Tropical Adventure for International Students
The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest – Fully Supervised Trip!
Foreign students studying in Australia – here is your holiday! This fully supervised tour introduces you to the tropical rainforest and The Great Barrier Reef. Coming alone? No worries! This is a perfect way to meet other international exchange students. You swim under waterfalls, meet the locals at an outback cattle station, learn about Aboriginal culture and hold a koala – great for photos. You get to snorkel both the outer Great Barrier Reef and stay in the rainforest but on the beach where there is a nightly campfire! This student trip is an absolute must for students who want to experience Australia’s best highlights.
- Make friends with other international exchange students who are studying in Australia!
- Stay on an outback cattle station – learn to crack a whip, milk the cows and more
- Whitewater raft a tropical river
- Feed Kangaroos, Meet Crocodiles and Cuddle a Koala
- Plunge Down a Natural Waterslide and Swim Under Waterfalls
- Learn to Throw spears and boomerangs with Aboriginal People
- Snorkel TWO locations at The Great Barrier Reef
- Visit the Enchanting Daintree Rainforest
- Enjoy Nightly Activities
- No long bus rides!
All accommodation is included. On this holiday you stay at a Cairns hotel with swimming pool , fully air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms. In the outback, you stay in single-gender cabins with shared bathrooms on a working cattle station. In the Daintree Rainforest, you stay in single-gender 4-share cabins with private ensuite located in the rainforest but directly on the beach – you will love the gorgeous tropical swimming pool!
All meals are included except two dinners. On this tour 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.
Sign Up Deadline: Monday, 13 March
Sign up by 13 March for April holiday trip, 17-23 April 2017
DAY 1: Arrival and Orientation
Meeting at Airport: Welcome to the tropics! You arrive in Cairns in the late afternoon or evening and are warmly greeted by your guides at the airport. You are then transferred to your accommodation for introductions and get-to-know-you activities. (Plan to arrive between 4 pm-10 pm)
Accommodation: Your hotel won Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award for 2012, and continues to rank as one of Cairns’ best rated hotels. You will enjoy the 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.
Accommodation: Cairns Hotel
DAY 2: Aboriginal Culture Park, Crocodile & Wildlife Park, Daintree Rainforest
Aboriginal Culture Park: Today you visit a unique Aboriginal culture park, which showcases aboriginal rituals, dance and traditional arts. You witness the telling of creation stories and Dreamtime legends, learn about medicinal properties of “bush tucker” (food), watch a dance performance, and learn to throw spears and boomerangs and how to play the didgeridoo. For students wanting to personally interact with Aboriginal people, this is an ideal cross-cultural experience for international students.
Crocodile Farm: Next you meet crocodiles in their natural habitat as well as a crocodile farm at Hartley’s. This multi-award winning eco adventure attraction is the best place to see crocodiles in Australia. You learn why saltwater crocodiles were almost hunted to extinction, and their importance in ecosystems today. Lagoon boat rides enable safe, guaranteed viewing of giant saltwater crocodiles in a natural setting. Hartley’s is famous for its crocodile feeding, snake and wildlife presentations. In the Gondwana Gateway you also meet animals of far north Queensland, like monitors, snakes and the giant endangered cassowary. You also get a chance to take a photo with a koala!
Daintree Rainforest & Beach Eco-Lodge: Later you enter the magical Daintree Rainforest – the oldest continuously growing rainforest on earth. Your Daintree lodge boasts an attractive swimming pool, guest laundry, BBQ area, and a superb location in the rainforest but directly on the beach. As a recipient of Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2015, the lodge also uses grey water for irrigation, locally-sourced food for its restaurant, and recycles 80% of its waste. Students sleep in dorm-style cabins with ensuite, and the sounds of the jungle surround you. A highlight each night here is sunset volleyball and a beach bonfire!
