Tropical Adventure for International Students

The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest – Fully Supervised Trip!

20-25 April 2020


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 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.

“The food was very very good and really enough. The snacks were very good as well. With a small group like that I had the possibility to know everyone. I make a lot of friends. Rachael and Rick [SWJ guides] are so lovely, easy and very nice. They also like to talk with everyone and are really nice. All the activities were interesting and enjoyable – my favourite things were boat on Great Barrier Reef, night in rainforest and rafting. One day more will be perfect!”

–Mio Elena, International student on Tropical Adventure, Italy (Sep ’18)


  • 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 at The Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit the enchanting Daintree Rainforest
  • Enjoy night 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, gourmet burger treats and local favourites. Ask us about vegetarian, kosher and halal options.


Sign Up Deadline: Monday 16 March, 2020


  1. Read our TERMS & CONDITIONS  (read the part for “International Students on the Tropical Adventure” and tell us you want to come)
  2. Sign up on our BOOKING FORM (Select from SCHOOL NAME menu:  “Tropical Adventure for International Students”)
  3. Your home parent must complete 4 forms on THIS SITE
  4. Pay a $200 AUD deposit via our PAYMENT PAGE (Select from SCHOOL NAME menu:  “Tropical Adventure for International Students”)
  5. Receive confirmation from us that the trip is confirmed (DO NOT BUY your airline tickets until we tell you the trip is confirmed!)
  6. Purchase your flights.
  7. Pay the final balance via our PAYMENT PAGE two weeks prior to the trip.
  8. Enjoy your trip!



DAY 1: Arrival and Orientation, Get-To-Know-You Activities & 10 Pin Bowling

DAY 1: Arrival and Orientation, Get-To-Know-You Activities & 10 Pin Bowling

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 1 pm-4 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: Rainforest Waterfalls and Outback Cattle Station

DAY 2: Rainforest 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 for as a sanctuary for wildlife – and look for the crocodiles and kangaroos that roam the property.

Aussie BBQ and Stargazing: After a classic Aussie steak “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 with shared bathrooms.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Outback cattle station

Day 3 – Outback Cattle Station, Farm Activities, Whitewater Rafting the Barron River & Cairns Night Markets

Day 3 – Outback Cattle Station, Farm Activities, Whitewater Rafting the Barron River & Cairns Night Markets

Farm Activities: This morning you get a sample of true outback life on a cattle station, 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 have a try at milking a cow. On the homestead, old trinkets, furniture and memorabilia that you can touch also take you back to the age of the early Australian pioneers.

Rafting the Barron River:  Once you return to Cairns, 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.  This rafting trip is a highlight for most visitors to Cairns!

Cairns Night Markets: 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 choice for dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Cairns Hotel

Day 4 – Crocodile & Wildlife Park and Daintree Rainforest

Day 4 – Crocodile & Wildlife Park and Daintree Rainforest

Crocodile Farm: This morning 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, emus and the giant endangered cassowary.

Photo with a Koala: For those of you who have always wanted one – you get a chance to take a photo with a koala!  Holding a koala is not possible in New South Wales, so take this opportunity to get a professional photo taken!  (extra cost)

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

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

Day 5 – Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling Trip

Day 5 – Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling Trip

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 and with a marine biologist, 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.

Farewell Dinner and Laser Tag: Tonight you have a farewell dinner followed by some fun games of Laser tag. You split into colour teams and inside a purpose-built labyrinth of walls, forts, ramps and caves, you compete for your team to score the most points.  This is a perfect way to finish off your trip with newly made friends.

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

DAY 6: Aboriginal Culture Park, Airport Transfer and Departure

DAY 6: Aboriginal Culture Park, Airport Transfer and Departure

Aboriginal Culture Park: Today before you say goodbye to Cairns, you visit a unique Aboriginal culture park that 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 (or participate!) in a dance performance, and learn to throw spears and boomerangs and how to play the didgeridoo. Indigenous people also paint your faces with designs if you wish. For students wanting to personally interact with Aboriginal people, this is an ideal cross-cultural experience for international students.

