Great Barrier Reef Experience FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Our most frequently asked questions are below. For questions not answered here, please contact us via our contact page.

Applications for the subsidy can only be submitted by Queensland schools.

Applications from students, parents, or travel intermediaries will not be accepted.

Applications will need to include

  • the proposed school excursion itinerary noting location/s, dates, and the eligible reef experience;
  • student group size and year level;
  • quote for the proposed excursion including costs for accommodation, transportation and the eligible reef experience; and
  • approval from the school’s Principal.

Once assessed, you will be notified on the outcome of your application and if it has been successful.

If approved, you will be sent advice on the subsidy payment schedule and the post-trip survey which is required to be submitted within six weeks after the conclusion of the excursion.

A school can submit more than one application if these involve separate excursions.

Excursions that follow the same itinerary location and dates (even if with different student year levels) require the same application. 

A student is only eligible for the subsidy once and the onus is on the school to ensure that each student for whom the funding is claimed has not, to the best of the school’s knowledge, received the subsidy previously.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has developed a comprehensive suite of educational resources to assist teachers, marine tourism operators and reef guides.

The Be a Marine Biologist for a Day educational package includes customisable teaching, instructional resources and activities that are curriculum-linked and aligned with specific stages of learning from prep through to year 12.

The aim of the program is for Queensland students to experience a reef-based in-water, on-water or on-island experience within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Schools should make their own arrangements for booking suitable accommodation and transport direct with the provider which meet the requirements of their school excursion safety obligations. The subsidy cannot be claimed solely on expenditure for travel or accommodation.

Schools can engage a travel agent, edu-travel company, transport provider or booking agency to assist with the development of their school excursion itinerary. However, applications for the subsidy can only be submitted by the school undertaking the excursion and travel intermediaries are not permitted to apply on behalf of the school.

Where the school excursion itinerary meets the eligibility criteria for both the Outback Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Programs, the school can apply for a combined subsidy under both programs. The subsidy will be calculated on whichever provides the greater amount for distance travelled.

To enquire about subsidy rates for school excursions which meet both the Great Barrier Reef and Outback Education Experience Program criteria, please contact the team on or Phone: 1300 175 61

The subsidy is only available to Queensland students and applications can only be submitted by Queensland Schools. 

The Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program has been launched to support opportunities for students to undertake place-based learning activities in the Great Barrier Reef and will need to align with the school curriculum.

The program is available upon application to all primary and secondary Queensland schools where students are participating in an organised curriculum related eligible activity.

If the reef experience being undertaken is not aligned to the Australian or Queensland curriculum then the excursion is not eligible for the subsidy.

Reef experiences undertaken for leisure purposes only are not eligible for the subsidy.

The school will need to complete the post-trip report within six weeks of returning from their excursion in order to receive the subsidy payment.

For day trips, the subsidy payment will only be made once the post-trip report has been completed and submitted. 

For overnight trips, the balance of the subsidy payment will only be made once the post-trip report has been completed and submitted.

You can access the form HERE

The school will need to confirm final student numbers, itinerary and costs for the excursion as well as provide feedback on subsidy program and excursion. The report is estimated to take approximately 12 minutes to complete. You can access the form HERE

The Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program subsidy is intended to go towards the cost for students to participate in a curriculum-related reef experience in the Great Barrier Reef.

Where student numbers reduce between the approval of the subsidy and the trip being undertaken, the subsidy amount paid will be adjusted to reflect the actual number of students who participated in the reef experience.

Exceptional circumstances: Where a student cannot participate due to circumstances outside of their control, such as ill health, and costs are still incurred for the reef experience, consideration may be given to the subsidy being provided, subject to reasonable justification as determined by The BUSY Group and the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport.