Ecosystems at Risk: Coral Reefs Study – 4 Days

Great Barrier Reef School Excursion in Style

For those with limited time, this is a perfect opportunity to explore the Great Barrier Reef in a compact excursion. Learn more about biophysical interactions, biotic and abiotic factors, and human and natural impacts on the reef with fun, dynamic activities. Led by a knowledgeable marine scientist, your geography and marine studies trip explores the wonders of this World-Heritage site that hosts some of the planet’s best biodiversity.

Areas of Learning:

  • Geography
  • Biology
  • Marine Science
  • Aboriginal Culture (optional)


  • Collect data on Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching as a service project
  • On a tropical island learn about traditional and contemporary protected area management
  • Visit a turtle rehabilitation centre
  • Participate in the Eye on The Reef program
  • Snorkel in small groups with an expert marine biologist
  • Test water quality and learn how this predicts reef health
  • Evaluate human impacts in a national park
  • OPTIONAL: Aboriginal ranger discusses sea country & traditional management

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 guides – not “bus drivers”
  • 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 and Geography Presentation (with optional Aboriginal Ranger Talk)

Day 1: Arrival and Geography Presentation (with optional Aboriginal Ranger Talk)

Arrival: Welcome to the tropics! You arrive in Cairns and are warmly greeted by one of our staff members at the airport. (Arrive before 3 pm today).

Accommodation: Your accommodation is 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. (Hotel upgrade available, see inclusions tab)

Geography Presentation:  We know people have nervous breakdowns, but what happens when a reef gets too stressed out?  During this lively presentation taught by a marine naturalist, you learn more about how The Great Barrier Reef evolved and about how natural and human impacts are causing it stress. You also learn how Indigenous people have traditionally managed the reef, and how it’s managed today. Along the way, you discover weird and wacky things about the reef, such as the role of parrot fish poop, an example of mutualism that makes Nemo happy, and the most dangerous things in the sea that are not what you expect. Your naturalist prepares you to identify biogeographical interactions at the reef, how geomorphology changes the reef and how scientists are trying “assisted evolution” with corals.  You are also introduced to the CoralWatch program using a “virtual reef” banner and how to measure coral bleaching tomorrow on your reef trip.

OPTIONAL ADD ON: Protected Area Management Talk – Traditional & Contemporary from Indigenous Ranger. 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 (this day or last day – extra cost)

Accommodation: Cairns Budget Accommodation

Day 2: Inner Great Barrier Reef/Fitzroy Island with Marine Naturalist and Turtle Rehab Centre

Day 2: Inner Great Barrier Reef/Fitzroy Island with Marine Naturalist and Turtle Rehab Centre

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 kaleidoscope of marine life:  colourful corals, parrot and lionfish, turtles, cuttle fish, rays and giant clams.  Your marine naturalist gives you some background about island and reef geomorphology before reviewing use of your snorkel gear.

Guided 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. Your marine naturalist leads you to underwater examples of biodiversity, parasitism, and commensalism as well as examples of the reef’s most interesting features.

Activity Addressing Contemporary & Traditional Protected Area Management: A lunchtime mapping activity also helps students with their geography skills and to understand management strategies for the reef, both present and past. Students are led into a discussion about how the area has been traditionally managed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people for over 60,000 years, addressing topics such as sustainable fishing, use of totems and Traditional Owner stewardship.  Students are encouraged to consider and discuss what challenges there might be in using only traditional management practices today, considering the present day uses of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Contemporary management of the area is also looked at in detail, as well as the zoning plan released in 2003 by the Australian Government.

CoralWatch Data Collection:  In the afternoon you engage in an activity that addresses concerns over climate change and coral bleaching. During this exercise you find out more about how and why coral bleaches.  You learn how to identify different kinds of coral, match its colours to a waterproof chart, and then record what you observe in teams of two.  The data then goes back to the University of Queensland’s Coral Watch scientists, where they analyse the results over time and look for any long term trends. Your results also go into a database to track bleaching around the world, and your group receives a graph of your results.

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.

Human Impacts & Water Quality Testing: Students are introduced to an activity that has them evaluating the island’s human impacts throughout the day, and are asked to fill in a “report card”. Finally, you learn to measure water quality using chemical tests. Small World Journeys collects 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.

Cuisine & Culture:  This evening you have a special treat: a migrant now living in Cairns shares her story and her love of cooking with you.  You learn how to prepare a delicious meal from her home country, and armed with the recipe you can also re-create this meal when you return home.  In a time when the plight of migrants is widely discussed, this activity will allow you to understand circumstances in the world that cause people to flee their countries and will humanize this struggle.  You gain some culinary skills, feast on a fantastic meal, and perhaps make a new friend.
(Please inform us if you wish to have a restaurant dinner instead of this activity)

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

Day 3: Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling, Eye on the Reef and Data Collection

Day 3: Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling, Eye on the Reef and Data Collection

Boat Ride and Reef Introduction: Your day begins with an air-conditioned catamaran ride to the outer Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World-Heritage site and one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet.  On the way out, your marine biologist presents what you are likely to see at the reef and introduces the Eye on the Reef program, which involves instruction on how to complete the Rapid Monitoring Survey.

