Best of Australia – 10 Day Adventure

Unforgettable Adventures in The Land Down Under

Experience the very best Australia has to offer in a 10-day trip! Tour the sites of Sydneyoutback country, emerald rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef while travelling with a knowledgeable Aussie guide. Begin your Australia tour with a visit to the world-famous Opera House, a full day cruise around the harbour, and see the stars at The Sydney Observatory. Then travel to Moreton Island, where you can slide down sand dunes and dolphins come to visit in the bay each night!  In Far North Queensland, you are introduced to jackaroos on an outback cattle station, Aboriginal guides in their ancestors’ rainforest, and friendly animals that you can only see in Australia.

Highlights:

  • Aboriginal-Guided Walks in Sydney and the Daintree Rainforest
  • Feed wild dolphins when they show up for their nightly visit
  • Wildlife Park and Cuddle a Koala
  • Sail, Snorkel and Dive at The Great Barrier Reef
  • Go sand dune boarding on a Moreton Island desert safari
  • Natural Rainforest Waterslide and Swim Under Waterfalls
  • Outback Cattle Station: Wild Kangaroos, Whip Cracking and Boomerang Throwing
  • Icons of Australia: Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and the Sydney Opera House

Benefits & Bonuses:

  • All accommodation, most 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 Sydney, Orientation and Guided WalkingTour

Day 1: Arrive Sydney, Orientation and Guided WalkingTour

Arrival: Welcome to Sydney! On arrival you are greeted by your local guide who has an intimate knowledge of Sydney’s back streets, icons, and best-loved sites. With your guide you travel from the airport to your accommodation and receive an orientation on what to expect in Australia.

Accommodation: Your hostel is located right in ‘The Rocks’—the historic district where Sydney began.  All rooms have ensuites and air-conditioning, while the accommodation offers spacious communal areas, internet, coffee bar and large rooftop terrace with spectacular views directly to the Sydney Opera House!  Two day rooms are reserved for your group to freshen up on arrival (upgrade to hotel available, see end of document)

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, and you learn of the city’s history, local hangouts and favourite sites.

Sydney Opera House & Royal Botanic Gardens: Later you walk 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 is not complete without a photo in front of this majestic building, and a walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens takes you to the perfect lookout.

Accommodation:
Sydney Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner

Day 2: Private Sydney Harbour Cruise & Historic Sites

Day 2: Private Sydney Harbour Cruise & Historic Sites

City Highlights from the Water: A boat chartered just for your group! This morning you are picked up at your hostel by your guide and you travel to Rose Bay – a sophisticated Sydney suburb and the start of today’s adventure. In a small group you travel all around the spectacular Sydney Harbour to get acquainted with the highlights of Sydney – Darling Harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House to name a few.

Cultural and Historic Sites: On this intimate cruise, your captain gives you insight into Sydney Harbour’s historical and cultural city sites as well as stories behind the people and places of this unforgettable city. Cruise by the holiday homes of multi-millionaires and stars such as Nicole Kidman, Bono and Russell Crowe.

Darling Harbour Fish Market: A highlight is a seafood lunch at Darling Harbour’s Sydney 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.

Sydney Observatory: This evening you don special 3-D glasses to watch a mind-blowing space film, and then in the planetarium you learn more about the universe: which dwarf galaxies you can see with the naked eye, what stars are closest to us, and how Aboriginal people made pictures using the negative space in the sky. Later with the giant telescope, you are also able to look closely at the twinkles of star clusters, red giants, nebulae where stars are being born, globular clusters, and distant galaxies.  If viewing through the telescopes is not possible due to sky conditions, a fun beanbag planetarium session is provided instead.

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

Day 3: Fly to Brisbane/Moreton Island,Wild Dolphin Interaction

Day 3: Fly to Brisbane/Moreton Island,Wild Dolphin Interaction

Fly to Brisbane and Transfer to Moreton Island: Later today you are transferred to the Sydney Airport for your flight to Brisbane (flight not includedplease book a flight that arrives in Brisbane no later than 3 pm). You arrive in Brisbane airport where you are greeted by your driver guide and then transferred to the Brisbane Wharf for your ferry ride. You then travel to Moreton Island, the world’s third largest sand island and traditional home of the Morrgunpin Aboriginal people.

Island Resort: On arrival you check into the family-operated resort, where facilities include 2 swimming pools, guest laundry, ATM, internet kiosk and WiFi, tennis courts, massage hut, Marine Education and Conservation Centre, and nightly activities like bingo and karaoke. Eco Rangers conduct education programs and nature-based tours to enhance your awareness of the surrounding ecosystems.

Accommodation: Moreton Island resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: Desert Safari, Sand Dune Tobogganing

Day 4: Desert Safari, Sand Dune Tobogganing

Desert Safari and Sand Tobogganing: Today you take a 4WD bus on a trip through the Aussie “bush” and learn about the history, geology, and natural features–like the coloured sands–of this unique island. You arrive at the Tangalooma Desert, where the massive sand dunes that stretch to the sky are perfect for sand toboganning. The “toboggans” are pieces of masonite which when waxed, fly down the sand dunes.

