7
  • Specialty guides and educators
  • All activities as described in the itinerary
  • Transportation to activities
  • 6 nights central Cairns hostel (4 or 6 share dorm rooms with private bathroom)
  • 1 nights outback cattle station (single-gender dorm-style bunk houses with shared bathrooms)
  • 1 night Daintree Rainforest cabins (4 share dorm-style rooms with private bathrooms)
  • All continental breakfasts
  • All lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • 101 Plants of the Wet Tropics field guide for each student
  • 101 Animals of the Great Barrier Reef field guide for each student
  • Mask, fins, snorkel, and wetsuit on the reef trip
  • National park taxes and levies
  • 5 square-metres adopted in your group’s name through Rainforest Rescue
  • A reusable water bottle and cloth shopping bag
  • Carbon offsetting through Sustainable Travel International (STI) for a carbon-neutral trip

*Two teacher rooms (private twin or triple share rooms with ensuite) are included in the trip price.  A supplement of $605 AUD is charged if an additional private room is required. If teachers are happy to share a room, no additional costs are incurred.

Trip Fees Exclude:

  • Airfare to Cairns
  • Two dinners
  • Personal expenses (phone, laundry, etc.)

Options:

  • Optional Intro OR certified SCUBA dive ($70 for 1 dive, includes equipment) IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SCUBA DIVING: In order to participate in SCUBA diving, you will be required to fill out a medical form which can be forwarded to you in advance. Some of the medical conditions that may disqualify you from diving are, but not limited to, the following: Diabetes, Asthma, Ear/Nose/Throat Conditions, Migraine Headaches, Previous Head Injuries, Epilepsy/Seizures/Convulsions, Pregnancy and/or Poor Physical Conditioning. We can forward you this medical form before the start of your trip.

Land Cost to 31 March 2019:

  • 15+ participants: $2098 AUD
  • (low numbers) 10-14 participants: $2199 AUD

Accommodation:

All accommodation is included. Your home base is a breezy award-winning hostel in the centre of Cairns’ restaurant and shopping district. Students like the tropical swimming pool, lounging in the hammock and playing billiards at the free pool table. Group leaders love the private ensuite rooms, the central location, and free internet/WiFi.  In the Daintree Rainforest, students and group leaders stay separately in single-gender dorm-style rooms with private bathrooms –this is the perfect spot to enjoy the life and chatter of the jungle. Your group spends two nights at an outback cattle station, where students sleep in single gender cabins with bunk beds, and group leaders stay in cabins. This is the perfect place to view the starry outback skies.

Meals:

All meals are included (except two dinners). You have a combination of catered, ship-prepared and restaurant meals. A typical breakfast is a selection of cereals, toast, juice and fruits; lunches are combinations of sandwiches and salads with fruits and a sweet, and dinners are a sample of buffets, pastas pizza, steak and seafood. You try delicious cheeses and yogurts at the dairy farm, coffee drinks at the coffeee plantation, and a classic Aussie “barbie” at the outback cattle station. Ask us about vegetarian, kosher and halal options.

Small World Journeys reserves the right to change the order of activities for logistical reasons.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

 

HOW TO BOOK A TRIP WITH US (It’s easy!):

  1. Read our Terms and Conditions.
  2. Pay a $200 AUD deposit for the group (not per person – just a flat $200 to secure your booking) via our payment page or by direct deposit/cheque.
  3. Receive our Confirmation Pack which includes forms parents must sign.
  4. Have each student sign up via our Booking Form and pay for their trip by 60 days prior to the trip.
  5. Enjoy your trip!

Question 1: Do I need a visa to visit Australia?

Answer: All visitors to Australia need a visa, with the exception of visitors from New Zealand. In some countries a visa is easily obtained by the travel agent who issues your ticket, and should be free of charge. For more information on getting a visa, please see: Australian Visas. All visitors will also need a passport, valid for at least six months after the planned return date.  

Question 2: How do we arrange airfare?

Answer: We do not arrange airfare in house, however we do work closely with a couple of travel agents who would be happy to help: In Australia, we recommend Kim Salter, our Melbourne-based travel agent. Contact Kim at kims@travelmanagers.com.au 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. You can contact Sandra at milltrav@aol.com or call  1-415-898- 7974.

