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Australia Wildfire: 2020 Program Updates
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Australia Wildfire: 2020 Program Updates

As bushfires and drought continue to impact Australia, it is estimated that the country has lost nearly one billion native animals and its devastation is being felt across the country. Rustic Pathways has been working in Australia for over 30 years and puts the safety and wellbeing of our students at the forefront of our operations.
Please note that Australia is a very large continent, with nearly the same land area as the United States. While the fires have impacted large regions of the country, most of Australia has remained untouched by fire and continues to offer pristine natural beauty. Most visitors to Australia will not see or feel any impact of these fires unless they specifically choose to travel to affected regions such as southern New South Wales, southeast Victoria, and Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Rustic programs do not operate in those locations.
Our 2020 Student Travel programs have not been impacted by these fires and, as of 15th January 2020, all programs continue to operate as scheduled. Please note that fire danger across Australia during June-August (winter) is low.
Animal Conservation in Australia
No direct impact from fires to the program itinerary or locations we visit. Students will visit the Wildlife Hospital during their workshops at Australia Zoo, and support wildlife rehabilitation at WRREA, a grassroots organization that cares for native wildlife. Rustic Pathways Foundation is raising money for WRREA as part of its response to the wildfires.
Seven Wonders of Australia
These parts of Australia are still beautiful. No direct impact from fires to the program itinerary or locations we visit. Students will not be touring through scorched or blackened landscapes. The Daintree Rainforest has not been burnt. Uluru and Kings Canyon are open as normal. Inner Sydney has not been impacted and the program does not travel to outer Sydney or the Blue Mountains where there has been fire activity.
Aussie Surf and Service
While there were fires in Peregian Beach and Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast in late 2019, those specific locations are not part of our program itinerary. At the time of writing, it has been raining heavily in this region and there is no fire activity. The program will operate as normal.
Island Survival
No impacts to this program, all program locations remain untouched by fire.
Great Barrier Reef Dive Expedition
No impacts to this program, all program locations remain untouched by fire.
Rustic Pathways staff located in Australia can be contacted at australia@rusticpathways.com if you would like to speak with someone on the ground. We will continue to provide updates if information changes.
About the Author

Elizabeth Cortese

Social Media and Influencer Marketing Manager

Liz first developed a passion for travel while summiting Mount Kilimanjaro as a Rustic student. This taught her at an early age the importance of experiential education for students around the world. She has since graduated with a bachelor’s in marketing communications from Emerson College in Boston. When Liz is not hopping from restaurant to restaurant in San Francisco or buried in a New York Times bestseller, she can be found packing her bags to spend time with family and friends.