Reef and Marine Studies – 6 Day Adventure

Marine Science in Paradise

The Great Barrier Reef provides a backdrop rich with opportunities for field-based discovery, and a pilgrimage to this UNESCO World-Heritage site is the dream of every student studying marine science. This educational excursion honours the attraction of the sea. Staying on a tropical island lets you roam the emerald rainforest and discover the wonderous abundance of marine life at the inner reef. A marine biologist introduces you to some of the planet’s greatest biodiversity, and two days on a live aboard boat adds depth to your marine science studies.

Highlights:

  • Learn from a marine biologist with mini-lectures and hands-on assignments
  • Set up camp only steps from the water on a lush tropical island
  • Visit a turtle rehabilitation centre
  • Meet expert marine scientists at James Cook University
  • Plunge into a dazzling show of colour and life at the outer Great Barrier Reef
  • Spend the night on a liveaboard boat
  • Contribute to ongoing efforts in reef health monitoring
  • OPTION: Participate in an Intro SCUBA dive

Benefits & Bonuses:

  • All accommodation, meals, guides and transport to activities included
  • Risk assessment provided
  • Price Guarantee: price will not change once you sign up for your trip
  • Expert marine biologists as your instructors
  • 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 in Cairns and James Cook University Marine Seminar

Day 1: Arrival in Cairns and James Cook University Marine Seminar

Arrival in Cairns: On arrival you are met by a Small World Journeys staff member and given a brief orientation on what to expect.

Marine Science Seminar: Next you head to James Cook University for a marine-focused seminar. JCU is Australia’s highest-ranked university in environmental science and offers marine biology studies not found anywhere else. Through a custom-designed interactive workshop today you have the opportunity to engage with world leading researchers and equipment.

Expert Speakers: Speakers may include famous venomologist Dr. Jamie Seymour, whose recent discovery that vinegar is not the best treatment for jellyfish stings has turned science on its head or Richard Fitzpatrick – “the shark wrangler” – a marine biologist and Emmy Award-winning cinematographer with more than 50 films for the BBC, National Geographic and Discovery Channel.

Mangrove Biome: On campus you investigate a working model of a mangrove biome, an important tool for studying effects on water quality and salinity as well as climate change mitigation.

Venomous Creatures: You also have access to samples of some of the world’s deadliest marine creatures: the Stone Fish, Cone Shell, and the Box Jelly Fish, and you discuss the progress of JCU researchers are having in developing anti-venoms.

Observation of marine animals: Sophisticated camera equipment placed in the tanks let you observe animals up close, such as sharks, rays, cleaner wrasse and clownfish and if desired, test hypotheses relating to their behavior.

Perhaps most importantly today, in a controlled environment you closely view elements of the underwater world with which you will be interacting over the next few days.

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 for self-catering meals and free internet and WiFi.

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Marine Science on Tropical Island/Inner Barrier Reef

Day 2: Marine Science on Tropical Island/Inner Barrier Reef

Ferry Ride: This morning you are ferried to the pristine Fitzroy Island. A fringing coral reef surrounds the island, part of the inner Great Barrier Reef, providing a sheltered home for a variety of fish and coral species.

Marine Science and Snorkelling: Your marine biologist first teaches you some of the basic fish and coral types you will be observing in the water. Then with your snorkel gear you take to the water to experience the reef for yourselves. Using a life ring and a floating bar, you swim along with your marine biologist who leads you to underwater examples of some of the reef’s most interesting features. You can expect to see among other things giant clams, gentle turtles, spaghetti coral that waves in the current, lion fish, cuttle fish, colourful coral gardens and fluorescent parrot fish. Your marine biologist gives you in-water assignments, to be followed by discussions on observations. Topics can include, but are not limited to: coral biology, fish populations and behaviour, invertebrates, endangered species, coral diseases, coral predators and threats to the reef, human impacts on the reef and climate change.

