WEP International Student Far North QLD Reef & Outback Trip

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 In Aboriginal Culture, Adventure, Cairns & The Great Barrier Reef, The Best of Australia

WEP International Student Far North QLD Reef & Outback Trip

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, National Park rainforest, and the incomparable Great Barrier Reef. No worries if you are coming alone — this program is designed for international students 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 Wet Tropics, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, meeting animals and a family on an outback cattle station, creating art with an Aboriginal artist, and swimming in crystal clear waters and 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.


Other important dates:

  • Once trip is confirmed as going ahead, rest of trip payment amount of $2308 AUD is due by 15 March 2024
6 Days/5 Nights
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Monday 8 - Saturday 13 April 2024
Minimum 12 participants
$2458 AUD per student (land cost only - excludes flights)


  • Make friends with other international  students who are studying in Australia!
  • Stay in a Cairns tropical retreat hotel, and on an outback farm
  • Spend a day on a tropical island and meet sea turtles in care
  • 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
  • Swim behind a gorgeous waterfall in a tropical rainforest setting
  • Hearty meals like a steak “barbie” in the outback and local restaurants
  • Enjoy night activities like an outback campfire, ten-pin bowling and night markets

  • All activities and entrance fees as described in the itinerary
  • Fully supervised trip 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)
  • Snacks including biscuits, savory items, and fresh fruit
  • 4 nights at a Cairns 3.5 -star hotel (triple/quad rooms w/ private bathroom)
  • 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, snorkel and kayak/paddle board 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

  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Airfare to and from Cairns
  • One free choice dinner
  • Personal expenses (phone, souvenirs, laundry, etc.)


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: Nestled amongst lush tropical gardens in the heart of Cairns, your boutique accommodation is located within walking distance to Cairns waterfront. This lovely hotel boasts an award-winning restaurant, free-form swimming pool, internet facility, and guest laundry.  All rooms have fans and air conditioning, hairdryers and tea & coffee making facilities.

Orientation and Games: At the famous Cairns Esplanade 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: Bay Village Tropical Retreat
Meals Included: Dinner


FerryRide: 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.

Sea Kayaking or Paddle Boarding: 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.

Beach Walk: In the afternoon, you traverse the island’s tropical forest, keeping an eye out for reptilian skinks and yellow-spotted monitors, to emerge at the fantastic Nudey Beach (not for nudists!).  Nudey Beach was rated “Australia’s Best Beach” by Australia’s beach ambassador Brad Farmer.

Return to Cairns: You return to Cairns at the end of the day and dine out together as a group in the city for dinner.

Accommodation: Bay Village Tropical Retreat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Aboriginal Culture Art Project: Today you participate in an art project that reflects the spirituality and ties to land that the Gimuy Wallabura Yidinji people are connected to. Your Aboriginal artist shares tales from her childhood and tells stories of her ancestors. The painting you do today echoes the unique style of Aboriginal art, and your piece becomes a souvenir to take home.

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 — you can look for crocodiles in the river and the 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 tonight.

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

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 your choice; there are plentiful options within the night markets food court.

Accommodation: Bay Village Tropical Retreat
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

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 App: 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.

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

Accommodation: Bay Village Tropical Retreat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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

Meals Included: Breakfast

“Beautiful experience! I loved every single activity; I had the opportunity to try something I would never have tried otherwise. I had lots of fun with all from the group and I developed new friendships. Staying in the rainforest and at the outback farm was amazing, I advise this trip to everyone!”
–Katjusia Corneli, student on WEP International Student trip, Italy (April 2018)

How Your Trip Makes The World A Better Place

We’re not talking rainbows and unicorns. We’re talking about how we have put significant thought into how to make our student tours as safe as they possibly can be while still being fun; encouraging students to learn about and contribute to the community they are travelling in; and teaching them what “sustainability” really means.


AlthoughWe are determined and motivated to be the most sustainable business we can be. This is why we run our office on renewable energy, voluntarily offset our carbon emissions, and fulfilling our policy to give at least 5% of our annual net profits to local environmental and community organisations and charities. Here’s what else we are doing:

HELPING THE REEF: In addition to the coral tree we sponsor, we pay to “adopt” coral at Fitzroy Island through our partner. The coral propagation happening there is unprecedented and is being celebrated as a significantproject 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.

CREATIVE WASTE REDUCTION: We give you your own water bottle and cloth shopping bag to eliminate the need for disposable bottles and plastic bags (and saves them from going in landfills!) We also recycle BOTH our hard plastics and soft plastics (through RedCycle) and have transitioned into NO WASTE snacks and NO WASTE lunches. Our food scraps get composted and put into our community garden, our bin liners are paper (not plastic) and we even wipe our bums with Who Gives a Crap 100% recycled toilet paper!


SUPPORTING OUR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY: It is our policy to include a talk or an activity with an Aboriginal person on every trip we offer. By taking this trip, you are supporting grassroots indigenous tourism ventures and encouraging Aboriginal pride in culture.

Additionally, our 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: It is our policy to use locally owned suppliers and businesses unless their standards are not up to par (for example, if they have a bad environmental record).

VOLUNTEERING IN OUR COMMUNITY: Small World staff are incentivised to volunteer in the community, and are given time to do so during work hours. As a team, we also clean up our local mangroves once a quarter, recognising their importance at the nursery to the Great Barrier Reef.


SUPERB SAFETY RECORD: We’ve had thousands of students travel with us, and our safety record is excellent. Ask us for teacher references specifically regarding safety.

RISK ASSESSMENT FOR EVERY TRIP: We do a risk assessment for every student tour we run, and is sent to your 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.

SAFE BUSES: All of our buses are equipped with seatbelts for every seat. While this is not a Queensland law to have them, 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 12 months.

SAFE GUIDES: Small World Journeys’ guides hold current Senior First Aid and CPR certificates, along with government-issued Driver’s Authority (if driving) and Working With Children cards (also known as a Blue Card) after passing a thorough background check. For more information on our guides, see About Us.

We do custom trips!

Still haven’t found exactly what you are looking for? All our tours are fully customisable and can be catered to suit your time-frame, student interests and budget. A geography excursion to the Great Barrier Reef? A biology excursion to the Daintree Rainforest? An Aboriginal culture excursion? Our educational trips in Queensland and New South Wales are hand-crafted for those who cannot find exactly what they want from the inflexible set itineraries of large tour operators.

If you are looking for a science trip, ecology trip, Aboriginal culture, or just a sample of the best of Australia – we can help.

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