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Discover A Land Down Under: Melbourne, Adelaide & Sydney

Program No. 22091RJ
Turn your world upside down on an adventure in Australia, where you will learn about iconic architecture, unique wildlife and the distinct cultures of Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.

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We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
Filling Fast!
Feb 9 - Feb 21, 2024
Starting at
Oct 25 - Nov 6, 2024
Starting at
Nov 29 - Dec 11, 2024
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
Feb 9 - Feb 21, 2024
Starting at
Filling Fast!
Oct 25 - Nov 6, 2024
Starting at
Filling Fast!
Nov 29 - Dec 11, 2024
Starting at

At a Glance

From koalas snoozing in gum trees to the vaulted “sails” of the Sydney Opera House, Australia is a land like no other. Journey from Melbourne to Adelaide to Sydney, getting a close-up view of exotic wildlife, experiencing magnificent coastal sights and learning about the rich indigenous heritage of Australia.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking for up to four hours a day. Walking up to five miles a day. Walking up to three miles at a time at a normal public walking pace over varied terrain. Standing at least three hours daily; climbing stairs (at times without handrails), getting on/off buses and boats, carrying own luggage. If you believe you require wheelchair assistance to get through an airport you are not fit enough to participate in this program.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Journey the length of Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s greatest coastal drives.
  • Enjoy time to explore Melbourne and Sydney on your own during full free days.
  • Join an expert to explore the magnificent Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Your Group Leader will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. Give us a call to combine this learning adventure with select dates of "New Zealand’s Best: Natural Marvels and Cultural Heritage" (#22090) for even more learning in Australia and New Zealand! We will even pay your airfare from Queenstown to Melbourne, in addition to the one hotel night required in Melbourne between programs.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Richard De Gille
Richard De Gille has recently retired after practising as a lawyer for the past 30 years. For the last 20 years, he was a partner of a large suburban legal practice in outer Melbourne. He holds degrees from Monash University in economics and politics, education and law. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, bushwalking, gardening and reading.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Richard De Gille
Richard De Gille View biography
Richard De Gille has recently retired after practising as a lawyer for the past 30 years. For the last 20 years, he was a partner of a large suburban legal practice in outer Melbourne. He holds degrees from Monash University in economics and politics, education and law. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, bushwalking, gardening and reading.
Profile Image of Elspeth Kyle-Little
Elspeth Kyle-Little View biography
Elspeth Kyle-Little is an Adelaide-based group leader and site coordinator. During the Road Scholar offseason, she cooks at a local restaurant and operates a small business making handmade soap. After studying silversmithing at art school in Adelaide in her 20s, Elspeth moved to Darwin and then remote Arnhem Land in Australia's far north until her mid-forties. Now settled in the Southern Adelaide Hills, she dabbles with watercolor painting, pottery, and gardening.
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.
The Tears of Strangers
by Stan Grant
A family memoir charting the political and social changes of Aboriginal Australians over the past 40 years.
Cotter: A Novel
by Richard Begbie
A strong story of banishment, displacement, and crucial first contact, Cotter tells of a moving friendship between two very different men, ultimately powerless against the forces of history.
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 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.
Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia
by Billy Griffiths
In this important book, Griffiths investigates a twin revolution - the reassertion of Aboriginal identity in the second half of the twentieth century, and the simultaneous uncovering of the traces of ancient Australia by pioneering archaeologists. Deep Time Dreaming is about a slow shift in national consciousness. It explores what it means to live in a place of great antiquity, with its complex questions of ownership and identity. It brings to life the deep time dreaming that has changed the way many Australians relate to their continent and its enduring, dynamic human history.
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.
The Turning, New Stories
by Tim Winton
These 17 overlapping stories, steeped in everyday life on western Australia, follow the fates of a handful of characters in a small coastal town outside Perth. Winton, short-listed twice so far for the Booker Prize, has published a string of memorable novels, children's books and stories, all richly set in the working class milieu of the sparsely populated coastal desert.
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
Aboriginal Art
by Wally Caruana
This well illustrated survey of Aboriginal art, ancient and modern, focuses on the spiritual and geographic sources of art and ritual traditions in Australia. It covers the range of art from all parts of the continent, including a chapter on the Wandjina rock art of the Kimberley region. The concise text is augmented by 187 well produced black-and-white and color illustrations.
Journey to the Stone Country
by Alex Miller
Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Beck retreats from Melbourne to her old family home in tropical North Queensland where she meets Bo Rennie, one of the Jangga tribe. Intrigued by Bo's claim that he holds the key to her future, Annabelle sets out with him on a path of recovery that leads back to her childhood and into the Jangga's ancient heartland, where their grandparents' lives begin to yield secrets that will challenge the possibility of their happiness together.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In A Sunburned Country
by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson revels in Australia's eccentric characters, dangerous flora and fauna, and other oddities. As has become his custom, he effortlessly imparts much fact-filled history in this wildly funny book. Included at the end is a short bibliography. This book is published as "Down Under" in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.
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.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.