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.

What's included?

  • 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
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Question 1: When is the best time to visit New Zealand and Australia?

Answer: 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?

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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 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: 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 8: 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. Make a booking Contact us

Your trip offers an educational experience in New Zealand and Australia.

The North Island of New Zealand offers many educational opportunities:
  • The Bay of Islands is rich in New Zealand history and it here, a short drive from your accommodation in Waitangi, that the British Crown signed a treaty with Maori on February 6th 1840. This unique document, the Treaty of Waitangi is still at the centre of legal debate, claims and counter claims by both sides. Your visit to the Treaty Grounds will provide an insight into this colonial period and how this ‘founding document’ came into being.
  • Prior to the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, the top half of the North Island was swathed in dense sub-tropical rain forest dominated by the huge and ancient Kauri trees. Their timber was strong and straight and ideal for ship building and it was extensively logged by the Europeans to the extent that virtually none now remains. You will though visit Puketi forest which contains a large area of virgin forest, untouched by humans. Here you will see how New Zealand looked for millions of years and here the song of native birds. It is both a window into the past and a glimpse of the future as tens of thousands of Kauri trees are being planted in areas such as the Coromandel.
  • No educational student group visit to New Zealand is complete without a look at the unique culture of the Polynesian Maori. To understand who they are today, you need to know how and when they arrived in New Zealand and their spiritual links to their past and their ancestors in Hawaiki. It is from Cape Reinga at the very tip of the North island that their souls depart under the sea, returning to their ancestral land of Hawaiki. At Te Puia you will also see the art of the traditional woodcarvers and have the opportunity to talk to the local Tangata whenua, or ‘people of the land’.
  • As you travel throughout New Zealand’s North Island, also known as ‘Te Ika-a-Maui’ or the ‘fish of Maui’ you will learn more about the amazing forces of nature that shaped this country. New Zealand sits of the edge of the Pacific Rim of Fire and what you see today is largely the result of the collision between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian plate to its west. The active volcanos, the geothermal activity and the geysers of Te Puia are all the result of this and created constantly changing the landscapes you will see.

Australian educational opportunities:

  • The Cairns, Australia region is perfect for programs with a focus on environment, science, ecology and social studies with two UNESCO World Heritage sites- the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropical Rainforests on our doorstep. This is combined with a thriving Aboriginal culture and easy access to iconic outback make Cairns the perfect one stop destination for international groups travelling to Australia.
  • A visit to Great Barrier Reef is an excellent example of how the biosphere is a dynamic system providing conditions that sustain life on Earth. As the world’s largest living organism, stretching over 2000km along Queensland’s coastline and home to 1500 fish species along with corals, molluscs, sea birds, turtles and whales all of which depend on a delicate balance in the biosphere to sustain the ecosystem.
  • A visit to the rainforest demonstrates how all life forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their well-being and survival.
  • During your trip you will be able to discuss what it means to live sustainably as an individual and as a member of a bigger community to ensure that while it is necessary to look after the environment, it is also important to ensure that social and economic needs are also being met.
  • On your Australia New Zealand trip your students will explore and gain a better understanding of the environments in the Cairns region. Through this exploration they will see how the actions towards a more sustainable future reflect the values of care, respect and responsibility of the population and what is being done to educate visitors to the region so that same sense of responsibility towards the environment is felt.
  • Your students can seek adventure by learning to sand board, bungy jump or challenge themselves by working together whilst navigating a cave system during underground rafting.
  • Talk to Australian cattle station owners to learn about the challenges of droughts, cattle health, economic pressures and rural living. Essential to any educational trip to New Zealand and Australia is the perspective of the country’s indigenous people. On this trip, your students learn about Aboriginal culture during a walk with an Aboriginal elder of the Kuku Yalanji tribe, and he explains rites of passage, medicinal plants, how his people found their way through the rainforest, and spiritual beliefs of his people.
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Tour Length
14 days
Tour dates
16th - 25th April 2019
Maximum group size
21
Price
From $4298pp incl. GST ($3994AU)
Price for 15+ students
From $4199pp incl. GST ($4088AU)
Teacher FOC ratio - 1:10