Aussie Adventure – 12 Day Adventure

Adventure in Three of Australia’s Top Sites

In Australia, jungles promise encounters with unique wildlife, rivers beg to be rafted, and the Great Barrier Reef reveals a dazzling convergence of corals and creatures. Adventurers love the myriad activities available, seasoned travelers appreciate the access to authentic Aboriginal culture, and Australia’s mild climate means outdoor fun year round. This group tour is the ultimate in fun and adventure!


  • Ride the Rapids of the Thundering Tully River
  • Snorkel the Outer Barrier Reef
  • Climb the Sydney Bridge Pylon
  • Crack Whips and Milk the Cows on a Cattle Station
  • Learn to Ride the Waves on Surfers Paradise Fabled Shoreline
  • Swim Beneath Rainforest Waterfalls
  • Try a SCUBA dive
  • Throw Boomerangs in the Outback
  • Make a Raft as a Team to Get Across a Waterway
  • Visit The Gold Coast’s Largest Amusement Park
  • Pose for Photos with a Koala in Your Arms


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: Arrival, Orientation, Walking Tour and Bridge Pylon Climb

Day 1: Arrival, Orientation, Walking Tour and Bridge Pylon Climb

Arrival: Welcome to Sydney! On arrival you are greeted by your local guide, a “Sydneysider” with an intimate knowledge of Sydney’s back streets, icons, and best-loved sites. With your guide you travel from the airport to your accommodation.

Central Accommodation: Your hostel is located right in ‘The Rocks’—the historic district where Sydney began, and location of the famous weekend market. Built above archaeological remnants of colonial Sydney, this hostel combines state-of-the-art facilities with a unique heritage experience of Sydney. All rooms have ensuites and a/c, and there are spacious communal areas, internet, on-site grocery store, coffee bar and large rooftop terrace with spectacular views directly to the Opera House.

Walking Tour: With your guide you learn more about the cultural, historic and natural sites of Sydney as you walk the city streets, cobblestone alleys and seaside paths of this attractive city. Your walking tour follows in the steps of colonists and convicts, learning of The Rocks’ scandalous and eerie past.

Sydney Opera House & Royal Botanic Gardens: Later you walk to with your guide to get up close to one of the world’s most recognizable buildings, and an icon of Australia – The Sydney Opera House. Your visit to Australia will not be complete without a photo in front of this majestic building, and a walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens takes you to the perfect lookout.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout: Sydney Harbour Bridge is the city’s second most famous icon, and this afternoon you climb the 200 stairs to the Pylon summit. First you are taken through 3 levels of exhibits where you learn the history of the construction of the bridge and the men who designed and built it, finishing at a perch 87 metres above sea level with panoramic views across the Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Rocks Budget Accommodation
Included: Dinner

Day 2: Sydney Harbour Cruise and Historic Sites

Day 2: Sydney Harbour Cruise and Historic Sites

City Highlights from the Water: A chartered boat just for your group! Today you travel all around the spectacular Sydney Harbour to get acquainted with the city’s highlights. Your friendly captain gives you insight into Sydney’s sites as well as stories behind the people and places of this unforgettable city. You cruise by the holiday homes of multi-millionaires and stars such as Nicole Kidman, Bono and Russell Crowe and learn tales of the rich & famous.

Famous Fish Market: A highlight is a seafood lunch at Sydney famous Fish Market – “where the city meets the sea”, and the largest working market of its kind in the southern hemisphere. As one of the most popular places for local Sydneysiders, here you can taste old favourites like fish and chips, or the more adventurous can try fresh-from-the-sea octopus, squid and Oysters Kilpatrick.

Sydney Harbour National Park: On your cruise you also stop at Store Beach for a secluded swim (weather permitting) and soak in the million dollar cliffside views from The Gap in Sydney Harbour National Park, followed by a refreshment at the picturesque Watsons Bay.

