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21942
Australia

Camping, Canoeing & Kangaroos: Australia With Your Grandchild

From koalas to kangaroos, discover amazing Australian wildlife with your grandchild as you camp under the stars, learn about local culture, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and more!
Rating (5)
Program No. 21942RJ
Length
17 days
Starts at
7,949
Australia

Camping, Canoeing & Kangaroos: Australia With Your Grandchild

From koalas to kangaroos, discover amazing Australian wildlife with your grandchild as you camp under the stars, learn about local culture, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and more!
Length
17 days
Starts at
7,949
Program No. 21942 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Are you an animal lover? What about a water sports fan? Lucky for you and your grandchild, Australia has something for every type of adventurer. Together, dive right into “the Land Down Under” while snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef or spot crocs as you cruise through a swampy lagoon. Gather around the fire on a campout under the stars and learn the Aboriginal art form of dot painting with some awesome experts. Alongside your grandchild, experience one of the most amazing countries on Earth, filled with two exciting weeks of stunning red desert, tropical rainforests, colorful coral reefs, jumping kangaroos and a cool camel ride!
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Grab your paddle for a canoe adventure through Sydney’s Royal National Park – the second oldest national park in the world.
  • Meet Aboriginal Australians and taste their traditional bush food before exploring Uluru.
  • See how many colorful fish you can spot as you snorkel the amazing Great Barrier Reef.

