EXPEDITIONS exploring the World Heritage-listed reef and rainforest in Tropical North Queensland are giving travellers the opportunity to understand the global importance of these ecosystems and help the organisations caring for their future.
Tourism Tropical North CEO Mark Olsen said extended tours involving scientists and wildlife volunteers were growing in popularity with travellers wanting a deeper connection with the environments they were visiting.
“Snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef is a very special experience that helps the reef as each visitor pays a $7 Environmental Management Charge towards managing the health of the reef,” he said.
“Some visitors want to contribute more by participating in environmental surveys recording data on the reef through citizen science activities.
“Hands-on assistance is not always possible, but many expeditions give valuable support to volunteer-run organisations such as the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre or the Tolga Bat Hospital simply by paying to bring their guests there.
“We are finding that extended volunteer opportunities are popular with students who want to experience Tropical North Queensland’s lifestyle while helping at places like Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas.
Here are just a few of the opportunities available:
Contributing to research projects on the Great Barrier Reef can be done in comfort with Coral Expedition Cruises which has partnered with Australian Geographic to offer a Citizen Science series. The next expedition for 66 guests and researchers departs on October 23 for 14 nights, exploring the outer reefs and unique marine systems of the Great Barrier Reef.
Divers can join the Spirit of Freedom Expedition to the iconic Ribbon Reefs north of Port Douglas on December 14-17 to help Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef collect images for the Great Barrier Reef Census.
You can also spend a week volunteering at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island.
Twitchers might prefer to do the five-day Birdwatching North Queensland expedition covering a variety of environments in the Wet Tropics which is home to more than 450 avian species.