Faculty: Jim Foster, Mark Weinert
Class Meeting: Monday, 6:30 - 9:00 PM
This trip will be to the island continent of Australia that is home to unique species that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. Australia also offers visitors diverse ecosystems, including the Great Barrier Reef, and moderate and tropical climates. At the same time Australia is a relatively young country, with a distinct culture, and a unique history. Modern Australia is the result of its geographic isolation, its unique history, and the blend of ancient and modern cultures. Students will travel the east coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns. As part of the experience students will visit the Blue Mountains, hike to Wentworth falls, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, visit the Rainforest Station Aboriginal Cultural Center, visit the Australian Zoo, and go white-water rafting on the Tully River. A home stay with Australian fames is planned as part of the visit.
Day 1 & 2 - Leave Portland for Sydney, Australia (lose one day by crossing the International Date Line)
Day 3 - Sydney - Arrive in Sydney and greeted by Australian hosts, brief tour of Sydney or the Royal National Park.
Day 4 - Visit Sydney including the Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium, Circular Quay, and Darling Harbour.
Day 5 - Free day to explore Sydney’s sites including the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Sydney Harbour Bridge, or take the ferry to Manly Beach.
Day 6 - Katoomba - Visit the Blue Mountains and Katoomba where you will ride the scenic railway into a gorge, view the Three Sisters, and later hike to Wentworth falls.
Day 7 - Visit Featherdale Wildlife Park and feed kangaroos and get your picture taken with a Koala Bear. After visiting the park, we’ll travel through the central coast area to Coff’s Harbour.
Day 8 - Today you will visit the Big Banana, one of many “big things” in Australia, on the way to Lennox Head and some beach exploring or swimming, a chance to see the Southern Cross constellation, and the sun rise out of the Pacific.
Day 9 - Surfer’s Paradise - This day includes visiting Byron Bay, and the Easternmost point in Australia, Cape Byron Lighthouse. Byron Bay is known for its great beaches. We end the day at Surfer’s Paradise which is part of Australia’s Gold Coast.
Days 10 & 11 - Free days to explore the Gold coast or spend time on the beach. Optional activities include Seaworld, Dreamworld, Fleays Flora and Fauna Park, and other attractions.
Days 12 - Visit the world famous Australia Zoo - home Stay with families from the Glasshouse Country Baptist Church.
Days 13 - Travel north to the Big Pineapple and pineapple plantations and then to Gin Gin.
Days 14 - 16- Cross the Tropic of Capricorn, to McKay for sightseeing. On to Airlie Beach for trips out to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef to view marine life, such as, giant clams, tropical fish, coral reefs, etc.
Day 17 - Travel north through Townsville with a stop for some swimming/exploring and then on to New Life Pastures campground and a chance to see Cane Toads.
Days 18 - 20 - We arrive in Cairns, the northernmost point of the trip. Here students will do white-water rafting on the Tully River, sail to a coral atoll (Lowe Isles), visit the village of Kuranda, and learn from Aboriginals about their culture, including music and dance, and even how to throw a boomerang.
Day 21 - Return to Portland from Cairns (pick up a day as we cross the International Date Line).