Accommodation: Sydney Rocks Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3: Flight to Gold Coast and Wildlife Park

Day 3: Flight to Gold Coast and Wildlife Park

Fly to Gold Coast: This morning you are transferred to the Sydney Airport for your flight to the Gold Coast (flight not included, depart no later than 11 am). You arrive in Coolangatta airport where you are greeted by your coach driver.

Wildlife Sanctuary: This park includes amazing Australian wildlife encounters and shows, Aboriginal performances and entry to the Wildlife Hospital precinct. You can cuddle a koala, experience wild lorikeet feeding, see an amazing free-flight bird show, have close encounters with friendly marsupials and reptiles. And you never know who you might meet here – the park was recently visited by the entire Jolie-Pitt family!

The park also contains a serious aspect of its work and exhibits, and behind the scenes includes a state-of-the-art veterinary and rehabilitation hospital where thousands of sick and injured animals are brought every day.

Evening Beach Walk or Shopping: You can spend the evening walking the beautiful beaches, shopping for souvenirs in Surfer’s Paradise trendy shops, or enjoying your accommodation’s swimming pool.

Accommodation: Surfers Paradise Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Dreamworld Theme Park

Day 4: Dreamworld Theme Park

Dreamworld Theme Park: Today you get your thrills at Dreamworld – Australia’s largest theme park with over 27 rides including 4 roller coasters. You can scream your lungs out on the Tower of Terror II, or swing 9 stories high, spin 360 degrees, and reach zero gravity on The Claw. In Gold Rush country, you can splash through the Rocky Hollow Log Ride or plunge down the park’s newest steel rollercoaster, BuzzSaw. For a tamer experience, you can visit the Bengal and Sumatran tigers of Tiger Island, or take a spin on Reef Diver.

Accommodation: Surfers Paradise Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5: Surf Lessons and Optional Sky Point Climb

Day 5: Surf Lessons and Optional Sky Point Climb

Famous Gold Coast Beach: The Gold Coast is an Australian icon, world-renowned as having the most popular beaches in Australia. Nothing soaks in the true spirit of Australia like surfing, and today you can get our feet wet learning how to catch some waves at a beach chosen specifically for beginner to intermediate surfers.

Surfing Techniques: In small groups, you start your lesson with ocean hydraulics, tides, rips and surf-related safety skills. Then you learn about proper standing and paddling techniques, surfing etiquette and how even first-time surfers can catch a wave. By the end of the lesson with a little practice, you should be standing and shredding!

OPTIONAL Q1 SkyPoint Climb: Later you can choose to ascend the Q1 Tower with the thrilling SkyPoint Climb.   Suit up in your climbing outfit, harness, cap and communication equipment and follow a climbing guide up the high-speed lift to the Observation Deck on level 77. A short step ladder puts you 240 meters above street level and from here you climb 298 stairs to the “summit” of the 25th tallest building in the world. Harnessed to a purpose-built safety rail system, you can safely enjoy unparalleled views of the Gold Coast as your climb leader points out the city’s geographical, historical and cultural landmarks. Your climb includes a SkyPoint cap, climbing certificate and group photo (extra cost)

Accommodation: Surfers Paradise Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast


Day 6: Fly to Cairns, Aboriginal Culture and Boat Cruise

Day 6: Fly to Cairns, Aboriginal Culture and Boat Cruise

Flight to Cairns: Today you are transferred from Surfers Paradise to the domestic airport for your flight to Cairns (flight not included, depart no later than 11 am). On arrival you are met by a Small World Journeys staff member.

Aboriginal Culture: During this experience, the Mandingalbay Yidinji Aboriginal people speak to you about their spiritual and cultural connection to country. A boat ride across the inlet takes you through mangrove and freshwater wetland environments, and an Aboriginal ranger explains how these areas are managed. With a traditional smoke ceremony, you are then welcomed onto Mandingalbay Yidinji land. Through a walk and ranger talk you learn how wind is important in hunting, how the Mandingalbay Yidinji people turned poisonous seeds into bread dough, and why and where they migrated with the seasons. A host of edible and medicinal plants line the pathway, and you can taste the tangy native coriander, smell the sweet scent of coconut laurel and wash your hands with the soap tree. Later you have time for discussions on totems and the protection of animals, and how the Mandingalbay Yidinji keep their culture alive.

