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Experience the variety of Australia, all in one week! Visit the Steve Irwin Zoo, hike through the Glass House Mountains, jet boat through the surf, and learn ocean safety skills! Take time to give back by volunteering at a local elementary school. The adventure continues as you learn how to throw a boomerang, play the didgeridoo, cook over a campfire, and experience Outback life camping on a cattle and horse ranch!

 

With our No-Stress Travel Policy, you cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.

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2018 Departures

Departs (USA) Returns (USA) Availability
July 10 July 18 Available
July 17 July 25 Available

Program Profile

Country
Australia
Community Service Component
Introductory
Community Service Focus
Environment, Education, Social Services
Get to Know
The People, The Sights, Nature
Lifestyle
Settle in at the Base
Travel Component
Stationary Program

  • Day 1

    Australia Here We Come

    You will depart Los Angeles for Brisbane in the evening on our escorted group flight. The flight will take about 14 hours – plenty of time to get to know the rest of your group before arriving Down Under.

  • Day 2

    In Transit

    Today is ‘lost’ as you cross the international dateline, but don’t worry too much… you will get it back on your way home!

  • Day 3

    Welcome to Australia

    Our Rustic Pathways Australian staff will be on hand to welcome you into Brisbane when you arrive. You will then transfer to your home for the week – a large beach house on the Sunshine Coast – about an hour north of Brisbane. Your staff will help you settle into the Aussie way of life, and after you get to know everyone, you’ll head out to explore Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo.

    Australia Zoo offers the chance to see many of Australia’s native animals first hand, and you will spend the afternoon petting kangaroos, watching the awesome croc show, checking out dingoes, making friends with koalas, and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Wildlife Warriors Animal Hospital – the most advanced wildlife hospital in Australia!

  • Day 4

    Lend a Hand

    Volunteer at a local school. Spend your day assisting in the learning of local Aussie students. Participate in teaching activities, such as joining an art lesson, helping out at the preschool, or assisting in a special needs classroom. Play cricket and other outdoor games with Aussie kids during break times. Prepare yourself for a day filled with laughter and smiles.

  • Day 5

    Beautiful Beaches and Market Mecca

    This morning you will head off to the famous Eumundi Market, one of Australia’s largest outdoor markets. Held every Saturday morning of the year come rain, hail or shine, the market turns this otherwise sleepy hinterland town into a vibrant mecca for shoppers on the hunt for unique Aussie souvenirs.

    After a morning of bargain hunting, it will be time to grab your beach towel and bathing suit and head for one of Australia’s most famous stretches of sand, Noosa. Noosa National Park features spectacular coastal scenery and provides an important refuge for native wildlife, including the koala, glossy black cockatoo, and ground parrot. Jump on the Oceanride jet-boat for the thrill of a lifetime!  You’ll want to get your fill of sun and sand here because this evening you will be off to our farm camp for a taste of the Outback life!

    Tonight we head to Rustic Pathways’ famous farm camp. Set on 250 acres of bush land, this place is one of the most magical spots in the region. You will arrive just before dark and meet Richard and Rhia, our legendary hosts. Tonight we’ll relax around the campfire, spot the Southern Cross in the sky, then head out for a night adventure!

  • Day 6

    Experience Life on an Outback Farm

    You will wake up this morning to an iconic Australian scene – kangaroos grazing in the paddock and kookaburras sitting in the gum trees. After a hearty cooked breakfast, get ready for a day on the farm! You’ll be involved with a range of farm activities, including working with horses and helping rural farmers with their daily duties. Learn about natural horsemanship from expert trainers and witness 30 horses running into the yard at the call of a whistle!

    After some famous kangaroo burgers for lunch, we’ll split into teams for our bush challenge! Learn how to crack a stock whip, throw a boomerang, play the didgeridoo, and cook damper over the fire. Tonight you’ll get to feed PJ the possum before a night of good food, an Outback cinema experience, and a cozy night’s sleep in a ‘swag.’ This place is distinctly Australian and you’ll leave with many very special memories.

  • Day 7

    Environmental Service and Ocean Safety Skills

    After rolling up your swag this morning, we’re off to help a local community group with a environmental re-vegetation project. Australians are passionate about their environment, and today you’ll contribute to ongoing efforts to preserve the regions biodiversity.

    Spend the afternoon with lifeguards at Noosa Surf Life Saving Club. Learn about the surf culture in Australia from experts who keep the beaches safe. They will teach you ocean safety skills, such as how to identify rips and stay safe in the ocean.