Snorkeling and Data Collection: Upon arrival, you dock at a floating pontoon, and an underwater universe greets you. During a guided snorkel tour with your marine biologist, you can expect to see a rainbow of hard and soft corals, turtles, and a variety of fish species including butterfly fish, giant Maori Wrasse, parrot fish, and the ever-popular clown fish, also known as “Nemo”.

Data Collection: Next you receive in-water training on how to conduct the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Rapid Monitoring Survey. Your marine guide will point out key features of the reef ecosystem, answer any questions, and conduct a practice survey with group. Then during a timed snorkel session, you record your underwater findings.  Your guide and waterproof slates help you identify a host of marine life and calculate benthic zone coverage. Most importantly, you look for signs of coral bleaching and coral predators which greatly affect the health of the reef.  Your data is then collected and contributes to the central reporting system used by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to manage the long term sustainability of this UNESCO World Heritage area.

Other Activities: Semi-submarine and glass bottom boat tours, underwater observatory, and marine life touch tank are all available for you to enjoy. The double-storey pontoon also has something that no one else does….. a long and fun slide that finishes in the waters of the reef. Lunch today is a tropical buffet served on the boat.

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). Each student receives a certificate of participation at the end of the day.

You return to Cairns late this afternoon and you have dinner at a restaurant in town and can explore the Night Markets.

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

Day 4: Community Service Project and OPTIONAL Aboriginal Ranger Talk and Departure

Day 4: Community Service Project and OPTIONAL Aboriginal Ranger Talk and Departure

Service Project: Part of being a “sustainable” tourist is helping the community in which you are travelling.  This morning you exemplify sustainable tourists by participating in a service project for the homeless by making special bags for a local charity using upcycled materials (which helps them save money!) You then put it the bags food and hygiene items most needed by those living on the street.  Rosies Friends on The Street is a not-for-profit organisation that will then distribute the packs you make.  In addition, a representative from Rosies will speak to you about how members of the Cairns community become homeless, and how your gift will help. No worries if you aren’t the best at arts and crafts – the bags are easy to make, and you’ll feel good doing it too. (An hour and fifteen minutes in duration)

OPTIONAL Aboriginal Ranger Talk on Traditional Protected Area Management: If you leave later in the day, you can choose to add on a talk on traditional protected area management by an Aboriginal ranger (see Day 1 description, extra cost)

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

Included: Breakfast

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

 Geography School Excursion Fees Include:

  • All activities as described in the itinerary
  • Cairns airport transfers
  • Transportation to activities
  • Marine naturalist/marine biologist on Days 1, 2 and 3
  • 3 nights Cairns budget accommodation (4 or 6 share single-gender rooms with ensuites)*
  • All continental breakfasts (cereals, toast, juice, butter, jam, peanut butter, tea & coffee)
  • All lunches
  • All dinners (except on arrival day)
  • Mask, fins, snorkel hire on Fitzroy Island and reef trip
  • Stinger suit hire during the wet season
  • 101 Marine Animals of the Great Barrier Reef field guide for each student
  • Coral adoption through Reef Restoration Foundation with updates on the progress of the coral
  • Small World Journeys reusable water bottle and cloth shopping bag
  • National Park and Marine Park taxes and levies

*Two teacher rooms (private twin or triple share rooms with ensuite) are included in the trip price.  A supplement of $87 AUD is charged if an additional private room is required. If teachers are happy to share a room, no additional costs are incurred.

School Excursion Fees Exclude:

  • Airfare to Cairns
  • Dinner on arrival day
  • Personal expenses (phone, souvenirs, laundry, etc.)
  • Optional add on of Indigenous ranger presentation on Day 1 or Day 4 (ask us about pricing)

Land Cost to 31 March 2020:

  • 15 + participants: $820 AUD*
  • 10-14 participants: $879 AUD*

(*add $50 pp for premium travel season between 15 June – 15 July)


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.


All meals are included, except dinner on arrival day. On this geography camp 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 fruit 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.



  1. Read our Terms & Conditions and tell us you want to come.
  2. Pay a $200 AUD deposit for the group (not per person – just a flat $200 to secure your booking) plus any applicable accommodation deposit via our payment page or by direct deposit/cheque.
  3. Receive a link from us to your special web page that has an electronic booking forms, waivers to e-sign, and more information about the trip.
  4. Have each student sign up via this link and pay you (the teacher) no later than 60 days prior to the trip. You then submit whole payment to us at 60 days.
  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 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 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 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 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 Ways We're ''Sustainable''.