Camping at Water’s Edge: Your campground is beautifully situated only steps from the water where you set up your tents. There is a BBQ and covered pergola area for eating and ablutions block with toilets and cold showers. There is also a small store and Foxy’s Café which offers a games area and music.

Accommodation: Island Camping (equipment provided)
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (student prepared with food provided)

Day 3: Marine Studies and Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

Day 3: Marine Studies and Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

Lighthouse Hike: This morning if you feel like a challenge with your guide you can walk a gorgeous but steep rainforest track that gives way to dry open forest and scenic vistas. At trail’s end stands a historic lighthouse where views of the sparkling Coral Sea stretch to the horizon.

Fish Population Survey and Water Quality Testing: You continue your snorkeling and discussion with your marine biologist today. Students also undertake an in-water biodiversity study using the waterproof SWJ Fish ID & tally slates that has them identifying & recording the number of specific indicator species that exist at Fitzroy island. By collecting these tallies from each group that visits Fitzroy Island so we can log this data, analyse the results over time, and look for any long term trends.

Turtle Rehabilitation Centre: During your visit you also visit the island’s Turtle Rehabilitation Centre where a collection of volunteers help save sick and injured sea turtles by looking after them until they are ready to be released back into the ocean.

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (student prepared with food provided)

Day 4: Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling – Live Aboard Boat

Day 4: Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling – Live Aboard Boat

Biodiversity at The Outer Reef: For students, the Great Barrier Reef is perhaps the world’s best classroom in which to witness the interconnectedness of species and biodiversity. For the next two days you explore the undersea world of the outer Great Barrier Reef. On this excursion, you get an intimate experience of the reef while on a live aboard boat.

Snorkel the Best Sites: Among the 1,800 species of fish and 450 species of coral at the reef, snorkellers can expect to see a thousand versions of coral, such as the whimsical elephant ear, broccoli, and spaghetti corals as well as luminescent parrot fish, the chocolate-dipped damsel, and the Picasso triggerfish. Giant turtles, sea cucumbers, virtually the whole cast of Finding Nemo make appearances. You snorkel along bommies and coral walls with mysterious swim-throughs that dance with light.

Optional SCUBA Diving: Students have an opportunity to try an Intro SCUBA dive, while certified divers can log up to seven dives during these two days (SCUBA diving is extra cost, see note about medical conditions at end of document)

Live Aboard Boat: You enjoy sumptuous buffet meals on your live aboard boat, while accommodation is in single-gender cabins. Students willl enjoy air conditioned cabins and hot showers and also have the option of sleeping out on deck under the stars.

Accommodation: Live aboard boat at The Great Barrier Reef
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling – Live Aboard Boat

Day 5: Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling – Live Aboard Boat

Wake up at The Reef: After an incomparable night out at the reef, you wake to the sunrise, a hot breakfast and plenty of time for snorkeling.

Great Barrier Reef Field Guide: Included in your trip is a field guide 101 Animals of The Great Barrier Reef written by our guide Dr. Martin Cohen to better understand the underwater world.

Species Identification: You can continue your marine science studies using the waterproof coral reef creatures tiles that will also help you identify a host of hard and soft corals as well as the differences between fish families such as butterfly, bat, and angelfish.

Whale Watching: If you join this trip in June-July, you may be lucky enough to interact with the inquisitive Dwarf Minke Whales that migrate here in the winter. Minkes display some extraordinary behaviour such as lifting their heads out of the water to observe boats and people. Often they are seen tail-slapping the water, which may be an acoustic signal to other whales in the vicinity. Humpback Whales are also seen on the Reef in the winter months.

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

Day 6: Free Time, OPTIONAL Urban Challenge OR Aboriginal Ranger Talk

Day 6: Free Time, OPTIONAL Urban Challenge OR Aboriginal Ranger Talk

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!