Eventually, all good things must come to an end. You are transferred to the Cairns airport for your flight back to your host family.  (BOOK FLIGHT FOR ANY TIME AFTER 1 pm)

Meals Included: Breakfast


 Land Cost: $1698 per student (includes GST)

Trip Fees Include:

  • All activities as described in the itinerary
  • Cairns airport transfers
  • Transportation to activities
  • Small World Journeys guides Days 1-6 – totally supervised tour
  • 3 nights at Cairns hotel (2 or 4 share rooms)*
  • 1 night outback cattle station (basic single gender dorm-style rooms)*
  • 1 night Daintree Rainforest cabins (4-share dorm-style rooms)*
  • All continental breakfasts
  • All lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Snacks
  • Mask, fins, wet/lycra suit, and snorkel hire for Great Barrier Reef trip
  • 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 ($24 AUD)


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

Sign Up Deadline: Monday, 16 March 2020

Sign up by 16 March for April holiday trip, 20-25 April 2020

(Sorry, EQI does not permit Queensland international students to join this trip)


  1. Read our TERMS & CONDITIONS and tell us you want to come.
  2. Sign up on our BOOKING FORM.
  3. Pay a $200 AUD deposit via our PAYMENT PAGE.
  4. Receive confirmation from us that the trip is confirmed. Get a link from us to your special web page that has waivers for your parents to e-sign, and more information about the trip.
  5. Purchase your flights.
  6. Pay the final balance via our PAYMENT PAGE two weeks prior to the trip.
  7. Enjoy your trip!

Question 1: 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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 trip.   Plan to arrive between 1pm and 4pm on Day 1 and plan to depart after 12 noon on Day 6.  If you need assistance selecting which flight is best for you please contact us. If you need assistance from from a travel agent to book your flights and purchase travel insurance you can contact Sandy Sirianni P: 0408 006 921 E:

Question 7: 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 or first activity. Please note if you select flights that arrive or depart outside of the hours requested we can not guarentee supervision, or a staff memeber to meet you until the requested times.

Question 8: What happens if a student cancels?

Answer: If an individual student cancels from a trip within 30 days of the trip departure, no refunds are given. For this reason, we strongly encourage all parents to purchase trip cancellation insurance in order to protect against unforeseen circumstances which are the main cause for student cancellations. For more details, please see our Terms & Conditions.

Question 9: What is your safety record?

Answer: Our safety record is outstanding. Please ask us for teacher/supervisor references specifically regarding our safety measures and practices.  We do risk assessments for every excursion we run. We carry a first aid kit in our vehicles, as well as on the guide's person when in remote areas.  All guides are certified in first aid and CPR.  We give every student  a card with emergency numbers and safety information on it to carry, and we review safety measures as part of our orientation. Safety is absolutely our number one concern at all times. We do everything in our power to make sure each trip is as safe as it can possibly be.

Question 10: Do you do risk assessments?

Answer: Yes. We evaluate and re-evaluate the safety of each of our destinations and activities, and we always reserve the right to modify or cancel an itinerary if the guide feels that conditions are unsafe. We will gladly provide a risk management assessment specific to your trip on request. Small World Journeys' staff also adhere to a comprehensive Risk Management Strategy.

How your trip supports the community

SUPPORTING  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. It is our policy to include a talk or an activity with an Aboriginal person on every trip we offer. We are proud to say that in the financial year of 2018-19, we gave over $43,000 in business to Aboriginal-owned ventures. Additionally, our new student community service project involves students in making “Moon Sick Care Bags” which supply re-usable sanitary products to Aboriginal women in remote communities — this helps both Indigenous women AND the environment! (Ask us how your group can do this on their tour)

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.  In 2018-19, three quarters of our expenses were paid back into the local economy.

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 THE REEF: In addition to the coral tree we sponsor, we pay to “adopt” coral at Fitzroy Island through our partner Reef Restoration Foundation.  The coral propagation happening there is unprecedented and is being celebrated as a significant project to help save the reef. Each of our groups that visit the reef receives a certificate on the tour and later receive updates on the coral.

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. In 2018-19, we purchased more than 100 square metres of rainforest adopted in our groups’ names.

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

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

CARBON OFFSETTING: We calculate our company’s carbon emissions. Then we pay Sustainable Travel International (STI) to offset your emissions by investing in environmental and community-based projects. In 2018 we offset 76.72 mega tonnes of carbon dioxide! For more information about our carbon offsetting, see 10 Ways We’re ”Sustainable”.

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 do a risk assessment for every student tour we run. That risk assessment then gets sent to the organising teacher. We have safety protocols for our activities and a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Manual that documents these protocols. We also have a complete Crisis Management Plan. In addition, students are given a safety briefing during orientation that addresses hazards and risks for this region.

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.