Reef to Rainforest AdventureAustralia
Sailing, Scuba & Travel Adventure
Traveling from Sydney in the south to Cape Tribulation in the north, our AQ Australian expedition includes sailing, scuba, surfing, exploration, trekking and rainforest exploration.
The Reef to Rainforest Adventure is a high-action thrill ride. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, surf the waves at Manly Beach, circumnavigate the Whitsunday Islands aboard a yacht and join an intense scuba trip to the Great Barrier Reef, where you are likely to encounter huge schools of jack, grouper and cod.
You'll never forget whitewater rafting through some of the most inaccessible areas of the rainforest or hiking through Cape Tribulation where the rainforest and the reef meet at the water's edge. In the nature parks, you'll cuddle a real koala, hand feed a kangaroo and pat a wombat! To see even more of the Aussie wildlife, we'll catch a crocodile cruise down the Daintree River and take a night safari through the rainforest which is reputed to be home to the largest range of plants and animals on earth.
Voyage Blog Entry...
Billabong and back
Author: Dana Luukko
After a huge breakfast of bacon, eggs, corn pancakes and milo pancakes, we headed to Billabong Sanctuary. There we got to hold a croc, wear a snake, hold a wombat, and pet a koala. It was an amazing experience!
After Billabong, we headed back to Townsville to wander about the town. Some of the gang hiked the "goat trail" of Castle Hill for a beautiful view of the city. Later, we had amazing Aussie burgers for dinner. After we were stuffed, we headed to the movies to see the final Harry Potter. It certainly was an exciting adventure of a day!
Voyage Blog Entry...
Author: Parker K.
Location: Great Barrier Reef
If there was ever a day on this trip that guaranteed everyone a good night's sleep, it would be today. The certified divers of the group awoke early this morning to dive before breakfast with the sunrise. Diving underwater while witnessing the ocean wake from its slumber was spectacular.
Afterwards, we ate breakfast and prepared for the many remaining dives. Two amazing dives occupied the morning for most of the group, while the remaining members enjoyed snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. A delicious lunch followed by pages of books being lazily turned and napping beneath the sparkling Australian sun, preceded an equally incredible afternoon dive. By dinnertime, the group had completed four dives or snorkeling sessions and we felt the toll it was taking. Many exciting species were spotted on the reef today such as barracuda, multiple sting rays, lionfish, and enormous bat fish. Even though we were all exhausted, the night dive approached quickly. We glanced over the stern of the ship and witnessed what rested in the water below. Dozens of large reef sharks and giant grouper swirled around the edge of the boat where divers commonly make their leap into the water. The group perked up and hopped willingly into the shark-infested waters, which made for a very exciting night dive. Countless sharks, crustaceans, large fish, and an immense sting ray later, we gathered around the TV to finish a movie before drifting off into a deep, good night's sleep.
Voyage Blog Entry...
Author: Taylor A
The girls woke up this morning to the sweet sound of the male folk making breakfast. We ate some croissants and Nutella, then jumped in a cab to the aboriginal tjapukai, a type of cultural park where we watched a show on digeridoos, native folk tales, and tribal dancing.
After a quick presentation on weapons and natural bush foods, we each got to try our hand at spear throwing and boomerang wielding. We had a major jam session where some of us figured out how to play a digeridoo while waiting for the cab to drop us off at the hotel. We had a quick Thanksgiving lunch and went on a shopping exposition. The girls spent almost all of their money while the guys emptied their wallets for food. We grabbed some Subway sandwiches for dinner and went to Reef Teach, where we learned about all the types of marine life we would see on the Great Barrier Reef. It was interesting and the presenter was really funny. We caught a cab home and reminisced about the 2/3 of the trip already finished.
Voyage Blog Entry...
Author: Griffin R.
We woke up this morning for breakfast, then set out for a morning of work in the rainforest. To kill an invasive species of grass in the rainforest, we stomped on it and crushed it so it could be later killed with chemicals.
We did this for hours, and after all our hard work we went for a refreshing swim in Mason's swimming hole, which has an awesome rope swing into a deep section of the water. After lunch back at the Bat House, it was back to work, this time clipping vines and sawing parts of dead trees to clear space for younger growing ones. Dan and I chopped down a huge section of a tree, which was pretty sweet. This was very hard work and when we were done, we went back to the swimming hole to cool off. After a long day, we had Mexican food for dinner, then relaxed by the warm fire pit.
Voyage Blog Entry...
Sailing and Sea Turtles
Author: Emily C.
We were allowed to sleep in until 8:00 this morning. The first thing we did today was get a quick briefing on snorkeling. Then we all loaded up in the dingy with all our snorkel gear and went snorkeling in the beautiful blue water.
While snorkeling, there were tons of colorful fish and coral. Near the end of the dive, a turtle was spotted! It was very calm and allowed us to swim with it for a while. Once back on the boat from our snorkeling adventure, we prepared for a short sail to One Foot Island. The tide was extremely low, and we walked from one island to another. During this walk, we looked for whales and turtles. Unfortunately, none were spotted. Once back on the boat for the second time today, we prepared for a longer sail. We helped raise the sails and move them while sailing. Dinner was served shortly after we dropped anchor for the night. It was a delicious reef fish with rice and veggies. After dinner, the boys on the boat decided to partake in "ninja training." After ninja training, we went to the bow of the boat and looked at the stars, even though it was cloudy out. Some people fell asleep on the bow, bringing our fantastic day to an end.
Just you, your shipmates and the power of the wind. Now, with the breeze in your hair and the helm in your hands, you realize how far you and your teammates have come. No longer passengers, you are crew – shipmates, staff and adventurers united for this awesome voyage...MORE > >
Submerged in a completely different world - a world where 'exotic' doesn't begin to describe what's in front of your eyes, that's AQ scuba. Through crystal blue waters with incredible visibility, you'll come face-to-face with spectacular marine life like hawksbill turtles, queen angelfish and schools of mirror-like silver sides...MORE > >
Can't picture yourself actually skiing, wakeboarding and windsurfing? Think again! As you carve through the water, you'll feel the speed, the wind, the exhilaration and the accomplishment of doing something you never thought you could. You'll be grinning for sure...MORE > >
ActionQuest visits some of the most incredible places on earth - the perfect settings for watersports, cultural expeditions, hiking and exploring. The sights you see on an AQ voyage vary according to the destinations you visit, and all are extraordinary.MORE > >
Other Cool Stuff
Think that's all we do at AQ? No way. Along with the beach BBQ's and reggae dance parties in the BVI, you'll learn to drive a dinghy, tie knots, splice a line, sail a laser and even cook for 15 people at a time! While the Galapagos and Ecuador voyages are filled with unpredictable, priceless moments of cultural exchange, service learning, and adventure. You’ll see striking scenery, improve your Spanish, taste new food, and make friends for life as you immerse yourself in an entirely new culture. Every moment of every day will be jam packed with cool stuff to do, see and experience...MORE > >
Experience-based program, no specific certifications offered.
VOYAGE ITINERARYPrevious Next
The majority of the group meets in Los Angeles Airport and gets ready for the long flight...
Still flying.. and time flies even faster when you cross the date line and lose a day (don't worry, you get the day back on the return flight!)
Arriving early in the morning in Sydney, you'll drop the bags and head to the beach to try surfing for the day. That evening, you'll get some well-earned rest after a program introduction.
We head off to the World Heritage National Park to trek through the ancient rainforests of the Blue Mountains. Walk down the thousand steps into the lush hidden valley and then ride the world's steepest railway back up again! Back to Sydney for dinner.
Full day in Sydney and the Great Australian Race! Visit the famous Opera House, Botanical Gardens and Maritime Museum. Watch the sunset over Sydney from Mrs. Macquarie's Chair.
Off to Airlie Beach via Brisbane. We'll board our sailing vessel before sunset and prepare for the voyage ahead through the islands of the Whitsunday's.
Sailing, snorkeling, exploring and whale watching.
Sailing, snorkeling, exploring and whale watching.
Sailing, snorkeling, exploring and whale watching. We depart the vessel in the evening and stay overnight in Airlie Beach.
Bus trip north to Townsville, where we'll explore the town and visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority aquarium. Evening out in town.
Visit the Billabong sanctuary to cuddle a kangaroo, kiss a koala and pet a wombat! Then cook out for a traditional Australian BBQ. This is almost a full-day event, yet we'll squeeze in an IMAX show that evening if you can keep your eyes open!
Head north once again, this time all the way to Cairns. Didn't realize that Australia was soooo big? This is a fairly dedicated travel day but you'll have a chance to check out the town once we arrive.
Up and out early, this time to the oldest rainforest in the world, the Daintree Rainforest. Join a crocodile cruise and then head to "Bat House" to meet "Batman" and prepare for the community service projects.