Accommodation: Rainforest Beach Lodge
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
DAY 3: Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling
Fast Boat to the Reef: Today you get a chance to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef! This morning you take the fast boat to a reef on which Captain Cook famously ran aground.
Snorkelling: With full use of snorkel gear, you can jump right into the water to explore this magnificent reef system at Cape Tribulation. Just offshore in the turquoise sea a kaleidoscope of marine life beckons to be discovered: colourful corals, parrot and lionfish, turtles, cuttle fish, rays and giant clams.
Fish and Coral Souvenir Field Guide: 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!)
In the late afternoon, you head back south and return to Cairns.
Cairns Lagoon and Night Markets: As the first of the sun’s rays hit the Cairns Lagoon until dusk, the swimming pool located right in the heart of the Cairns business district is abuzz with tourists and locals relaxing on the grassy knoll or splashing in the shallows. The nearby Night Markets opens at dusk, where you can find opals, pearls, silver, clothing, massage oils, t-shirts, arts, crafts, Australian food products, toys, and plenty of souvenirs and gifts. Tonight is your free choice for dinner.
Accommodation: Cairns Hotel
Included: Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 4: Rainforest Waterfalls, Hot Springs 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 for 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
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 5: Outback Cattle Station, Farm Activities and Whitewater Rafting the Barron River
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.
Rafting the Barron River: In the afternoon you travel to your put-in at Barron Gorge National Park. The Barron River ranks high with rafting enthusiasts around the globe for its stunning course through national parklands, Class III rapids, and its reliable year-round flows. First timers and experienced rafters alike are spoiled by the Barron’s fun paddling and gorgeous pristine wilderness.
At the river you are fitted with a life jacket and helmet and after a safety briefing you are on the water. In 6-person rafts, you paddle through UNESCO World Heritage rainforest and below waterfalls that tumble from the walls of the gorge. Rousing rapids with evocative names like Cheese Churn, Rooster Tail and Hells Gate punctuate your route as you paddle the spectacular canyon.
Accommodation: Cairns Hotel
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 6: Fitzroy Island Great Barrier Reef & Final BBQ Party
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.
Snorkelling: With full use of snorkel gear for the day, you can walk right into the water to explore the magnificent reef system that surrounds the island. Just offshore a kaleidoscope of marine life beckons to be discovered: colourful corals, parrot and lionfish, turtles, cuttle fish, rays and giant clams.
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.
Marine Trampoline & Paddle Boarding: At the end of the day, you may love to go for a swim, bounce on the giant marine trampoline, or try out a paddle board in the shallow Welcome Bay.
Esplanade “Beach” Party: In the late afternoon, you head to the Esplanade for music, games and a BBQ cookout. This will be a fun way to end your week, and will give you a chance to recount your adventures over the past week.
Accommodation: Cairns Hotel
Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 7: Transfer and Departure
Eventually all good things must come to an end. After breakfast, you are transferred to the Cairns airport for your flight back to your host family. (Plan to depart any time before 12 noon)
Land Cost: $1795 AUD (inc. GST)
Trip Fees Include:
- All activities as described in the itinerary
- Cairns airport transfers
- Transportation to activities
- Small World Journeys guides Days 1-7 – totally supervised tour
- 4 nights at Cairns central hotel (2 or 3 share rooms with private bathroom)*
- 1 night outback cattle station (basic single gender dorm-style rooms with shared bathrooms)*
- 1 night Daintree Rainforest cabins (4-share dorm-style rooms with private bathrooms)*
- All continental breakfasts
- All lunches
- 4 dinners
- Mask, fins, and snorkel hire for both Great Barrier Reef trips
- Wet suit for Day 3
- 101 Animals of the Great Barrier Reef field guide for each student
- Small World Journeys reusable water bottle and cloth shopping bag
- National Park and Marine Park taxes and levies
- Carbon offsetting through Sustainable Travel International (STI)
Trip Fees Exclude:
- International & domestic airfare
- Dinner on arrival day and 1 dinner on day 3
- Personal expenses (phone, laundry, internet, etc.)