General Notes

This program is for grandchildren ages 10-14.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia
by Steve Wilson
A comprehensive account of the 800 species of Australian reptiles, grouped by family. Each entry includes a distribution map, notes on habitat, range and conservation status. Covering crocodiles, sea turtles, freshwater turtles, geckos, flat-footed lizards, skinks, dragons, goannas, blind snakes, pythons, file snakes, colubrid snakes, terrestrial elapids, sea snakes, and, sea kraits.
Young Dark Emu: A Truer History
by Bruce Pascoe
The highly-anticipated junior version of Bruce Pascoe's multi award-winning book. Bruce Pascoe has collected a swathe of literary awards for Dark Emu and now he has brought together the research and compelling first person accounts in a book for younger readers. Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived - a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent.
Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia
by Peter Menkhorst • Frank Knight (Illustrator)
A comprehensive guide to 376 species of kangaroos, koalas, bandicoots, wombats, deer, seals, whales and other mammals of Australia featuring full color illustrations by Frank Knight. Third edition
Dark Emu : Aboriginal Australia and the birth of agriculture
by Bruce Pascoe
History has portrayed Australia's First Peoples, the Aboriginals, as hunter-gatherers who lived on an empty, uncultivated land. History is wrong. Using compelling evidence from the records and diaries of early Australian explorers and colonists, Bruce Pascoe reveals that Aboriginal systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia's past is required - for the benefit of us all. Dark Emu, a bestseller in Australia, won both the Book of the Year Award and the Indigenous Writer's Prize in the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards.
Chasing Kangaroo
by Tim Flannery
An ode to the kangaroo in all their splendid diversity and oddity. Revisiting his early love of kangaroo fossils, Flannery weaves engaging tales of his adventures on the trails of marsupials past and present with his travels and encounters with eccentric scientists and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Playing Beatie Bow
by Ruth Park
An Australian children's/young adult's novel. The game is called Beatie Bow and the children play it for the thrill of scaring themselves. But when Abigail is drawn in, the game is quickly transformed into an extraordinary, sometimes horrifying, adventure as she finds herself transported to a place that is foreign yet strangely familiar . . .
My Place
by Sally Morgan
In 1982 Sally Morgan travelled to her grandmother's birthplace, Corunna Downs Station in Western Australia. She wants to trace the experiences of her childhood andolescence in Perth in the 1950's. Through memories and images, hints and echoes begin to emerge and another story unfolds - the mystery of her aboriginal identity. Gradually her whole family is drawn in to the saga and her great-uncle, her mother and finally her grandmother tell their stories in turn. My Place is a work of great humour, humanity and courage.
A Commonwealth of Thieves, The Improbable Birth of Australia
by Thomas Keneally
With drama and flair, novelist Keneally illuminates the birth of New South Wales in 1788, richly evoking the social conditions in London, the miserable sea voyage and the desperate conditions of the new colony. His tale revolves around Arthur Phillip, the ambitious (and bland) captain in the Royal Navy who would become the first governor of New South Wales. You may be familiar with Keneally as the author of the acclaimed work (made into an equally-renowned film) "Schindler's List".
My Brother Jack
by George Johnston
The Miles Franklin award-winning classic. Through the story of the two brothers, George Johnston created an enduring exploration of two Australian myths: that of the man who loses his soul as he gains worldly success, and that of the tough, honest Aussie battler, whose greatest ambition is to serve his country during the war. Acknowledged as one of the true Australian classics, My Brother Jack is a deeply satisfying, complex and moving literary masterpiece.
A Fortunate Life
by A. B. Facey
The is the extraordinary life of an ordinary man. The autobiography of Albert Barnett (Bert) Facey - farmer, labourer, jackaroo, WWI veteran - lived from 1894 to 1982, predominantly in Western Australia's frontier territory. Facey's story, published at the age of 87, brings to life his experiences as a child labourer, itinerant rural worker, soldier and Depression-era farmer. Despite the trials faced, he always considered he led "a fortunate life". It is considered a classic of Australian literature. It is one of Australia's favourite books.
Fishwatcher’s Field Guide: Great Barrier Reef
by Idaz Greenberg
A double-sided, laminated card covering the reef fish of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the tropical Pacific.
Field Guide to the Birds of Australia
by Ken Simpson • Nicholas Day
A handbook and field guide to Australia's birds with 2,000 vivid color illustrations, each accompanied by a brief description and revised range map. This more compact seventh edition features 16 new or revised color plates, new maps and condensed information.
True History of the Kelly Gang
by Peter Carey
A powerful, daring novel, steeped in the colonial history of late 19th-century Australia. Outlaw, folk hero, thief and patriot, the Irish immigrant Ned Kelly and his clan figure large in the Australian mindset. Carey's Booker Prize-winning novel (his second after "Oscar & Lucinda") takes the form of a series of rough, captivating letters by the barely literate gang leader to his young daughter. Kelly was hanged in Melbourne in 1880, where his mother was also imprisoned.
Songlines
by Bruce Chatwin
Rory Stewart provides the introduction to this 25th anniversary edition of Bruce Chatwin's celebrated travelogue, which is as much about its gifted author - and the meaning of travel - as about the Aboriginal people and their ways of life. Chatwin transforms a journey through the Outback into an exhilarating, semi-fictional meditation on our place in the world.
Tirra Lirra By The River
by Jessica Anderson
One of Australia's most celebrated novels: one woman's journey from Australia to London and back again. A book about the sweetness of escape, and the mix of pain and acceptance that comes with returning home. Winner of the 1978 Miles Franklin Award.
Position Doubtful
by Kim Mahood
Since the publication of her prize-winning memoir Craft for a Dry Lake, in 2000, writer and artist Kim Mahood has been returning to the Tanami desert country in far north-western Australia where, as a child, she lived with her family on a remote cattle station. The land is timeless, but much has changed- the station has been handed back to its traditional owners; the mining companies have arrived; and Aboriginal art has flourished. Comedy and tragedy, familiarity and uncertainty are Mahood's constant companions as she immerses herself in the life of a small community and in groundbreaking mapping projects. What emerges in Position Doubtful is a revelation of the significance of the land to its people - and of the burden of history.
A Town Like Alice
by Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute's most beloved novel, a tale of love and war, follows its enterprising heroine from the Malayan jungle during World War II to the rugged Australian outback.
The Tears of Strangers
by Stan Grant
A family memoir charting the political and social changes of Aboriginal Australians over the past 40 years.
The Nargun and The Stars
by Patricia Wrightson
After a millennial sleep, the stone-like Nargun awakes to roam the land again - unless a recently orphaned little boy and his new family can somehow halt the mythic creature's deadly advance. A children's fantasy novel set in Australia, it was one of the first Australian children's books to draw on Aboriginal Australian mythology. The novel was the winner of the 1974 Children's Book Council of Australia Children's Book of the Year for Older Readers.
Blueback
by Tim Winton
A bewitching fable sure to delight readers of all ages. A wise exploration of the difference between the acquisition of information and the quest for knowledge, Blueback is an achingly beautiful story about family, belonging, and living a life in tune with the environment, from Tim Winton, one of Australia's best-loved authors.
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17 days
16 nights
38 meals
14 B 12 L 12 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
In Transit to Program, Crossing International Dateline
In Flight
DAY
3
Arrival, Sydney's Coast, Orientation, Walk in Central Sydney
Sydney
L,D
Novotel Sydney Darling Square

Activity note: Walking a little over 1 mile; predominantly flat surfaces. Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m. Whilst travelling in Australia, particularly in Central Australia and Cairns, it is important that you keep yourself hydrated. As tap water in Australia is drinkable, at the welcome meeting you will be given a Road Scholar water bottle to use throughout your program. This is yours to keep.

