WEP International Student Adventure

Next Tour Dates: 14-19 April, 2020

International high school students studying in Australia with the WEP program: here’s your chance to see the best of the Land Down Under!  Spend 6 days experiencing the outback, the rainforest and the incomparable Great Barrier Reef.  No worries if you are coming alone — this program is designed for international student coming from all over Australia, and we ensure you make new friends!

You travel in the care of professional guides who are also your super fun supervisors. Days are spent discovering the rainforest, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, meeting animals and a family on an outback cattle station, visiting an Aboriginal culture park and swimming under tropical waterfalls.  Nights are filled with activities like ten-pin bowling, night markets, an outback campfire and stargazing.

This is the absolute highlight for most WEP students’ stay in Australia.

Highlights:

  • Make friends with other international  students who are studying in Australia!
  • Stay in a Cairns hotel, rainforest lodge and outback farm
  • Visit enchanting rainforest
  • Sail to the Great Barrier Reef and learn to snorkel
  • Look for wild kangaroos, milk the cow and pet the animals on an outback cattle station
  • Learn how to throw a boomerang and a spear from Aboriginal guides
  • Swim behind a gorgeous waterfall in the tropical rainforest
  • Feed kangaroos, meet crocodiles and cuddle a koala
  • Hearty meals like a steak “barbie” in the outback and an all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta restaurant
  • Enjoy night activities like an outback campfire, ten-pin bowling and night markets

Accommodation:

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 basic single-gender cabins with shared bathrooms on a working cattle station.

Meals:

All meals are included except one “free choice” dinner. 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 9 March, 2020

HOW TO BOOK A TRIP WITH US (It’s easy!):

  1. Read our TERMS & CONDITIONS  (read the part “IF YOU ARE AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT TRAVELLING INDIVIDUALLY ON ONE OF OUR HOLIDAY PROGRAMS” and tell us you want to come)
  2. Sign up on our BOOKING FORM (Select from SCHOOL NAME menu:  “WEP Outback, Reef & Rainforest Trip”)
  3. Your home parent must complete the forms on THIS SITE
  4. Pay a $200 AUD deposit via our PAYMENT PAGE (Select from SCHOOL NAME menu:  “WEP Outback, Reef & Rainforest Trip”)
  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 four weeks prior to the trip.
  8. Enjoy your trip!

 

Day 1 - Arrival & Orientation, Swimming at the Esplanade & Bowling

Day 1 - Arrival & Orientation, Swimming at the Esplanade & Bowling

Flight to Cairns: Welcome to the tropics! You are met at the airport by our staff and transferred to your accommodation in the town’s restaurant and shopping district. (Arrive between 1pm and 4pm)

Accommodation: Your accommodation is at a recently refurbished hotel in a quiet area only a few minutes’ walk to Cairns’ restaurant and shopping district, and only one block from the waterfront. All rooms have ensuite and air-conditioning, hairdryers, TVs with Austar and tea & coffee making facilities while the hotel also offers Wi-Fi access, laundry facilities and a tropical pool and spa.

Orientation and Games: As a group you walk to the Esplanade where you have an orientation and time to swim in the giant lagoon. Afterwards you do some get-to-know-you activities facilitated by your guides.

10-Pin Bowling: This evening you have a group dinner in town and a fun game of 10-pin bowling as an evening activity!

Accommodation: Cairns Queenslander Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

(PLEASE NOTE if we get many signups, the large group may be split into smaller groups and this itinerary may be run in reverse order)

Day 2 - Inner Great Barrier Reef: Fitzroy Island & Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

Day 2 - Inner Great Barrier Reef: Fitzroy Island & Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

Ferry Ride: This morning you are ferried to the pristine Fitzroy Island – a green gem in a turquoise sea. 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.

Paddle Boarding and Giant Trampoline  In the company of your guide, you try out a paddle board or a sea kayak to explore fringing coral reefs and private beaches accessible only by boat.

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.

Lighthouse Hike: Later in the afternoon you can choose to walk with your guide on a gorgeous  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. For an extra challenge, push on to the summit of the island for 360-degree views. (*time permitting)

Swimming and Marine Trampoline: At the end of the day, you may love to go for a swim, bounce on the giant marine trampoline, or relax on the beach.

Accomodation: Cairns Queenslander Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 - Aboriginal Culture Park & Outback Cattle Station

Day 3 - Aboriginal Culture Park & Outback Cattle Station

Aboriginal Culture Park: Today 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 a dance performance, and learn to throw spears and boomerangs and how to play the didgeridoo. For children wanting to personally interact with the aboriginal people, this is an ideal cross-cultural experience for international students.

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 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, while teachers sleep in single cabins tonight.

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

(PLEASE NOTE if we get many signups, the large group may be split into smaller groups and this itinerary may be run in reverse order)

Day 4 - Farm Activities, Rainforest & National Park Waterfalls & Cairns Night Markets

Day 4 - Farm Activities, Rainforest & National Park Waterfalls & Cairns Night Markets

Cattle Station Life: This morning you get a sample of true outback life on a cattle station. You learn what this robust rural family does to survive flooding, drought and economic hardships.

Cow Milking, Animals, and Whip Cracking: Breaking into small groups, you can visit the goats and chickens, learn how to milk the cows and crack a whip properly in true cowboy style. You also take a walk back through time on the homestead to the age of the early Australian pioneers, and you can touch the old furniture, trinkets and memorabilia all well-preserved by the family.