- Travel insurance (highly recommended)
- Professional photo with a koala, snake or crocodile ($19 AUD)
Small World Journeys reserves the right to change the order of activities for logistical reasons.
Sign Up Deadline: 13 March 2017
Sign up by 13 March for April holiday trip,
17-23 April 2017
(Sorry, EQI does not permit Queensland international students to join this trip)
Question 1: Who is this trip for?
Answer: This holiday program is especially for foreign high school students who are studying in all states of Australia.
Question 2: What if I am coming alone?
Answer: Great! As most students come alone without knowing anyone on the tour, we make a special effort to introduce you to other students in the group and play get-to-know-you games. Rooming lists are designed to mix different nationalities. In the past, our trips have been a mix of any of the following nationalities: American, Argentinian, Austrian, Brazilian, Belgian, Canadian, Chinese, Colombian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, and Swiss.
Question 3: Who is supervising this trip?
Answer: This trip is led by a Small World Journeys guide, and two guides if there are more than 12 students. Small World Journeys guides who have Australian government background checks and approval to work with children. Leaders are selected for their local knowledge, safety awareness, ability to establish a good rapport with high school students and who have energy and enthusiasm. When driving is required, the leaders also have a government-issued Driver's Authority and a special LR or MR driver's license. For more information, see The SWJ Team
Question 4: What do we need to pack?
Answer: A Suggested Packing List will be sent to you once you sign up so you will be able to adequately prepare for your trip.
Question 5: What is the weather like in Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef?
Answer: Cairns is a tropical place, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. In our winter (June-August), the climate is at its most mild, with warm days, cool nights, and little rainfall. Average temperatures are 18-26 degrees Celsius/64-78 degrees Fahrenheit.In 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 the autumn (March - May) the weather is more unpredictable: some days it can be warm and rainy, other days hot and humid.September - October tends to be the nicest time of the year - warm to hot days with little chance of rainfall.
Question 6: What will we eat whilst on tour?
Answer: We understand how important food is to young people – and heaps of it!A typical breakfast will be a continental breakfast including juices, cereals, toast & jams (and optional vegemite!) and a typical packed lunch will be a meat and salad sandwich, drink, chips, biscuits and a piece of fresh fruit. Café lunches and restaurant dinners will vary, such as pastas, pizzas, steak and salad, but we place a big emphasis on variety and healthful options. One night we have a typical Aussie BBQ and other nights we eat in restaurants.Best of all, we carry our snack box when we travel to ensure that no one is ever hungry.
Question 7: When do I schedule my flights for the tour?
Answer: Please do not make flight arrangements until you have received an email from us confirming the to Plan to arrive by 1pm on Day 1 and plan to depart by 12 noon on Day 7. If you need assistance booking your airfare, please contact Kim Salter at Travel Managers: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone her within Australia - 1 300 640 821
Question 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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.
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 travelling. 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 your 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 tell you where to buy locally-made crafts and souvenirs so you can continue this support as well.
SUPPORTING LOCAL HOMELESS YOUTH: We donate to Harald’s House for homeless and disadvantaged youth in Cairns. For more information on Herald’s House and other organisations to which we donate, see Philanthropy and Partnerships.
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: 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: This is a FULLY SUPERVISED trip. 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.
It's just amazing how easily I could become friends with everyone, every one of us is different, has a different story, culture and language but we are all exchange students who decided to be open minded and make this experience the better it could be. My favourite activities of the trip were snorkelling and the jumps in the river. I really enjoy the food. Every activity permitted to me to learn more about the culture of this amazing country and about the people who live here. I think everything was well organised, nothing to improve! Sadly was just one week. The guides, Andrew and Laurie, are very nice and funny people and they made this trip interesting and fantastic! Thank you to everyone. I spent a great time up here.
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