Accommodation: Your lodging is at a breezy 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 for self-catering meals and free internet and WiFi.

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7: Team Activities, Raft Building, Landsliding and Glowworms

Day 7: Team Activities, Raft Building, Landsliding and Glowworms

Team Activities and Raft Building: First today your guide gets you warmed up and working together in some team-building activities and games. Then you use your intellect and creativity in a raft-building exercise. Using only tyres, ropes and some plastic containers, you must work together to produce a floating raft for your team, and then successfully make your way across a pond! This is a true test of your ingenuity and is sure to produce lots of laughs.

Landsliding: Grab a helmet for your next activity: landsliding! With the help of a mat and a steady stream of water, you plunge down the hillside on a giant chute, landing at the bottom in a pool of water. This is a hilarious activity that leaves everyone screaming for more. Set in the gorgeous green countryside, landsliding is one of the most popular activities for young people, and makes for great photos.

Glowworms: After dark you can creep down a path through the rainforest to view some of Australia’s most unusual creatures – glow worms – that attract mates through bioluminescence and make tiny twinkles in the night.

Highlands Cabins: Later you settle into your dorm-style accommodation next to a gorgeous waterfall. Cabins with shared bathrooms are split by gender, and teachers have their own cabins nearby with ensuites, small refrigerator, and tea & coffee making facilities.

Accommodation: Cairns Highlands Cabins
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8: Abseiling (Rappelling), Waterfalls and Outback Cattle Station

Day 8: Abseiling (Rappelling), Waterfalls and Outback Cattle Station

Abseiling: Under the care of a professional instructor you are introduced to the exhilarating and empowering sport of abseiling. Abseiling — a slow controlled descent down a rope with a friction device – is for some students more demanding than rock climbing. First-time climbers will be particularly well-cared for and this is a great activity for confidence building.

Millaa Millaa Falls:
Millaa Millaa (meaning “plenty of water” in the local Aboriginal language) is the icon of tropical north Queensland and one of the most photographed natural sites in the region. The waterfall flows over pure basalt rock, thousands of years old, in a dramatic burst. There is a fantastic swimming hole at the base of the falls, and you can climb on the peculiar columnar basalt for a unique perspective of the falls from behind.

Outback Cattle Station: In the afternoon you cross over into the dry outback country where you get a sample of true outback life on a family-run cattle station. In the evening you enjoy a classic Aussie “barbie” and time with the family around a bonfire. 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 at all from the northern hemisphere.

Accommodation: Your single-gender dorm style cabins have bunk beds, all linen, and toilets & showers in an outside block.

Accommodation: Outback Cattle Station
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: Outback Cattle Station, Waterfalls and Reef Presentation

Day 9: Outback Cattle Station, Waterfalls and Reef Presentation

Farm Activities: This morning you get a sample of true outback life on a cattle station. You visit the cattle yards to learn about the cattle musters and branding, and what this robust rural family does to survive flooding, drought and economic hardships. You can channel your inner Indiana Jones by learning to crack a whip, taste real milk fresh from the cow when you learn how to milk it, and tour the old homestead. Here old trinkets, furniture and memorabilia that you can touch take you back to the age of the early Australian pioneers.

Boomerang Throwing: Yes, they actually come back to you! Your guide teaches you the significance of the boomerang and how they were cleverly used for hunting. You learn proper throwing technique and what makes them return.