School Excursion to the Great Barrier Reef – Educational Outcomes: Geography & Biology

Geography Presentation: (Geography H1, H2/Biology H1, H4, H10) This two hour presentation is a fantastic introduction to the spatial patterns and dimensions of the Great Barrier Reef whilst providing students with the knowledge of the species that make coral reefs unique. There will be a focus on species identification and how to recognise major fish families and coral types.

The optional Aboriginal Ranger talk incorporates a cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal Culture, and helps students better understand sustainable traditional management of sea country that Traditional Owners practiced and still are today.

Fitzroy Island Day Trip & Turtle Rehab Centre:  (Geography H1, H2, H5/Biology H7, H8, H10) On the day trip to Fitzroy Island students will be able to closely examine the inner Great Barrier Reef. The island is a continental island that was once attached to the mainland, which gives you opportunity to discuss marine geomorphology (the study of marine landforms and the processes that shape them).

With our marine biologist, your day is designed to incorporate fieldwork, biology and geographic skills including exploring relationships between biophysical components, highlighting the vulnerability and the resilience of the reef.

Students will have the opportunity to examine the positive and negative human impacts on the island (which is also a national park) and the Great Barrier Reef while also looking at the contemporary management strategies put in place to keep the island in a pristine condition.

As you do water quality measurements, you also discuss the ecosystem holistically, discussing for example how farmers in the Tablelands affect the water quality at the reef.

The CoralWatch program, designed by the University of Queensland, teaches students how to record data on different shapes and colours of coral and how to identify coral bleaching.  Students written data is then brought back to the Small World Journeys office where it is put into the global CoralWatch database. You then recieve a bar graph of all the data the students collected on the coral, showing the type and distribution.  If you return on a trip with us the following year, your class can compare the results bewteen years.

You also have the opportunity to visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and see management strategies in action while contributing to the worthwhile cause.  Students can witness first hand human impacts on the marine environment during this visit, as most turtles are injured due to ghost nets, boats, litter, and human activity.

Outer Reef Day Trip: (Geography H1, H2, H5, H6, H7, H8, H10/Biology H6, H7, H8, H12, H13, H14, H15, H16 ) Your student excursion to the outer Great Barrier Reef  gives you another opportunity to discuss marine geomorphology with your marine biologist. On your journey out, students will learn more about ecotourism, ecosystem management and both what a specific tourism operator is doing as well as what operators nationwide are doing to protect the reef. Students will understand indicators of reef health and examine the factors that place ecosystems at risk.

Students explore the cay’s fringing reef and the outer reef system and in teams perform different data collection techniques, including species counts, calculating benthos coverage, and identifying coral predators. Students will then learn how coral predators negatively affect the reef system, and then learn how these predators are eradicated.

On this great Barrier Reef school excursion, data collected by the students can then be taken back to the class room where it can be analysed and synthesised for a geographical enquiry. You will also receive a Great Barrier Marine Park Authority report that includes your data; these statistics will also help students with their geographical analyses.

New South Wales HSC and Victoria VCE Curriculum

Level 10  Environmental change and management centres around how the world around is changing based on a range of factors and encourages students to develop an understanding of the complex nature of this change and the interconnections that exist between the factors, the change and human activity. Therefore all the management strategies, the cause of the bleaching, the management of different stakeholders’ values especially with the dredging and tourism are clear links.

VCE Unit 1  Hazards and Disasters explores how different hazards and hazard events impact people, the environment and to an extent the economy at a range of scales – the Great Barrier Reef is brilliant for this in terms of both hydrometeorological disasters (loss of coral reefs leading to great impacts of sea level rise/storm surges/tsunamis…) and technological hazards (greenhouse gas emissions having major impacts on climate, weather, biodiversity etc.) On Fitzroy island with our marine naturalist, your day is designed to incorporate fieldwork, biology and geographic skills including exploring relationships between biophysical components, highlighting the vulnerability and the resilience of the reef.

VCE Unit 2 Tourism Area of Study investigates characteristics of tourism and impacts of tourism. On Fitzroy island with our marine naturalist, you are also asked to analyse the island’s efforts at managing tourism.

Australian National Curriculum- Geography

While this school excursion has been designed to cater for New South Wales HSC and Victoria’s VCE (geography and biology students) its delivery can be tailored to geography, biology and marine science students in junior years– in essence a “geography camp” or a “marine science camp”–studying the Australian National Curriculum. (The trip can also be designed to incorporate fieldwork to cover Geography Inquiry Skills outcomes) The trip can also be designed to incorporate fieldwork to cover Geography Inquiry Skills outcomes.

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.

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 2017-18, we gave over $34,000 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 2017-18, 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.

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.