OR

Aboriginal Ranger Talk (Add this on first or last day):  Learn some of the ways Traditional Owners have SUSTAINABLY managed both marine and terrestrial environments during a talk by a Yirrganydji ranger.  He speaks about traditional use of marine resources, agreements relating to “sea country” (TUMRAs), and the significance of totems and being stewards of the Great Barrier Reef. (By request, extra cost)

 

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

Included: Breakfast

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

 School Excursion Fees Include:

  • Cairns airport transfers
  • Marine biologist guide on Days 2 and 3
  • All activities and entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Transportation to activities
  • 3 nights at Cairns hostel (6 share dorm rooms with private bathroom)*
  • 1 night island camping (toilets and cold showers available)
  • 1 night live aboard boat (quad or twin share cabins)
  • Tents, sleeping pads and sleeping bags
  • All cooking equipment for island
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches
  • All dinners
  • 101 Animals of the Great Barrier Reef field guide for each student
  • Waterproof fish and coral ID tiles
  • Mask, fins, and snorkel hire on Fitzroy Island and outer reef trip
  • Pre-trip educational information and reading list
  • Marine Park taxes & levies
  • 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 $195 AUD is charged if an additional private room is required. If teachers are happy to share a room, no additional costs are incurred. Sorry, there are no singles available on the live aboard boat.

School Excursion Fees Exclude:

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

Options:

  • 3 Intro SCUBA dive package ($120 AUD)
  • Optional upgrade to a 3-star hotel (extra $90 per person)
  • Optional Aboriginal ranger to speak about sea country (ask us for pricing)
  • Upgrade to Cairns HOTEL accommodation: Your hotel is located within easy walking distance to the Cairns Esplanade and offers friendly, personal hospitality. Student rooms are triple or twin share and teachers will enjoy twin share rooms with free WiFi. All spacious rooms feature LCD TVs, air-conditioning and private bathroom. Continental breakfast is served here daily. Add $98 per person.

Land Cost to 31 March 2018:

  • 15+ participants: $1296 AUD
  • 10-14 participants: $1394 AUD

Accommodation:

All accommodation is included. 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. On Fitzroy Island, your island dreams come true! You are provided with a tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag you set up camp on the luxuriant shore of this tropical island. Don’t worry – toilets, cold showers, a small general store and a games area keep you comfortable. At the Great Barrier Reef, you stay on a live aboard boat where you experience the glow and magic of the reef at night. Cabins sleep 2 or 4 people and have air conditioning, private bathrooms, freshwater showers and a spacious common area.

 

Meals:

All meals are included. Meals are a combination of restaurant dinners, ship-prepared meals and ones you prepare yourselves on the island (we provide you with the yummy food). 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 and BBQs, pastas and pizzas. 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.  Please plan to depart at 2 pm or after on your last day if you plan to SCUBA dive.

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: 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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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.

Question 10: What makes Small World Journeys "eco-friendly"?

Answer: An eco tour, in our opinion, is a trip in which everyone benefits: the community, the environment, you and us. Simply by joining one of our trips, you will be supporting carbon offsetting, Rainforest Rescue's Adopt-A-Square initiative, aboriginal cultural ventures and locally-owned businesses who are working towards a more sustainable future in tourism. As our guest, you are supporting us as well. Thank you! For more information, see 10 Reasons Why We're Eco.

School Marine Science Excursion – Experience Education on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef makes for the perfect classroom and this trip combines inner reef environments off the coast of a continental island with 2 days on the outer reef aboard a live aboard boat. During this trip your students will gain a feeling for the enormity and complexity of the largest living organism on the planet while snorkeling, scuba diving (optional) and exploring the coastline. With your marine biologist on hand we cater the content to suit your students- whether they are university level or high school and depending on the topics they are currently studying.

  • Participate in marine focused sessions on Fitzory Island
  • Listen to expert marine scientist and professors at James Cook university
  • Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Learn about the management and protection of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Understand how humans and climate change are affecting the reef

Educational Outcomes: NSW Stage 6 Geography

Marine Science Seminar: H1, H2 This two hour seminar is a fantastic introduction to marine systems and the creatures at the Great barrier Reef. Your entertaining presenters will teach you loads of fun facts to make your students appreciate their time at the reef that much more!