Josephine Falls: One of the most picturesque places in the entire Wet Tropics! You take an easy walk through the jungle, listening for the call of the king parrot and the bowerbird and emerge at Josephine Falls, where Josephine Creek plunges down a gorgeous set of cascades. Below the falls, boulders surround a fun swimming hole and a natural water slide down a smooth sloping rock face.

Marine Biologist Reef Presentation: During this unique presentation taught be a marine biologist, you learn what you are likely to see during your time at 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 underwater world you are about to experience.

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

Day 10: Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling & Optional SCUBA Diving

Day 10: Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling & Optional SCUBA Diving

Boat Ride to The Outer Barrier Reef: No trip to Cairns is complete without a visit to the outer Great Barrier Reef—the second UNESCO World Heritage Site on our journey and easily one of the world’s top natural wonders. Today you sail to the Reef aboard a locally owned eco-friendly catamaran, recipient of the Advanced Ecotourism Climate Action Innovator Award.

Snorkelling and Optional Glass Bottom Boat: Snorkelling can be done right off the back of the boat, giving you access to beauties such as luminescent parrot fish, the chocolate-dipped damsel, and the Picasso triggerfish.

Snorkelling Paradise Reef: Second stop is the gorgeous Paradise Reef, that truly lives up to its name. 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 found on the reef, you can expect to see Wally the giant wrasse, fan corals, sea cucumbers and about the entire cast of Finding Nemo.

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!)

Optional SCUBA Diving: Snorkellers can also opt to learn about SCUBA diving one-on-one from the 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
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11: Whitewater Rafting the Tully River

Day 11: Whitewater Rafting the Tully River

The Tully River Gorge: The Tully River ranks high with rafting enthusiasts around the globe for its stunning course through national parklands, thrilling Class III-IV rapids, and its reliable year-round flows. We find that whitewater rafting brings the river to life in a way many have never known and often it is while paddling rapids as a team that young people develop personal inner strength.

Safety and Teamwork: From Cairns you travel to your put-in at Tully Gorge National Park. There you are fitted with life jackets and helmets and after a safety briefing you are on the water. You raft through UNESCO World Heritage rainforest and below waterfalls that tumble from the walls of the gorge. Rousing rapids with evocative names like The Staircase, Corkscrew and Alarm Clock mark the start of your day, and with each rapid comes a sense of accomplishment and exhilaration that only pure adrenalin can produce.

Forty One Rapids and BBQ: You paddle through 41 rapids total, stopping midway for a riverside BBQ. At the end of the day, you get to watch the video footage that was taken on the river and purchase photos of your adventure to take back home.

[No previous rafting experience is necessary. However, the Barron River, with its Class II-III rapids, is a milder option for the day].

You return to Cairns in the late afternoon and have a delicious dinner on the town to celebrate the past two weeks’ adventures.

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

Day 12: Free Time, OPTIONAL Urban Challenge and Depart

Day 12: Free Time, OPTIONAL Urban Challenge and Depart

If you have an afternoon flight, you can choose to spend the morning souvenir shopping, swimming at the lagoon or participating in Small World Journeys’ Urban Challenge! (no extra cost)  The Urban Challenge is a fun team-building exercise that allows students to learn more about the history, nature, art and culture of Cairns.  Small group teams compete against time in this treasure hunt-type activity in Cairns central business district.  This is a popular outdoor activity for students and the winning team gets a prize!

Later you are transferred to the Cairns airport for your flight home.

Included: Breakfast

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

 School Trip Fees Include:

  • Sydney, Gold Coast and Cairns airport transfers
  • Small World Journeys guide on Days 1, 7, 8, 9
  • Specialty guides and educators on other days
  • All activities and entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Transportation to activities
  • 2 nights at a Sydney hostel (4 or 6 share dorm-style rooms with private bathroom)*
  • 3 nights Surfers Paradise hotel (2 or 3 share rooms with private bathroom)*
  • 4 nights at Cairns hostel (4 or 6 share dorm rooms with private bathroom)*
  • 1 night Cairns Highlands cabins (single gender dorm-style cabins with private bathrooms)
  • 1 night outback cattle station (basic single gender dorm style cabins with shared bathrooms)
  • All continental breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 8 dinners
  • 101 Animals of the Great Barrier Reef field guide
  • Mask, fins, snorkel and wetsuit hire on the reef trip
  • 5 metres square Daintree rainforest plot adopted in your group’s name through Rainforest Rescue
  • A reusable water bottle and cloth shopping bag to keep
  • Carbon offsetting through Sustainable travel International (STI) for a carbon-neutral trip