  • Day 8

    Brisbane Day!!

    Travel south this morning for a day in the city of Brisbane. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a bike tour along the river, through the botanic gardens and around the city to experience the sights of Brisbane. You’ll catch the ferry on the river, stroll along the esplanade for lunch, then head across to the Museum and Art Gallery. Pick up some Aussie souvenirs along the promenade, then check into a youth hostel in the heart of the city. Tonight you’ll have dinner along the river and celebrate your final night on the program.

     

  • Day 9

    Returning Home or Transition Day

    Today will be full of fond farewells as you say goodbye to new friends and prepare for your next adventure. If you are continuing on to another Rustic Pathways adventure in Australia, today is a transition day between programs. You will spend the day on Australia’s famous Gold Coast with other students and leaders transitioning between programs.

    If you are returning home to the USA or traveling on to Fiji or New Zealand, your flight will depart Brisbane this morning. If you are traveling on to another Rustic Pathways destination, your staff will help you with your flight arrangements. Wherever you are headed, we wish you happy travels and hope you return to the Land Down Under soon!

An Important Note About Schedule Changes

Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.

The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.

“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.

“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.

For more information, email australia@rusticpathways.com

Program-Specific FAQs

  • This program easily connects to any program in Australia or Fiji that is scheduled to depart 7 days after its start date. Students connect between Australia programs at Brisbane airport on a Thursday morning. This program can also connect to our trips in Southeast Asia, however students may need to depart Australia one night early in order to arrive in Asia on time. Please contact australia@rusticpathways.com for further information on program connections.

  • Yes. Nearly all nationalities will require a visa to enter Australia. Residents of the USA should apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which is an online visa found at eta.immi.gov.au and costs US$25. Residents of Europe may be eligible for a free eVisitor visa. Other nationalities may require a Visitor Visa (e600), which costs approximately AU$130. Visa costs are not included in our program prices.

  • Rustic Pathways provides a flight leader to accompany students travelling on our group flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE) and return. Students joining this program from outside of the USA may need to travel unaccompanied to meet the group in Brisbane.

  • The flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane is approximately 14 hours one-way.

  • Yes, the advertised dates for this program includes travel time from the USA. Students from the USA will depart LAX on a Tuesday evening and return on a Wednesday morning. The program within Australia runs from Thursday to Wednesday. Please refer to the itinerary for further details.

  • This program is primarily based around the Sunshine Coast and Glass House Mountains, approximately 1.5 hours north of Brisbane.

  • Each program will have leaders who are certified in First Aid and CPR. Some of our program leaders are also certified as Wilderness First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.

  • Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 students. Additionally, each program maintains at least 2 primary program leaders, one male and one female.

  • Clean drinking water is provided throughout the program in Australia. We ask students to bring reusable water bottles in order to reduce plastic usage.

  • Students are allowed to bring phones on their Rustic Pathways program, but must abide by our cell phone policy. Students will not be allowed to use their phones during group activities, nor at any other time where it is disruptive to the group dynamic. If students are unable to abide by this policy, disciplinary action may be taken.

  • Australia uses 240V with a three-prong plug. Residents of USA and Europe will require an adaptor for their electronic items. You can see an example of the required adapter here: http://www.korjo.com/Product-Range/Adaptors—Transformers/Adaptor—AUS-NZ-(AA-02)–For-products-from-UK,-US.aspx

  • It is Australia’s winter time, but the weather is generally warm in this part of the country. June/July/August in Queensland is the drier time of year, and normally the days have clear blue skies and sunshine. Temperatures will range from 65 – 75 degrees through the day, but it does get quite cool at night. The water temperature at the beach will generally be around 66 – 69 degrees.

  • Students stay at Rustic’s Base House in the Glasshouse Mountains, just inland from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The house is situated on more than 50 acres of eucalyptus trees and overlooks stunning mountain peaks. Students will sleep 4-6 in a room on bunk beds, with males and females in separate rooms. Each room has an en-suite bathroom. There is a large kitchen here where most meals will be prepared. On their two-night excursion to the farm, students will sleep in ‘swags’ (traditional Australian camp beds) in huts. There are hot showers and flushing toilets at the farm.

  • Food in Australia is quite similar to American cuisine, with options such as pasta, sandwiches, salads, grilled meats, and pizza. We focus on providing fresh, healthy home-cooked meals. The group will prepare meals together and will eat at local restaurants once a week. Vegetarians and other dietary restrictions can easily be accommodated.