Question 3: What happens when we arrive at the airport?

Answer: You will be met by a Small World Journeys staff member who will give you an orientation and then accompany you to your accommodation.

Question 4: When is the best time to visit Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef?

Answer: 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. Autumn (March - May) brings unpredictable weather - it can be warm and rainy or hot and sunny. Springtime (September - November) is the most predicable, and days tend to be warm to hot with little rainfall. The visbility at the Great Barrier Reef is at its best September - November, but can be enjoyed year-round. Come June - September for seasonal whale watching.  

Question 5: What if I wish to SCUBA dive (intro or certified)?

Answer: Medical standards differ from country to country, certain medication / medical conditions may preclude you from diving in Australia (EVEN IF YOU ARE ALREADY CERTIFIED)

Certified Diving

If you are a certified diver, you will still be asked to fill out and sign an Advice to Divers Form. To be "certified" means you have taken a course (typically about 4 days long) and you now hold an Open Water Diver certification card from PADI, SSI, NAUI or other internationally recognized SCUBA diving organisation. If you answer Yes to any of the questions below, further medical clearance may be required. (This must be organised at least the day before your trip start date). In some circumstances you may be able to dive, with a certified professional (dive guide), at an additional cost.
Sample Medical Questionnaire For Certified Divers
  • Are you currently suffering from any illness or injury? Yes or No
  • Are you currently taking any prescription medication (excluding oral contraceptives) Yes or No
  • Since your last dive medical have you suffered from any conditions that may affect your fitness to dive? Yes or No
 

Introductory Diving

Intro Diving is also called "resort diving". You can do this kind of diving with a dive instructor even if you are not certified (see above). Doing an Intro Dive does NOT certify you to dive on your own in other places. If you are doing an introductory dive on a live aboard or day boat, you will be asked to fill out and sign a medical form. This form can be emailed to you prior to your trip if you are interested in Intro Diving. If you answer YES to any of the medical questions (for example, do you have asthma or take medication for migraines?) further medical clearance may be required. This must be arranged PRIOR to day of departure.

Question 6: Do we need to worry about jellyfish?

Answer: The box jellyfish are present in the northern coastal waters from November to April/May. The jellyfish are found close to shore—they breed in estuaries and very very rarely can they make it to the outer Great Barrier Reef. Most of the swimming beaches have “stinger nets” up during this season so people can swim. However, the tiny Irukandji jellyfish has been known on occasion to slip through the nets, and this is most often where people have been stung. It is a very painful sting, but there have been only 2 confirmed deaths in Australia due to the Irukandji jellyfish. The good news is that the jellyfish are rarely found at the outer Great Barrier Reef, where you will be snorkeling and/or diving. Most people swim on the reef without using any protection. According to the CRC Reef Research Centre, “In offshore waters around coral reefs, box jellyfish that cause Irukandji syndrome are usually well dispersed and the incidence of stings is very small.” Nonetheless, reef operators have “stinger suits” as well as wetsuits as an extra precaution.

Question 7: What happens if a student cancels?

Answer: 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 more details, please see our Terms & Conditions.

Question 8: What is your safety record?

Answer: Our safety record is outstanding. Please ask us for teacher/supervisor references specifically regarding our safety measures and practices.  We do risk assessments for every excursion we run. We carry a first aid kit in our vehicles, as well as on the guide's person when in remote areas.  All guides are certified in first aid and CPR.  We give every student  a card with emergency numbers and safety information on it to carry, and we review safety measures as part of our orientation. 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.

Question 9: Do you do risk assessments?

Answer: 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.

Question 10: Why should we purchase travel insurance?

Answer: 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.

Australia’s Diverse Agriculture Industry

The Cairns region is home to a wide variety of agriculture and as such lets your students learn about range of industries without having to travel large distances between growing regions. Along with sugarcane, tropical fruit is a major industry with the majority of Australia’s bananas being grown just south of Cairns, in the Tablelands the fertile mountain tops make excellent dairy country and further inland you move towards the iconic large cattle stations that Australia is known for. On this educational tour your students will gain a unique insight into the variety of agriculture in Australia, as well as vital contact with farmers to learn about life living on the land.