Morning: Welcome to Sydney! Sydney’s stunning natural harbour forms the centrepiece of a dynamic city that has grown dramatically since its beginnings as a prison colony. Situated in the temperate area of Australia, Sydney is surrounded by National Parks and has a beautiful range of flora and fauna. It is Australia’s largest city with more than 5 million citizens thriving in a multicultural society in a congenial climate. Sydney is dominated by Sydney Harbour, of which Port Jackson is only a small part. The city covers a large area, twice the size of London with half the population, and has large parks and sparkling sandy Pacific Ocean beaches, such as the well-known and very popular Bondi and Manly. Upon our arrival in Sydney we are met and transfer in to our Sydney hotel where bags can be put in storage until check in. At 10:00 a.m, we board our motorcoach at the hotel and head off to visit Sydney's eastern suburbs, including a chance to stretch our legs at Sydney's famous Bondi beach. We will visit South Head to get a perspective of the city and harbour.

Lunch: At a café in Bondi, we will have pre-ordered, plated meals.

Afternoon: After lunch, we return to our hotel to check in. We have some time to freshen up before our Site Coordinator leads on a walking exploration of the areas of central Sydney in the environs of our hotel. We return to our hotel and have some free time before coming together for a welcome meeting and dinner. Orientation. The Group Leader and Site Coordinator will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. This program will be staffed with both a Group Leader and a local Site Coordinator at most study sites providing information and leading field trips. Some meals will be buffets, others will be plated and served, and some we will order in advance. Beverages typically include coffee, tea and water, with other beverages available for purchase depending on location. Free time is reserved for your personal exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through independent exploration, attending performances or other events on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader and local Site Coordinators will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At our hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Please note that evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, attending performances or other events, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. Your Group Leader and local Site Coordinators will always be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
4
Australian History, Harbour Cruise, Sydney Opera House
Sydney
B,L,D
Novotel Sydney Darling Square

Activity note: Getting on/off a harbour cruise vessel. Walking approximately 4 miles this afternoon; predominantly flat surfaces, some stairs and cobbled laneways.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning a local educator gives us a lecture introducing us to the history of Sydney and, by extension, Australia. We then board our motorcoach and travel to Circular Quay to board a vessel for a cruise on magnificent Sydney Harbour. On our cruise we take in the stunning scenery and learn how the modern Sydney Harbour has evolved. We disembark our vessel and walk the short distance to lunch.

Lunch: In The Rocks, we will have plated meals.

Afternoon: After lunch, led by our Site Coordinator, we will have a walking exploration of The Rocks area giving us insights into Sydney’s colonial past. The Rocks was the area of Sydney first settled by the British and it has a fascinating history and wonderful sandstone buildings. We walk across Circular Quay to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House, where we will have an expert-led exploration of this truly wonderful, iconic building, a masterpiece of late modern architecture. Exactly which areas of the Opera House we see will depend upon what performances and rehearsals are taking place at the time. There are five main performance spaces at the Sydney Opera House — the Concert Hall, the Dame Joan Sutherland Theatre (formerly the Opera Theatre), the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse and the Studio — and the availability of these spaces open to visits changes from day to day. We will then return to our hotel via motorcoach and have the remainder of the day free to explore independently. Those who wish may choose to stay downtown and make their own way back to the hotel.

Dinner: We will take a short walk along the western fringe of Darling Harbour to a restaurant where we have pre-ordered, plated meals.

Evening: At leisure. We will walk back to our hotel. You may wish to stay longer and explore some more of the vibrant harbourside Darling Harbour precinct as you wend your way back to the hotel on your own.

DAY
5
Canoeing in the Royal National Park, Guided Bushwalk
Sydney
B,L,D
Novotel Sydney Darling Square

Activity note: Getting in and out of tandem canoes. Canoeing for two hours. Life jackets are supplied. Walking up to 4 miles this afternoon; predominantly flat, well-maintained tracks.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we head to Sydney's Royal National Park, regarded as the world's second oldest National Park (after Yellowstone). We head to the National Park's boatshed at Audley Weir where we hop into our tandem canoes and paddle our way into the Park. On our two-hour guided paddle we will gain an understanding of the Australian bushscape that surrounds us.

Lunch: We will have a BBQ lunch at Audley Weir in the Royal National Park.

Afternoon: After lunch we transfer to Jibbon Beach for the walk to Point Hacking. On our walk we will view some Aboriginal carvings and have marvellous views of the stunning New South Wales coastline.

Dinner: We return to Sydney for a buffet dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Taronga Zoo, Free Afternoon
Sydney
B,L
Novotel Sydney Darling Square

Activity note: On our feet most of the morning, walking approximately 3 miles at zoo; undulating, paved surfaces. Getting on and off a ferry.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we take our motorcoach across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo, located on the north shore, with delightful views across the harbour to the city. Here we will begin our study of Australian fauna. As well as meeting kangaroos, koalas and wallabies — and hoping for a glimpse of the rather more elusive wombat, echidna, and platypus — we will have a lecture from one of the keepers introducing some of Australia’s more dangerous inhabitants: spiders and snakes.

Lunch: At Taronga Park Zoo, we will have a barbecue lunch.

Afternoon: You are given a local travel pass for the ferry journey back across the harbour to the city centre. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure allowing you to perhaps linger and explore the zoo independently or to head back across to the city and use your travel pass to explore further. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. Sample what Sydney's restaurant scene has to offer.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
7
Fly to Alice Springs, Alice Springs School of the Air
Alice Springs
B,L,D
Mercure Alice Springs Resort

Activity note: The flight from Sydney to Alice Springs is approximately 3 hours. Qantas typically uses Boeing 737 aircraft on this route. Walking approximately 1.5 miles; paved surfaces.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we check out of our Sydney hotel and coach to Sydney Domestic Airport for for our flight to Alice Springs, gateway to the Red Centre. Alice Springs is located almost exactly at the geographic centre of Australia and has been a home for Aboriginal Australians for 30,000 years. Many of the physical features of the land have great cultural significance. Originally established in 1888 as Stuart, the town developed through the need for an overland telegraph line to assist Australia with its communications to the world. Today, “The Alice” is a pleasurable, modern town and is a major access point for the many tourist attractions of central Australia. On arrival we are met by our Red Centre Site Coordinator and have an overview of Alice Springs and the Red Centre on the way to our hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel, we will have lunch before we check in to our rooms.

Afternoon: After lunch we visit the School of the Air to gain an understanding of the techniques of delivering education across the vast isolated and remote expanse of the Australian outback. We will be able to get a feel for what it is like being a student where your nearest "classmate" is hundreds of miles away. We return to our hotel and have some free time to maybe wander into town, frolic around the pool or catch up on some laundry for the remainder of the afternoon.

Dinner: At the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, we will have a BBQ dinner. As we dine a local musician will entertain us with ballads and yarns of the Australian bush. From the official Australian government website: “The bush has an iconic status in Australian life…especially as expressed in Australian literature, painting, popular music, films and foods. The bush was something that was uniquely Australian and very different to the European landscapes familiar to many new immigrants…revered as a source of national ideals.”

Evening: After dinner we return to our hotel on our motorcoach. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
8
Desert Park, Camel Ride, Telegraph Station, Aboriginal Food
Alice Springs
B,D
Mercure Alice Springs Resort

Activity note: On our feet most of the morning, walking approximately 2.5 miles; well-cared-for dirt surfaces. In the afternoon getting on and off a camel, walking approximately 1 mile; fairly even surfaces, some sand.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will visit Alice Springs Desert Park where our local Site Coordinator will help us gain an understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Australian desert and the life that exists there.

Lunch: We have some free time in the centre of Alice Springs allowing you to get your own lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch we visit a local camel farm where we hop aboard these "ships of the desert" and embark on a guided camel trek. We return to Alice Springs and visit the Alice Springs Telegraph Station where we learn about early settlement in the remote environment. We also start to build an understanding of the relationship between the white authorities and the Aboriginal minority with a look at the Stolen Generation.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, an indigenous caterer and businesswoman will introduce native Aboriginal bush foods, their traditional use and how they are being incorporated into contemporary cuisine. We will have dinner at the restaurant where our taste buds will discover for themselves just how contemporary Australian cuisine is utilising traditional Aboriginal flavourings.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening at leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
9
Wallace Rockhole, Dot Painting, Aboriginal Bush Food
Wallace Rockhole
B,L,D
Wallace Rockhole Campground

Activity note: Walking approximately 2 - 3 miles; fairly even surfaces, some sand.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of our hotel we travel to Standley Chasm (Angkerle), Aboriginal land and part of the Iwupataka Land Trust. Standley Chasm cuts through the tough quartzite to form a picturesque natural alleyway. Surging flood waters over thousands of years are responsible for this beautiful site, which is at its most impressive on a sunny morning. As the light shifts across the cleft, we are treated to a magnificent display of colours and forms. We carry on to Ormiston Gorge, further enlightening us to the spectacular geology and landforms of the MacDonnell Ranges.