  • There are private American-style bathrooms and showers in the Base House, and public bathroom facilities at the campgrounds. There is hot water and flushing toilets throughout the program.

  • Generally students have access to email once per week. Public phones are available several times during the program.

  • Generally there is the opportunity for self-service laundry once per week. There is no laundry service available.

  • Generally the maximum group size is 15 students. It varies every trip, but typically there will be 10 girls and 5 boys in a group. If you contact us we can tell you the ages and genders of students on your program.

  • Students will be traveling for approximately 1-2 hours per day during the program to get between activity and service locations.

  • Rustic Pathways’ program leaders will drive students in 8-seater or 12-seater vans throughout the program.

  • Australia is a safe, low-risk country to travel to. There are no specific safety concerns on this program.

  • Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be traveling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the International SOS and Center for Disease Control websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveler’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.

  • International SOS is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to International SOS benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.

    As a member you will have access to SOS’s extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travelers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program. For more information please visit our International SOS webpage (http://www.rusticpathways.com/sos).

  • There are generally medical clinics within 30 minutes drive from program locations, and hospitals within 1 hour’s drive.

  • Yes, we can cater for nearly all dietary requests in Australia. Please let us know in advance so we can ensure that you are catered for.

  • No. Mosquitoes and bugs are generally not a problem on this trip.

  • Personal gifts, internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.

  • Add-on activities that may be available during this program include: sky diving (approx. $300-500)

  • We generally suggest $200 – $300 for spending money, plus additional for any add-on activities that you would like to do.

  • Please refer to our Community Service Hour Awards webpage (http://www.rusticpathways.com/about/community-service-hours) for more information on how service hours are awarded.

  • Rustic Pathways works with local community leaders and organizations to identify and prioritize the needs of each community. Please refer to the itinerary for a description of the various service projects in this program. Please note that while we try our best to ensure we provide our advertised projects, some changes may occur due to the communities and project partners we work with.

  • You will need to bring a light sleeping bag and a rain jacket on this program, as we spend a couple of nights camping.

  • Students are required to be able to swim, as this program includes a number of aquatic activities.

  • No. But we will teach you some Aussie slang along the way ☺

Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Below is your packing list, and for those of you looking for some extra guidance on what to bring, check out the packing guide for this program.

Rustic Gear. Want to get all your shopping done for your program in one place? We’ve got you covered. Check out Rustic Gear and get all the essentials sent right to your door.

Carry-On Luggage

A small backpack is ideal as it will be used for day trips.

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Wallet and money (USD or AUD)
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • iPod or MP3 player
  • Change of clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Medication
  • Visa documentation (if applicable)
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Travel power adaptor
  • Consent to Travel form
  • Rustic Pathways emergency contacts
  • Arrival instructions for Brisbane

Checked Luggage

One medium-size duffle bag or wheeled bag is ideal for this program.

Clothes

  • Socks (8)
  • Underwear (10)
  • Pants/capris (2)
  • Jeans (2)
  • Long shorts (1)
  • Shorts (1)
  • Tank Tops (3)
  • T-shirts (6)
  • Sweater/fleece (2)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit
  • Bath towel
  • Beach towel/sarong
  • Rain jacket
  • Fleece jacket
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Sneakers/running shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Work gloves

Toiletries

(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Contacts and solution
  • Foam ear plugs
  • Personal med kit
  • Deodorant (no aerosols)
  • Wet wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Razor/shaving cream

Miscellaneous

  • Sleeping bag for night at Farm Camp
  • Travel Pillow
  • Headlamp with spare batteries

Optional

  • Portable games (Bananagrams, cards, etc.)
  • Musical instrument (guitar etc)

Items Provided By Rustic Pathways in Australia

  • Linens at base house
  • Swag bed for staying at Farm Camp
  • Other activity-specific equipment
  1. a
    Brisbane

    Welcome to Australia! You will arrive in Brisbane and begin your journey.

  2. b
    Peachester

    Nestled in the Glasshouse Mountains and home to our Aussie Base House.

  3. c
    Eumundi

    The home of Australia’s premier artisan market.

  4. d
    Cootharaba

    A rural inland town on the Sunshine Coast and home to Jabiru Bush Camp.

  5. e
    Noosa

    Beautiful beaches, stunning coastal national park, pristine river and world class waves.