You'll learn a lot about the flora and fauna of Australia as we undertake our projects to remove non-native species such as coconuts and Chrynun lilies, and then replant.
Say goodbye to Bat House and head to the jungle hostel at Crocodylus! We'll trek through the rainforest to find a secret waterhole where we can swim and rope swing.
Last morning in the rainforest and on the beach, and then it's back to Cairns via Mossman Gorge and Port Douglas. We'll get back late but then head straight to Reef Teach to prepare for our diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
Up at 5:30 am and off to the boat to ship out. Even though this is the first day, you'll do at least 4 dives and see everything from stingrays, manta rays, sea turtles, clown fish, sea snakes, lots of batfish and giant grouper the size of cars!
Even more diving...
Even more diving, and then back to Cairns for the evening.
A day of whitewater rafting and some free time in town to buy the last gifts before closing off the program that evening.
It's always a teary goodbye as you board the plane bound for the US. You'll never forget your time spent in the Land Down Under!
Having said that, when on program we follow strict guidelines as to when students may use their cell phones. The environment we strive to create aboard relies heavily on each individual remaining focused on the group and our experience. Being tied to the modern world of "instant communications" can, in certain circumstances, be a hindrance to the personal and group processes aboard. We feel that there is ample opportunity to make calls during personal time ashore.
Please be aware that ALL cell phones (this includes iPhones, Blackberries, camera phones etc.) will be collected upon arrival to the program and held in safekeeping. Cell phones will be made available to students at times designated for making phone calls when we are ashore.
FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INFO
How to Book Flights
ActionQuest students come from all over the world, so coordinated travel is of vital importance. For this reason, we strongly suggest that students book flights with our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org). Leah obtains great fares and provides close monitoring and assistance on travel days in case of flight difficulties. Since we have no ability to access or modify flight bookings that are not purchased through Leah, ActionQuest cannot be responsible for the coordination of flights not booked through TRC Travel Center.
Alternate Itineraries - As students come from all over the U.S. and world, it is not required that students book on our preferred itinerary. For non-U.S. based students, those looking to use frequent flier miles, or others who are not booking with TRC Travel Center or on our preferred flight itinerary, please contact our office prior to booking to ensure you are arriving and departing Australia at appropriate times. Note that the journey start date (as shown above) is the date upon which the ActionQuest group flight departs LAX in the U.S. Due to time zone differences, the group flight may actually land in SYD the day after. The journey end date is the date upon which the ActionQuest group flight departs BNE.
Airport Assistance - Our office team actively monitors and supports our participants on travel days. We suggest that students travel with a cell phone, as this can be useful for communication to and from the program. For certain flight connections, ActionQuest also offers onsite airport assistance...
Preferred Itinerary (Inbound flight, BNE to LAX) - On occasion, particularly for the last session of the summer, a group leader will return to the U.S. on the preferred flight with the students. If a staff member is not able to return with the students, ActionQuest will not typically hire an in-airport representative for LAX. This is due to the lack of an onsite representative's ability to attend to customs/immigration issues and ongoing connection coordination when they do not arrive with the students.
Air transportation to and from the program, as well as in-country flights, is not included in the ActionQuest tuition fee. Please contact Leah for sample itineraries and an estimation of the international flight cost. For more information on airport assistance, please contact our office. We will be glad to let you know what type of support we typically offer for your journey (specific plans will only be available nearer the travel date).
|Travel to the program...|
|From:||Los Angeles, CA (LAX)||Departs:||10:40pm|
|To:||Sydney, Australia (SYD)||Arrives:||6:30am|
|Flight Time:||14hrs and 35mins||Mileage:||7509|
|From:||Sydney, Australia (SYD)||Departs||7:35am|
|To:||Proserpine, Australia (PPP)||Arrives:||10:00am|
|Flight Time:||2hrs and 25mins||Mileage:||940|
|Travel from the program...|
|From:||Cairns, Australia (CNS)||Departs:||5:45am|
|To:||Sydney, Australia (SYD)||Arrives:||8:45am|
|From:||Sydney, Australia (SYD)||Departs||9:45am|
|To:||Los Angeles, CA (LAX)||Arrives:||6:05am|
|Flight Time:||13hrs and 20mins||Mileage:||7509|
* Please Note: This is a SAMPLE itinerary only and not necessarily the definitive itinerary for this summer.
For more information on flight itineraries and travel information, please contact...
TRC Travel Center