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.

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 thousand-year-old, pure basalt rock in a dramatic burst. There is a fantastic swimming hole at the base of the falls, which is the perfect place for photos.

Babinda Boulders: The clear waters that pour from Mt Bartle Frere spill over massive granite bounders in this luxuriant section of jungle. Here you can learn about the significance of this special place to the local Aboriginal people, and swim in the cool calm waters with the rainforest as your backdrop.

Night Markets: Tonight you have time for shopping at the Cairns Night Markets. You can find opals, pearls, silver, clothing, massage oils, t-shirts, arts, crafts, Australian food products, toys, and plenty of souvenirs and gifts. Dinner tonight is of your choice, there are plentiful options within the night markets food court.

Accommodation: Cairns Queenslander Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

(PLEASE NOTE if we get many signups, the large group may be split into smaller groups and this itinerary may be run in reverse order)

Day 5 - Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling & Farewell Dinner

Day 5 - Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling & Farewell Dinner

Eco-Friendly Catamaran: Today you sail to the Reef aboard an eco-friendly catamaran, recipient of the Advanced Ecotourism Climate Action Innovator Award and the most eco-friendly reef boat in Cairns. No worries if you are new to snorkelling – staff will ensure you are safe and relaxed, and you can join in a guided snorkel tour with one of them.

Snorkelling: Snorkelling can be done right off the back of the boat. For snorkelers, giant clams, angel, butterfly and parrot fish, turtles, sea stars and corals of a thousand hues are all within reach. Among the 1,800 species of fish and 450 species of coral, you can expect to see Wally the giant wrasse, fan corals, sea cucumbers and just about the entire cast of “Finding Nemo”. You also may see beauties such as luminescent parrot fish, the chocolate dipped damsel, the Picasso triggerfish and several species of turtles.

Buffet Lunch: Lunch is a tropical buffet of delicious hot and cold items, including prawns, pasta salads and fresh fruit.

Field Guide & Sightings Ap: 101 Animals of the Great Barrier Reef, written by Dr. Martin Cohen, helps you to better understand the underwater world and is yours to keep. Before the trip, we’ll also give you information about downloading an app with which you can log in sightings of reef fauna and flora and your data is then sent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

You return to Cairns late this afternoon and enjoy a fun closing ceremony and farewell dinner to celebrate the week’s adventure.

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

(PLEASE NOTE if we get many signups, the large group may be split into smaller groups and this itinerary may be run in reverse order)

Day 6 - Depart Cairns

Day 6 - Depart Cairns

Then eventually all good things must come to an end and you are transferred back to the Cairns International Airport for your flight home. (depart before noon)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Fees Include:

  • All activities and entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Fully supervised trips with Small World Journeys guides
  • Additional specialty guides and educators
  • Cairns airport transfers
  • Transportation to activities
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 6 (except one dinner own choice on Day 4)
  • All hot buffet breakfasts
  • 4 nights at a Cairns 3.5 -star hotel (triple/quad rooms w/ private bathrooms)
  • 1 night at outback cattle station (basic dorm-style cabins with shared bathrooms)
  • 101 Animals of the Great Barrier Reef field guide for each student
  • Mask, fins, lycra/wet suit, snorkel hire on the reef trip
  • Marine park and national park fees
  • Free Wi-Fi at Cairns hotel
  • BPA free reusable water bottles and shopping bag for each student

Trip Fees Exclude:

  • Airfare and travel insurance
  • One free choice dinner
  • Personal expenses (phone, souvenirs, laundry, etc.)

Land Cost for April 2020 Tour:

  • $1936 AUD per person, including GST

Accommodation:

All accommodation is included. In Cairns, you stay at a comfortable hostel in the centre of Cairns’ restaurant and shopping district, and only a few blocks from the waterfront. The hostel is committed to sustainability and even has their own herb garden for guests use! A lush swimming pool and spa, and large common areas, the hostel also features free internet in common areas and air conditioning in each room.

Meals:

All meals are included. You have a combination of catered and restaurant meals. A typical breakfast is a selection of cereals, toast, juice and fruits; lunches are combinations of sandwiches and salads with fruits and a sweet, and dinners are a sample of BBQs, all-you-can-eat pasta and pizza, seafood treats and local favourites. Ask us about vegetarian, kosher and halal options.

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

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.

Sign Up Deadline: Monday 9 March, 2020

 

HOW TO BOOK A TRIP WITH US (It’s easy!):

  1. Read our TERMS & CONDITIONS  (read the part “IF YOU ARE AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT TRAVELLING INDIVIDUALLY ON ONE OF OUR HOLIDAY PROGRAMS” and tell us you want to come)
  2. Sign up on our BOOKING FORM (Select from SCHOOL NAME menu:  “WEP Outback, Reef & Rainforest Trip”)
  3. Your home parent must complete the forms on THIS SITE
  4. Pay a $200 AUD deposit via our PAYMENT PAGE (Select from SCHOOL NAME menu:  “WEP Outback, Reef & Rainforest Trip”)
  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 four weeks prior to the trip.
  8. 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 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 Ways We're ''Sustainable''.

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 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 Philantrophy and Partnership.

OUR OFFICE IS RUN ON SOLAR POWER: Our furniture 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 assesment 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.