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Welcome to The Whitsundays Reef Education Program for Schools

Immerse yourself in a living world-class learning environment

Students will learn alongside leading marine scientists to gain a new perspective on solutions to support reef health. Schools and students who are both passionate and dedicated to marine studies will appreciate and benefit from this opportunity. Access to these expeditions and level of expertise has typically been exclusive to tertiary level students, until now.


Your fieldwork activities will be a combination of theoretical learning and practical observation. You will gain new insights into both marine science and reef conversation. Record your findings, discuss what you have observed, share your data and participate in detailed debriefs. Learn valuable information and collaborate with others to put your understanding into a new perspective.


Eye on the Reef

Students will be active participants in the observation and monitoring of two key citizen science-based programs involved in coral health studies; Eye on the Reef, managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Coral Watch managed by the University of Queensland. Students will also gain a rare insight into the application of our coral restoration program, run by Reef Ecologic, to better understand the where, why, what and how of coral restoration. There will also be opportunities to observe and/or participate in research in partnership with CSIRO, Townsville.


The Great Barrier Reef System

The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s and the world’s foremost living structure. At 2,300kms long it is a spectacular illustration of a wonderful natural ecosystem. The health of the reef is a complex story. The reef is very much alive but is under pressure. In parts, it is amazingly pristine, while other areas are heavily degraded. However, many people have yet to truly experience the reality first-hand.

There are a variety of snorkelling bays and locations suitable for our studies. The reef close to the continental islands is often referred to as fringing reef and is quite different from shelf-edge reef found on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The quality of coral and quantity of marine life varies dramatically across all the locations, clearly demonstrating where nature and/or man have impacted the reef system.

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World-class Learning Environment

The combination of living aboard a vessel with your classmates while studying with Reef Ecologic creates a unique world-class learning environment. Teamwork and communication are paramount when engaged in sailing activities and living closely together aboard the yacht. The fieldwork is designed to encourage students to think differently, and to appreciate that not all they read or hear should be taken as truth. Students who participate with passion will accelerate both their marine studies knowledge and personal development.

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Who is Reef Ecologic?

Reef Ecologic is a diverse team of environmental scientists, marine park managers, policy analysts, trainers and innovators. We have led and supported quality education and implementation of marine-based conservation projects across a broad spectrum of issues in the Great Barrier Reef.

Above all, we are a team united by our love of coral reefs and a desire to share that love with similarly passionate individuals, businesses and organisations. We aim to empower people with knowledge, to become active participants in seeking and implementing solutions to support Reef health.

At the helm of Reef Ecologic are Associate Professor Adam Smith and marine scientist Nathan Cook. With our many associates, we are excited about sharing our love for the oceans and including community members in helping to preserve and conserve the Great Barrier Reef. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community.

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Who is Explore Whitsundays?

At Explore Whitsundays, we have been focused on delivering remarkable travel experiences for our guests for over 20 years. We’re proud to be the longest continuously owned tour operator in the Whitsundays.

Guests can choose from the most diverse range of tours. Our daily departures of a unique range of day and overnight sailing vessels make us the largest and most diverse fleet in the Whitsundays. Our cruises are designed for adventurous travellers – go sailing, snorkelling, enjoy bush walks, lookouts, the beach and paddleboarding as you cruise the azure waters of the Whitsunday Islands. Our vessels offer diverse accommodation choices from deluxe ensuite cabins to open plan bunks and camp ashore options. Our guests are spoiled for choice.

Quality of experience, safety, and the environment is the focus of each trip. Everything you need for a wonderful trip is included. Unplug, unwind and enjoy.

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Welcome Aboard. Your adventure awaits!

This program will take the classroom to the next level by engaging students in unique experiences surrounded by the natural beauty of the Whitsundays.

Want to learn more?

You can Jame-i at [email protected] or use the button on the right to be taken directly to a landing page where you can register to download our free informational brochure.