  • See the inner workings of a banana plantation and discuss disease control with an agronomist
  • Learn about organic farming practises
  • Talk to cattle station owners about the difficulties of life on the land
  • Learn about the importance of sugar cane to the regional economy
  • Hear about exotic tropical fruits that can only be grown in this region of Australia
  • See how seeds are propagated for commercial use
  • Learn about UNESCO World Heritage listing and the important environmental sites in the tropics
  • Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef OR go one step further and discover SCUBA diving

 

This educational program is appropriate for both high school students and international college students wanting a fun outdoor education experience in Far North Queensland.

How your trip supports the community

SUPPORTING LOCAL INDIGENOUS CULTURE: We acknowledge  Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islander People as the first inhabitants of Australia and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where we work and our groups travel. Your trip includes activities and interaction with local Aboriginal people, the traditional owners of the land on which you are traveling. By taking this trip, you are supporting grassroots indigenous tourism ventures and encouraging Aboriginal pride in culture. We are proud to say that in the financial year of 2016-17, we gave over $32,000 in business to Aboriginal-owned ventures.

SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES: On this educational tour, we use locally owned accommodation, restaurants, and suppliers whenever possible to keep income in the community. This includes supporting farmers by purchasing locally-grown fruits and vegetables for you on your trip. We also give you a list of where to buy locally-made crafts and souvenirs so you can continue this support as well.

SUPPORTING LOCAL HOMELESS & NEEDY PEOPLE: We make both financial and in-kind donations to Rosie’s Friends on The Street, a Cairns-based charity. Rosie’s seeks to provide homeless people and people living rough a hot meal, conversation and a non-judgemental human connection.  Small World Journeys’ staff also volunteer on Rosie’s outreach nights, and many of our students have made comfort packs for Rosie’s patrons! For more information on Rosie’s and other organisations to which we donate, see Philanthropy and Partnerships or ask us how you can incorporate community service with Rosie’s into your educational excursion.

How your trip is “Eco-friendly”

ADOPTING A RAINFOREST PLOT IN YOUR NAME: We pay to have a 5-square metre plot of rainforest is adopted in your group’s name through Rainforest Rescue. On your excursion, your group will be presented with a certificate detailing the significance of this gift to the environment.

REDUCING WASTE: We give you your own water bottle and cloth shopping bag to eliminate the need for disposable bottles and plastic bags. By reducing our need for plastic bags and bottles, we avoid having these things go into landfills or into the tummies of our native animals. We also recycle BOTH our hard plastics and soft plastics, and our trip snack wrappers get broken down and made into other things! For more information on how we donate to The Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and other environmental groups, see Philanthropy and Partnership.

OUR OFFICE IS RUN ON SOLAR POWER: Our future is so bright, we gotta wear shades.

CARBON OFFSETTING: We calculate the total carbon footprint of your trip. Then we pay Sustainable Travel International (STI) to offset your emissions by investing in environmental and community-based projects. For more information about our carbon offsetting, see 10 Reasons Why We’re Eco.

How your trip is safety-oriented

REFERENCES:  We have had hundreds of students travel with us, and our safety record is excellent.  Ask us for teacher references specifically regarding safety.

VEHICLES: All of our vehicles are equipped with seatbelts for every seat. While this is not a Queensland law, we feel your safety is a priority.  Our guides do safety checks at the start of each day of the trip. In addition, vehicles go through a Department of Transport safety inspection every six months.

RISK ASSESSMENT: We have a complete Crisis Management Plan, we assess risks of the tour and are happy to complete a risk assessment for you upon request. In addition, students are given a safety briefing during orientation, along with a card with emergency numbers, accommodation addresses and phone numbers.

GUIDES AND SAFETY: Small World Journeys’ guides hold current Senior First Aid and CPR certificates, along with government-issued Driver’s Authority and Working With Children cards (also known as a Blue Card). For more information on our student tour guides, see The Small World Journeys Team.