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Australian Adventure Company Announces 2012 Eclipse Trips With This Year’s Nobel Prize-Winning Astronomer

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Timed with the Nobel Prize ceremony on December 10, 2011, Australian eco-tour company Small World Journeys has announced 2011 Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt will speak on several of their eclipse-related tours. On these adventure tours, guests will witness the November 14, 2012 total solar eclipse from a hot air balloon, tropical island or at The Great Barrier Reef.

Cairns, Australia – Australian eco-tour company Small World Journeys has secured astronomer and 2011 Nobel Laureate Dr. Brian Schmidt as an exclusive guest speaker on their adventure itineraries based around the 2012 eclipse, Australia.

The tropical Cairns region will be one of the best spots in the world from which to view the eclipse, and guests will have a choice of seeing this event from the basket of a hot air balloon, from a tropical island, or from a boat at The Great Barrier Reef. This year’s Nobel Prize winner for physics, Professor Brian Schmidt, will speak only to Small World Journeys guests at a special presentation in Cairns about the eclipse.

“Witnessing a total solar eclipse in itself is a tick on your bucket list,” said Laurie Pritchard, Small World Journeys’ Managing Director, “but having such an acclaimed astronomer explain the process to you makes this an especially unique experience.”

Small World Journeys has obtained exclusive use of the live-aboard boat OceanQuest, from which guests watch the eclipse and then snorkel or scuba dive for two days. For $4,295 AUD on this 8-day all-inclusive adventure guests also whitewater raft, mountain bike, learn about indigenous culture from an aboriginal elder and hike in the rainforest with a local naturalist guide.

In addition, Small World Journeys is offering a 5-day adventure for $2,295 AUD that will have guests floating in a hot air balloon above the earth at eclipse time. A third adventure with Small World Journeys involves ferrying guests out to a tropical island for the event, starting at $1,795 AUD with kids half price.

“We have found the most magical locations with the best possible line-of-sight for this early morning eclipse,” said Pritchard. “This will avoid the mobs and give our guests the highest probability of witnessing the event in its entirety.”

Small World Journeys maintains sustainable tourism practices such as contributing 2% of profits to local conservation organizations, using locally-owned suppliers to keep money in the community, and paying to offset the carbon emissions from each trip. Goodies to guests include regional flora and fauna field guides, reusable water bottle, and a 25-square metre plot of rainforest adopted in their names by the Australian Rainforest Foundation.

In addition to their selection of Cairns 2012 eclipse tours, Small World Journeys offers multi-day adventure tours and student educational trips in Australia with an “eco” focus. The company seeks to provide travelers with experiences that connect them to nature and local people. Small World Journeys is a member of Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ), Sustainable Travel International (STI), The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and was recently named one of “The Top 10 Most Environmentally-Friendly Travel Companies” by The Ecologist.

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