Lunch: We have a picnic lunch at Ormiston Gorge.

Afternoon: After lunch walk into the Gorge where the rugged scenery is complemented by a near-permanent water hole. The water and the shelter of the rocks attract an interesting variety of native fauna and flora, including a number of relict plant species. We then carry on to Wallace Rockhole. Wallace Rockhole is a small Western Aranda Aboriginal Community located west of Alice Springs along the James Range. Here we will gain an understanding of life in an Outback Aboriginal community and the rewards and challenges the inhabitants face. A local will guide us to view the ancient Aboriginal rock art in the area. We will also undertake a dot-painting workshop introducing us to the methods and meanings of this ancient artform. We then head to the campground and set up our campsite.

Dinner: Dinner is at our campsite. While our Group Leader, local Site Coordinator and driver have overall responsibility, we all "muck-in" with the preparation and cleaning up afterwards.

Evening: After dinner we will get the campfire going and relax under the stars. You can choose to sleep in your tent tonight or bring your "swag" out to sleep under the vast Outback sky in the true Aussie bush tradition. Our Group Leader and local Site Coordinator will give us an introduction to the stars of the southern sky as we take in the vast expanse of space far from the lights of the city.

DAY
10
Mereenie Loop, Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon
B,L,D
Kings Canyon Resort Campground

Activity note: Travelling on an unsealed public road. Walking 3-4 hours on the Kings Canyon Loop walk.

Breakfast: Camp breakfast at our campsite.

Morning: We pack up our campsite and travel the spectacular Mereenie Loop Road to Kings Canyon.

Lunch: We will have a picnic lunch at Kings Canyon.

Afternoon: After lunch our local Site Coordinator will lead us on a walk on the Kings Canyon Rim Walk offering stunning views of Kings Canyon. We then head to the campground and set up our campsite.

Dinner: Dinner is at our campsite. While our Group Leader, local Site Coordinator and driver have overall responsibility, we all "muck-in" with the preparation and cleaning up afterwards.

Evening: After dinner we will get the campfire going and relax. You can again choose to sleep in your tent tonight or bring your "swag" out to sleep under the stars of the Southern Hemisphere.

DAY
11
Uluru Cycle & Walks, Sunset at Uluru
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
B,L,D
Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge

Activity note: Walking approximately 2 miles in a series of short walks; flat surfaces. Cycling approximately 7 miles around Uluru; bicycle helmets provided.

Breakfast: Camp breakfast at our campsite.

Morning: We pack up our campsite and drive to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre. En route we will pause briefly at Mt Conner.

Lunch: We have a picnic lunch at the Cultural Centre.

Afternoon: After lunch we explore Uluru, cycling around its base and taking in both the Mala Walk and the Kuniya & Liru Walk. This sacred Aboriginal site is truly awe-inspiring. Our Site Coordinator will explain something of the significance of the Rock to the local Aboriginal community. We will then transfer to our hotel and check in. In the late afternoon we will take in a sunset viewing of Uluru, watching the amazing colours of the Rock as the sun sets.

Dinner: We have a typical Australian BBQ at our hotel tonight where we perhaps have the opportunity to sample some of Australia's more "interesting" native foods. Those who wish to can opt to cook their own.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
12
Kata-Tjuta, Fly to Cairns
Cairns
B,L,D
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Activity note: Walking approximately 2 miles, 1 hour; gently climbing surface. The flight from Uluru to Cairns is approximately 2.5 hours. Qantas typically utilises Boeing 717 aircraft on this route.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We check out of the hotel and travel out to Kata-Tjuta, the spectacular formation of 36 rounded domes. Kata Tjuta means "many heads" in a local language. Here we will walk up Walpa Gorge, affording wonderful views across the Outback.

Lunch: We return to Yulara for lunch at the resort.