*Two  private twin or triple share rooms with ensuite in Sydney, Surfers Paradise, Cairns and the Cairns Highlands are included in the trip (at cattle station, teachers get twin rooms with shared bathrooms). A supplement of $607 AUD is charged if an additional private room is required. If teachers are happy to share a room, no additional costs are incurred.


School Trip Fees Exclude:

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Travel insurance
  • 4 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Personal expenses (phone, laundry, etc.)


  • Optional Q1 Skypoint Climb (prices start at $54 per person)
  • Photo with koala ($14 AUD)
  • Intro or certified SCUBA diving ($70 AUD per dive)

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 if any students wish to dive.

Land Cost to 31 March 2018:

  • 15+ participants: $2965 AUD
  • (Low numbers) 10-14 participants: $3085 AUD


All accommodation is included. In Sydney, you stay at an immaculate hostel in the quaint historic district with rooftop views of the Sydney Opera House! Spacious rooms have their own ensuites, laundry facilities are available, and you can relax at the in-house cafe with WiFi access. On the Gold Coast, your group is treated to a hotel stay in the heart of Surfers Paradise!  Your hotel has a sparkling swimming pool, WiFi, laundry facilities and easy access to the beach! In Cairns, you stay at a breezy award-winning hostel in the centre of the restaurant and shopping district. Students like the tropical swimming pool, lounging in the hammock and playing billiards at the free pool table, while group leaders love the private ensuite rooms, air conditioning, laundry facilities and free internet/WiFi. In the Cairns Highlands, you stay in single-gender large cabins with their own bathrooms, and the eating area is right next to a gorgeous tumbling waterfall. One night you travel to an outback cattle station, where students sleep in single gender cabins with bunk beds, and group leaders stay in cabins.

Upgrade to Sydney & Cairns HOTEL accommodation:

In Sydney, your 3-star hotel is located opposite Hyde Park right in Sydney’s city centre, conveniently located to parks, gardens, and most attractions. Your modern twin share room includes linen and towels, tea/coffee, and wireless broadband access. An internet kiosk allows you to check emails if needed, and a laundry is available to guests as well.  This is the perfect base for exploring Sydney’s city centre. In Cairns, your hotel is located within easy walking distance to the Cairns Esplanade and offers friendly, personal hospitality. Student rooms are triple share and teachers will enjoy twin share rooms with free WiFi. All spacious rooms feature LCD TVs, air-conditioning and private bathroom. The hotel has 24 hour reception, 2 swimming pools and a restaurant where a continental breakfast is served daily. Add $196 per person for hotel upgrade.


Most meals are included. You have a combination of catered 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 BBQs, all-you-can-eat pasta and pizza, seafood treats and local favourites. Ask us about vegetarian, kosher and halal options.

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



  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 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 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 Sydney?

Answer: Sydney has a temperate climate. Summer is warm temperatures at 18-25 degrees celsius/64- 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are mild, with average temperatures at 8-16 degrees Celsius/46-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is spread throughout the year.

Question 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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.

Combining Adventure with Learning

The Cairns region is the perfect starting point for programs with a focus on environment, science, ecology and social studies with two UNESCO World Heritage sites- the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropical Rainforests on our doorstep. This is combined with a thriving Aboriginal culture and easy access to iconic outback make Cairns the perfect one stop destination for International groups travelling to Australia.

