Australia & Bali Gap Semester

START Sydney, Australia |
FINISH Bali, Indonesia |
DURATION 10 weeks |
AGES 17 - 22 |

Island Hopping, Surfing & Conservation

Hop onto this gap year program to go canyoning in the Blue Mountains, boating among the Whitsundays Islands, surfing in Bali, and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. There will be time to immerse yourself in Balinese culture with traditional cooking and dance workshops, interact with the local communities, and of course, explore the vibrant cities of Sydney, Byron Bay and Cairns.

You’ll experience both adrenaline and tranquility through your adventures down under and the relaxing vibes of Indonesia’s most famous island. Learn about marine conservation in the outer Great Barrier Reef, help a local food rescue organization, and undertake volunteer conservation work in National Parks. Prepare to be immersed in unique environments and cultures and learn about sustainability and conservation.


Master the art of surfing with expert instructors at a dedicated surf camp. Learn the secrets from surfing gurus, paddle into rolling waves, and experience the thrill of riding the ocean's energy. This adventure is more than just a beach vacation; it's a chance to challenge yourself, connect with the ocean, and create unforgettable memories.

Ignite your spirit on a pre-dawn trek to conquer Bali's active volcano! Witness a breathtaking sunrise from the summit, a once-in-a-lifetime reward for your pre-dawn climb. This challenging adventure pushes your limits, but the panoramic views and fiery glow of the volcano will leave you breathless.

Become a guardian of the Great Barrier Reef, assisting with vital marine conservation efforts.  This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allows you to learn from experts, contribute to protecting this natural wonder, and witness the dazzling underwater world firsthand. It's a chance to give back, explore, and make a real difference for the future of the ocean.


This is a guide to what you can expect to do on program. The order in which the activities occur might vary.

Click download to view the full 10 week sample itinerary.

Download Sample Itinerary

Sydney & Canyoning in the Blue Mountains

Welcome to Sydney, Australia! On arrival, you will be met by your Pacific Discovery Program leader and transferred to our accommodation in the heart of the world’s most vibrant city. A comprehensive program briefing takes place where we get to know each other before we explore Sydney’s famous harbor and beaches, the Opera House, and Australian Museum. Roll on the next 10 weeks!

We’ll leave Sydney for the Blue Mountains. Our base for the next 3 days will be Katoomba, a town in the area that borders Blue Mountains National Park and its bushwalking trails. Whilst we are here we have time to explore the area, check out the famous Three Sisters rock formations, and take on a day of canyoning. Getting a well-earned adrenaline and endorphin kick is what’s in store in this beautiful National Park when we go abseiling, rappelling and climbing!

Surf Camp & Conservation Project

We journey north to an isolated section of the coast where we learn to surf during a three-day surf camp. Whether it is your first time on the water or you have a few days under your belt, our surf instructors will cater to everyone. Evenings are spent relaxing at the campground and playing games before a great sleep in preparation for another day’s worth of riding waves!

At the heart of surfing is a connection-to-nature philosophy. We experience this in a hands-on way by undertaking volunteer conservation work alongside National Parks staff in a coastal National Park. The project revolves around bush regeneration and dune conservation near Crescent Head on the East Coast of Australia. This program aims to secure as many of the native plants and species that can be secured in the wild as possible for the next 100 years.

Byron Bay, Sunshine Coast, & Australia Zoo

After some rewarding volunteer work, we head to Bryon Bay to take advantage of its beautiful beaches, boutiques, cafes, and an epic snorkel trip. After relaxing in Byron Bay we will head to Stradbroke Island, also called Straddie by the locals. We will gain an understanding of Australian history with an informative walking tour where we explore the shore of Dunwich, a place of cultural significance for the aboriginals. We will also snorkel around the rock walls and the fantastic reefs of Stradbroke Island, which is known to inhabit six of the world’s seven marine turtle species!

From Byron Bay, we drive north into Queensland. Here we stay on the Sunshine Coast near another gorgeous beach and try whale and dolphin spotting again as we walk around the national park headland. We will also spend several hours exploring Australia Zoo, learning about the zoo’s wildlife, and the conservation initiatives of its late founder Steve Irwin, a famous Australian wildlife conservationist that is also known as the Crocodile Hunter.

Program Details

What's Included?
  • All in-program travel and transport, excluding flights
  • All accommodation
  • All meals
  • All expeditions, activities, excursions, volunteer projects and entry fees as described in the itinerary
  • Experienced Program Instructors and local guides
  • Informal lectures from resident experts on conservation and eco-tourism
  • Experiential core curriculum that pushes students to reflect and ask questions of themselves
  • Certificate of Program Completion


For full program details, please request the information booklet.

Request Information Booklet

Medium Activity Level

Anyone with an average fitness level and an enthusiasm for the outdoors and new experiences will have a great time on this gap semester! You will need to be prepared for some physical work during the volunteer projects on the program, like trail building or the removal of invasive plants.

Medium Camping Level

You will only be camping for a couple of days on this gap year program, and you will spend most of your time in comfortable hostels and lodges.

Medium Service Learning Level

You will be able to make a difference to the local community during your stay. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and do some hands-on learning about local issues.

Have you got any questions before applying?

Australia & Bali Gap Semester