Fitzroy Island: H1, H2, H5 On your day trip to Fitzroy Island you will be able to closely examine the inner Great Barrier Reef. The island is a continental island that was once attached to the mainland. At the end of the last ice-age sea levels rose creating Fitzroy Island and the fringing reef that surrounds it. You can snorkel right off the beach and go in search of marine life. The island is also a national park and covered in rainforest walking tracks. You also have the opportunity to visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and see management strategies in action while contributing to the worthwhile cause.

Outer Reef Liveaboard: H1, H2, H5 No trip to Cairns would be complete without a trip to the outer Great Barrier Reef. On this day trip you will have full access to snorkel gear to explore the outer reef system. You can look for indicators of reef health and examine the factors that place eco-systems at risk. You can also use your reef operator as an example of how management strategies are being put in place to help protect the reef.

Marine Biologist Guide: H6, H7, H8, H10 If you choose to be accompanied by our marine biologist you will have a reef expert on hand to answer your questions. Your day can also be designed to incorporate fieldwork and geographic skills including fish and coral identification, reef health and diversity through the use of different data collection techniques. The data collected can then be taken back to the class room where it can be analysed and synthesised for a geographical enquiry.

Australian National Curriculum- Geography

Year 10 Unit 1: Environmental Change and Management:

  • ACHGK070: The human- induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability.
  • ACHGK071: the environmental worldviews of people and their implications for environmental management.
  • ACHGK073: The application of human-environment systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental change being investigated.
  • ACHGK074: The application of geographical concepts and methods to the management of the environment change being investigated.
  • ACHGK075: The application of environmental economic and social criteria in evaluating management responses to the change.

Year 8 Unit 1- Landforms and Landscapes:

  • ACHGK048: The different types of landscapes and their distinctive landform features.
  • ACHGK050: The geomorphic processes that produce landforms including a case study of at least one landform.
  • ACHGK051: the human causes and effects of landscape degradation.
  • ACHGK052: The ways of protecting significant landscapes.
  • ACHGK053: The causes impacts and responses to a geomorphological hazard.

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 Students will see how all life forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival. The population along the Queensland coastline depends on the Great Barrier Reef for a number of reasons including the funds provided to the economy through tourism, fishing and marine transport. The health of the reef also has a very strong connection with terrestrial activities like mining and agriculture which further demonstrate. In the animal world migratory species like whales depend on the well being of the reefs warm winter waters for their offspring before they head to the Antarctic ecosystems for the summer.]
  • OI.3 Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems. 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.6 By visiting the Cairns region students learn that the sustainability of ecological, social and economic systems is achieved through informed individual and community action that values local and global equity and fairness across generations into the future. There is a very high awareness in Cairns that the health of the ecosystems on our doorstep are fundamental to the social and economic success of the region. With the primary industry in the area being tourism and hospitality, most of the population relies in some way on the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropical Rainforests. Because of this there is strong individual and community action that seeks to sustain the quality of life for all in the region with a focus on the health of our ecosystems.
  • OI.7 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 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 reef. You will also learn about environmental impacts like tropical cyclones on the health of the reef.
  • OI.9 Students will learn about GBRMPA and the factors that led to World Heritage listing of the Great Barrier Reef. The sustainable future of this ecosystem is the result of actions designed to preserve the quality and uniqueness of environments. Students will also learn about the threats to the reef and what future actions are being established to restore areas damaged by cyclones, crown of thorns starfish, overfishing and pollution.

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”

HELPING SAVE THE TURTLES: We make a donation to the Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on your group’s behalf. So by participating on this trip, you are helping save green, olive ridley and hawsbill turtles that swim in the waters where you are doing your marine studies. For more information on how we donate to The Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and other environmental groups, see Philanthropy and Partnerships.

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.

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 guides, see The Small World Journeys Team.