Free Afternoon Options: Options in the morning and late afternoon include tennis and table tennis, archery, squash, educational presentations and animal feedings like fish and the laughing kookaburra!

Optional Kayak and Snorkel Tour to Ship Wrecks: With 15 purposely sunk ship wrecks, the bay promises snorkelling in a paradise teeming with reef fish and corals that have formed on the wrecks since 1963. You can expect to see wobbegongs, trevally, kingfish, dugongs, sea turtles, yellowtail, dolphins, tuna and an abundance of tropical reef fish in a truly unusual environment (extra cost)

Evening Dolphin Feeding: A highlight is the evening dolphin interaction. Every evening at sunset a pod of up to nine local bottlenose dolphins swims to the beach in front of the resort. You then have a chance to watch their behaviour and feed them, an activity supervised by the Tangalooma Marine Education and Conservation Centre. This is truly a special interaction with wild dolphins you could never get at a wildlife park.

Accommodation: Moreton Island resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Ferry to Mainland and Flight to Cairns, Reef Presentation

Day 5: Ferry to Mainland and Flight to Cairns, Reef Presentation

Ferry to Mainland: This morning after breakfast you leave Moreton Island by way of ferry, and then you are transferred to the Brisbane airport. It is then approximately 2.5 hours to fly to tropical Cairns.

Arrival in Cairns: Here you are met by our staff at the airport and you have a brief orientation on what to expect in Cairns.

Accommodation: Your hotel won Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award for 2012, and continues to rank as one of Cairns best rated hotels. There is complimentary WiFi in your room, while all rooms have ensuites and air-conditioning, flat screen TVs with Austar and tea & coffee making facilities. The hotel also has guest laundry, a tropical pool and spa. It is also easy walking distance to shops and restaurants, and two blocks from the Esplanade and waterfront.

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 3-star hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6: Sailing, Snorkelling and Optional SCUBA Diving the Great Barrier Reef

Day 6: Sailing, Snorkelling and Optional SCUBA Diving the Great Barrier Reef

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: At your first stop snorkelling can be done right off the sand cay, and for those who prefer not to snorkel, an optional glass bottom boat will still give you a glimpse of this underwater universe.

Snorkelling Paradise Reef: Second stop is the gorgeous Paradise Reef, that truly lives up to its name. For snorkellers, 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 just about the entire cast of Finding Nemo.

101 Marine Animals of the Great Barrier Reef  Field Guide: Using your personal field guide, you can identify a host of hard and soft corals, such as the whimsical elephant ear, broccoli, and spaghetti corals as well as helping you recognize beauties such as luminescent parrot fish, the chocolate-dipped damsel, and the Picasso triggerfish (it also makes a great souvenir for you to take home!) so that you better understand the creatures you’re looking at. An on-board marine naturalist also adds to your knowledge of the reef.

OPTIONAL SCUBA Diving: Snorkelers can also opt to learn about SCUBA diving one-on-one from the dive instructor—an intro dive is a fantastic way to see the reef without having a certification.  (Extra cost and medical restrictions apply; see inclusions tab).

Accommodation: Cairns 3-star hotel
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7: National Park, Waterfalls and Outback Cattle Station

Day 7: National Park, Waterfalls and Outback Cattle Station

Today you enter Wooroonooran National Park – a diverse part of the UNESCO Wet Tropics World Heritage Area which hosts some of the oldest continually surviving rainforest in the world.

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.

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 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 at all from the northern hemisphere. Students sleep in single-gender dorm-style bunk houses, while teachers sleep in single cabins tonight.

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

Day 8: Outback Farm Activities, Boomerang Throwing and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Day 8: Outback Farm Activities, Boomerang Throwing and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

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, and drought. You can channel your inner Indiana Jones by learning to crack a whip, and ride on the farm’s hay truck to look for kangaroos and crocodiles in the wild. On the homestead, old trinkets, furniture and memorabilia that you can touch also 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.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: You experience Cairns premier eco-attraction and winner of numerous ecotourism awards – the Skyrail. You are transferred to this unique rainforest cableway for a fantastic journey over Australia’s World Heritage listed tropical rainforest canopy and deep into the forest.  Spanning 7.5 kilometres over Barron Gorge National Park, the Skyrail experience includes a scenic cableway ride and stops at two rainforest mid-stations. You can descend from the cableway onto rainforest boardwalks, where interpretive information is provided through guided boardwalk tours, signage and an interpretive centre.

Accommodation: Cairns 3-star hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: Wildlife Park, Aboriginal-Guided Walk in Daintree Rainforest amd Beach BBQ Party

Day 9: Wildlife Park, Aboriginal-Guided Walk in Daintree Rainforest amd Beach BBQ Party

Wildlife Park: This morning your guide takes you to a wildlife immersion park that is made up of three open and interactive environments (the Rainforest, the Wetlands and the Grasslands) for guests and animals to mingle in a natural setting. Hundreds of animals are housed on the property, including kangaroos, wallabies, laughing kookaburras, goannas, quolls, snakes, lorikeets, tree kangaroos, owls, koalas and an assortment of other Aussie animals, all of which need proper enclosures, feeding and care.