By adding a few days in Sydney you will get to see Australia from a completely different perspective. Rich in culture and history, the Sydney setting allows your students to  learn about Australia’s convict past, colonialism and the move towards multiculturalism. If it is adventure you are after then your students could learn to surf or challenge themselves by climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

  • Hear about Sydney’s convict origins and early colonial history
  • Learn to surf!
  • Learn about UNESCO World Heritage listing and the important environmental sites in the tropics
  • Discover the history and culture of Aboriginal people- the world’s oldest living civilisation
  • Talk to cattle station owners to learn about the difficulties of life on the land
  • Give back to the community by helping at a wildlife sanctuary
  • Test your sense of adventure in the world’s oldest rainforest- the Daintree

Australian National Curriculum- Cross Curriculum Priorities for High School Students

Sustainability: Your educational tour with Small World Journeys will be carbon neutral and students will receive an introductory talk on how our business and their trip are eco-friendly and ways they can contribute by participating in more eco-friendly practises. In addition the operators used by SWJ are chosen based on their eco-friendly practises.

  • OI.1 A visit to the Great Barrier Reef is an excellent example of how the biosphere is a dynamic system providing conditions that sustain life on Earth. As the world’s largest living organism, stretching over 2000km along Queensland’s coastline and home to 1500 fish species along with corals, molluscs, sea birds, turtles and whales all of which depend on a delicate balance in the biosphere to sustain the ecosystem.
  • OI.2 A visit to the rainforest demonstrates how all life forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival.
  • OI.3 During your trip your students will be able to discuss what it means to live sustainably as an individual and as a member of a bigger community to ensure that while it is necessary to look after the environment, it is also important to ensure that social and economic needs are also being met.
  • OI.7 On your Small World Journeys trip your students will explore and gain a better understanding of the environments in the Cairns region. Through this exploration they will see how the actions towards a more sustainable future reflect the values of care, respect and responsibility of the population and what is being done to educate visitors to the region so that same sense of responsibility towards the environment is felt.
  • OI.8 During their trip students will learn about past practises in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Wet Tropics and look at scientific developments and balanced judgements based on projected future economic, social and environmental impacts. With your guide you will discuss the impacts of things like development which are necessary for economic growth but can potentially threaten the area.
  • OI.9 During their trip students will learn about GBRMPA and WETMA and the factors that led to World Heritage listing of the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics of Queensland. The sustainable future of these ecosystems is the result of actions designed to preserve the quality and uniqueness of environments. Students will also learn about the threats to the area and what actions are being established to restore areas damaged by cyclones, crown of thorns starfish, overfishing, logging, development and pollution.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures: the Cairns region is the perfect place to look more closely at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with the influences of many language groups predominant in the region. In the south you will learn about the complex social system of the Jirrbal people.

  • OI.2 Your students will learn how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities maintain a special connection to and responsibility for Country/Place throughout all of Australia. In the Cairns region there are several different Aboriginal groups all of which have a strong connection to the reef, coast, rainforests and mountains.
  • OI.3 Students will hear from local Indigenous people about their unique belief systems and how they are spiritually connected to the land, sea, sky and waterways.
  • OI.4 Within the Cairns region there are several different Aboriginal language groups. By visiting different areas of the region your students will learn about language from the Kuku-Yalanji, Tjapukai and Jirrbal people.
  • OI.8 Local Aboriginal guides will explain how their people have sophisticated family and kinship structures.
  • OI.9 After experiencing first-hand the intricacies of the local Aboriginal people your students will be in a better position to acknowledge the significant contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people locally and globally.

This experiential education trip is appropriate for both high school students and for international college students in Australia.

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 2015-16, we gave over $28,000 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. For more information on how we donate to The Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and other environmental groups, see Philanthropy and Partnerships.

CARBON OFFSETTING: Your activities and travel put carbon dioxide into the environment. 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 educational adventure guides, see The Small World Journeys Team.