Afternoon: Next, we will transfer to Ayers Rock airport for our flight to Cairns. Cairns, on the east coast of Australia, is the most northerly city in the state of Queensland. It is always green and lush with abundant tropical plants and flowers. It is also one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities and, in addition to its role as a regional centre for dairy, timber and sugar production, it is an important tourist destination. Cairns is uniquely situated between two UNESCO World Heritage-listed areas: the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. Upon our arrival we we are met by our Cairns Site Coordinator and transfer to our hotel in Cairns.

Dinner: During a light meal at the hotel, we will have an introduction to Cairns and our local program.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Rainforest, Kuranda, Butterflies, Skyrail, Snorkel Practice
Cairns
B,L,D
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Activity note: Getting on/off gondolas; walking approximately 2 miles; flat surfaces, some stairs at cable car.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will have a lecture by a local expert introducing one of Cairns’ World Heritage-listed features, the Wet Tropical Rainforests of North Queensland. We will gain an understanding of the abundance of life in the tropical rainforest. We will then transfer to the village of Kuranda, a mountain retreat surrounded by rainforest. Upon our arrival we visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, the largest butterfly aviary in Australia and home to many local tropical species including Kuranda's iconic, electric-blue Ulysses Butterfly.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Kuranda, we will have pre-ordered, plated meals.

Afternoon: After lunch we have some free time to explore Kuranda at leisure. We then walk to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to take the stunning cableway journey sweeping above the canopy of the rainforest. At the Rainforest Interpretive Station, our lecturer will lead a walk on a circular track of boardwalk as we learn more about this special environment. We then head back to our hotel and reconvene in the hotel's lagoon-style pool where our Site Coordinator and Group Leader give us some lessons on correct snorkelling technique allowing us the chance to practise before our cruise out to the Reef tomorrow.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Lecture, Cruise & Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
Cairns
B,L
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Activity note: Getting on/off a large catamaran. Entering the water from a floating pontoon. Snorkels, masks, flippers, flotation jackets and lycra sun suits provided.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning a local marine biologist will give us a lecture on the Great Barrier Reef. He will give us an insight into what we might see before we head out for our cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. We then transfer to the cruise terminal and board our vessel to take us out to the reef. Once there, we can view the World Heritage-listed coral reefs. We will be able to snorkel among the spectacular coral reef and/or view the reef from a semi-submersible vessel.

Lunch: Aboard our cruise vessel, we will have a buffet lunch.

Afternoon: Our cruise continues this afternoon. We return to Cairns in the late afternoon.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Esplanade's wide range of restaurants is only a block or two from our hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Crocodile Farm, Coastal Aboriginal Culture, Farewell Dinner
Cairns
B,L,D
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Activity note: Getting on and off a lagoon boat. Walking 2 miles on undulating pathways.

Breakfast: We leave our hotel early and head to a local crocodile farm where we have a plated breakfast overlooking the lagoon.

Morning: Our local expert will give us an introduction to the local crocodile population as we cruise on the lagoon. We will have a guided walk where we can learn about the evolution of Australian wildlife in a beautiful forest setting surrounded by living descendants of Australia’s ancient past. We transfer via motorcoach to Tjapukai Aboriginal Park.

Lunch: At Tjapukai, we have a buffet lunch.

Afternoon: At Tjapukai Aboriginal Park we learn from local experts and tribe-members about the lifestyle of the northern coastal Aboriginal communities. In addition to viewing dance and fire-making ceremonies, we will have the opportunity to learn the techniques of throwing a spear using the traditional "milay" spear thrower. You will also get the opportunity to see if you can make your boomerang come back. We reboard our motorcoach and transfer the short distance back to our hotel.

Dinner: We have our farewell dinner tonight at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
16
Free Time, Fly to Sydney
Sydney
B,D
Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

Activity note: The flight from Cairns to Sydney is approximately 3 hours. Qantas typically uses Qantas 737 aircraft on this route.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Free Time. Take this opportunity to see and do more of what interests you most, whether exploring Cairns or final packing. We come together at the hotel in the late morning and transfer to the airport for our early-afternoon flight to Sydney.

Lunch: On your own, although the airline will provide a light meal on board our flight.

Afternoon: Upon our arrival in Sydney, we coach to our airport hotel in the safe hands of our Group Leader.

Dinner: We have pre-ordered, plated meals at our Sydney airport hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and departure tomorrow.

DAY
17
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check out is by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We check out of our hotel and make our own way to Sydney Airport. This concludes our program. As the hotel is located in the car park of the International terminal, you can walk the two minutes across to check in to your flight at your convenience. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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