Optional Photo – You and a Koala! If you have always wanted to get a quintessential photo with a koala- here’s your chance (extra cost).

Aboriginal-Guided Rainforest Walk: The Kuku Yalanji are one of the only tribal rainforest people in Australia who still have their own culture and language, and this afternoon you are welcomed by an Aboriginal guide for a walk to see the Daintree rainforest through indigenous eyes. Beginning with a traditional smoking ceremony,you wander rainforest paths, discovering with your guide how these Aboriginal people found their way through dense rainforest, made shelter and learned which native plants were tasty to eat and those that served as weapons and medicine.   As your guide shares his stories, you learn how the seasons dictated life, what falls under men’s and women’s “business”, how to make fire in the rainforest and how to make fish very easy to catch.   You then sample billy tea and wattle seed damper (bread) made on the fire topped with jam from rainforest berries.

Beach BBQ Party: In the afternoon, you head to the beach for music, games and a BBQ cookout.  This is a great way to end your week in Australia!

Accommodation: Cairns 3-star hotel
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10: Free Time, OPTIONAL Urban Challenge and Departure

Day 10: Free Time, OPTIONAL Urban Challenge and Departure

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 activity for students and the winning team gets a prize!

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

Included: Breakfast

Gold Coast Option or Add-On

Gold Coast Option or Add-On

Do you wish to visit the Gold Coast instead of Brisbane/Moreton Island? Ask us about options to the theme parks like Sea World &  Movie World, surfing lessons and more!

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

Trip Fees Include:

  • Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns airport transfers
  • Small World Journeys guide on Days 1, 3, 7, 8 and 9 and on other days specialty guides, educators and dedicated boat crew
  • All activities and entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Transportation to activities
  • 2 nights Sydney hostel (4 share rooms with private bathroom)
  • Two day rooms at hostel so you can freshen up on arrival & store bags
  • 2 nights Moreton Island resort (2 or 3 share rooms with private bathroom)
  • 4 nights Cairns 3-star hotel (2 or 3 share rooms with private bathroom)
  • 1 night outback cattle station (dorm-style cabins with shared bathrooms)
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches (except on travel day to Cairns)
  • All dinners at restaurants and accommodation
  • 101 Animals of the Great Barrier Reef field guide for each student
  • Mask, fins, snorkel, stinger suit or wetsuit hire on the reef trip
  • Pre-trip educational information
  • National Park fees and levies
  • BPA-free water bottle and cloth shopping bag for each student
  • 5 metres square Daintree rainforest plot adopted in your group’s name through Rainforest Rescue
  • Carbon offsetting through Sustainable Travel International (STI) for a carbon-neutral trip

Trip Fees Exclude:

  • International & domestic airfares
  • 1 lunch on travel day to Brisbane
  • Personal expenses (phone, laundry, etc.)

Options:

  • Photo holding a koala ($18 AUD)
  • SCUBA diving ($70 for an Intro SCUBA Dive)
  • Upgrade to Sydney 3.5-star hotel ($98 per person)

 

Land Cost to 31 March 2018:

  • 15+ participants: $2780 AUD
  • 10-14 participants: $2845 AUD

 

Accommodation:

All accommodation is included. In Sydney, you stay at an immaculate youth hostel in the famous Rocks historic district with a rooftop terrace that overlooks the Sydney Opera House! On Moreton Island, your cushy resort has 2 swimming pools, guest laundry, ATM, internet kiosk and WiFi, tennis courts, massage hut, Marine Education and Conservation Centre, and nightly activities like bingo and karaoke.  It is also famous for its resident dolphins that come in to feed each night!  In Cairns, students like the 3-star hotel’s two tropical swimming pools, while group leaders love the private ensuite rooms, air conditioning, laundry facilities and free internet/WiFi.  One night is at an outback cattle station, where students sleep in single gender cabins with bunk beds, and group leaders stay in cabins.

Meals:

Most meals are included. Your meals are a combination of restaurant meals, BBQs, continental and full hot breakfasts, and hearty lunches. You try “billy tea” and damper (bush bread) after your aboriginal-guided rainforest walk, and a delicious seafood sampler from Sydney’s famous fish market! 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

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.

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 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: 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.

Education in the Great Outdoors

Your trip combines the best Australia has to offer. Starting in Sydney you will get to see Australia from a completely different perspective- rich in culture and history your students will learn about Australia’s convict past, colonialism and the move towards multiculturalism. Heading north, the Cairns region is perfect 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.

  • Hear about Sydney’s convict origins and early colonial history
  • 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
  • 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
  • Participate in eco-tourism ensuring that you are leaving the area exactly as you found it
  • Interact with dolphins and understand their behaviours from a marine naturalist
  • Witness how Australia’s wildlife evolved into unique species found nowhere else in the world
  • Explore Sydney’s spectacular harbour
  • Test your sense of adventure in the world’s oldest rainforest- the Daintree

Australian National Curriculum- Cross Curriculum Priorities

Sustainability: Your trip 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.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.

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: 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: 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, 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 guides, see The Small World Journeys Team.