Australia – New Zealand Adventure
Watch Lord of the Rings and you will know New Zealand: snow-capped volcanoes, kauri pine forests, craggy mountains, rolling emerald hills and bubbling geysers.
Combine the country’s natural beauty with native Maori performing the haka, fearless bungy jumpers (could be you!) and the fun Hobbiton film set, and you’ve got New Zealand in a nutshell.
After that hop on a plane to Australia for dramatic change of scenery: jungle-draped canyons, tropical waterfalls hidden in the rainforest, and the azure waters of the Great Barrier Reef, capped with a visit to an outback cattle station in the classic Aussie outback.
Friendly local guides show you the best of both nations, sure to be the adventure of your lifetime.
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- Swim with dolphins in The Bay of Islands
- Sand board down giant dunes
- Go “black water rafting” in Waitomo’s labyrinthine cave system
- Tour The Shire at Hobbiton – Lord of the Rings movie set
- Take the plunge with an optional bungy jump
- View New Zealand’s famous glowworms, kiwi, and sheep of course
- Snorkel at The Great Barrier Reef
- Outback cattle station: wild kangaroos, cow milking and whip cracking
- Natural rainforest waterslide and waterfalls
- Jungle canopy zip line Wildlife park and cuddle a koala
- Maori and Aboriginal culture, art and performance
Question 1: When is the best time to visit New Zealand and Australia?
On this trip, you will be visiting New Zealand's mild North Island, and tropical Cairns in Australia. New Zealand: Anytime of the year is a good time to visit: students enjoy the mild temperate climate year round. Summer is between December and March and is never too hot. Winters are mild with no snow except on the highest mountains. Australia's Cairns region is a tropical, and outdoor activities can also 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 2: What do we need to pack?
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 3: What if I wish to SCUBA dive (intro or certified)?
Medical standards differ from country to country, certain medication / medical conditions may preclude you from diving in Australia (EVEN IF YOU ARE ALREADY CERTIFIED)
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
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 4: Do we need to worry about jellyfish?
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 5: What happens if a student cancels?
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 6: What is your safety record?
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: Do you do risk assessments?
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 8: Why should we purchase travel insurance?
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.
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