Australia College Summer Program

START Sydney, Australia |
FINISH Cairns, Australia |
DURATION 4 weeks |
AGES 18 - 22 |

Wilderness Immersion & Climate Conservation

Join us on an epic road trip spanning the length of the East Coast of Australia this summer! Follow migrating humpback whales north and experience a wild land that is magic in its most pure form. We'll go canyoning in the ancient chasms of the Blue Mountains, hold koala on Magnetic Island, boat through the silica islands of the Whitsundays, snorkel on Great Barrier Reef, learn to surf in pristine National Parks, and see how farming is done in the iconic Aussie outback.

Our journey here is two-fold: to immerse in the unbelievable natural beauty of the country in order to appreciate its intrinsic worth, and to explore local creative solutions to climate change. National Park Rangers will teach us about environmental conservation movements in two coastal National Parks and show us how they are protecting native species and strengthening sand dunes from sea level rise.


Join a dedicated team on a hands-on environmental service adventure in coastal National Parks. You'll contribute toward Australia's coastal conservation efforts with the 'Save our Species' project, gaining invaluable experience tackling real-world issues facing vulnerable wildlife. Whether it's monitoring threatened sea turtle populations, assisting with habitat restoration for endangered birds, or helping remove invasive plant species, your contribution will directly impact the future of these ecosystems. You'll be working alongside passionate conservationists, learning valuable field research techniques, and witnessing the incredible biodiversity of Australia's coastlines in this service learning project.

Unleash your inner explorer and conquer the breathtaking Blue Mountains on our heart-pounding Canyoning adventure! This Australian summer program isn't just about thrills – it's about pushing your limits, discovering hidden gems, and forging unforgettable memories.  You'll be swimming through crystal-clear pools, feeling the rush of adrenaline with daring jumps, and rappelling down cascading waterfalls, all within ancient chasms sculpted by nature for millennia.  Beyond the excitement, canyoning builds confidence, strengthens teamwork, and deepens your connection with this iconic Australian landscape.  Each exhilarating swim, jump, and abseil becomes a testament to your courage and a celebration of the Blue Mountains' raw beauty.

This once-in-a-lifetime snorkeling adventure goes beyond the breathtaking sights. With a flick of your fin, you might encounter a majestic sea turtle gliding effortlessly by or a colorful cluster of tropical coral. By snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, you'll gain a deeper understanding of this fragile ecosystem, fostering a sense of responsibility and inspiring you to become an advocate for its preservation. Join us in exploring the underwater world and create memories that will stay with you forever, all while becoming a champion for our precious oceans.


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 4 week sample itinerary.

Download Sample Itinerary

Sydney, The Blue Mountains & Surf Camp

Welcome to the blissful Land Down Under, where the time zone is wacky and the water flushes the other way. Our first stop is the cultural capital of Australia. Bold, brash and beautiful, Sydney is arguably the world’s most vibrant city. On arrival at the airport, we will be met by our program instructors and transferred to our downtown accommodation near Sydney Cove, where the first European settlement in Australia was established. We will get to know our group mates while we explore Sydney Harbor by ferry, play frisbee on Manly Beach and walk around the Opera House.

We’ll leave Sydney for the stunning Blue Mountains, named after of the unique blue haze coming out of all the native eucalyptus trees. We will take some Insta-worthy snaps of the famous Three Sisters and walk in the spectacular scenery of the Grand Canyon Track, followed by an adrenaline-filled day canyoning and rappelling through ancient chasms.

We then roadtrip north to the trendy little surf town Crescent Head for a surf camp. It’s time to unpack our bags here and settle into our coastal base camp for a few days of environmental service work and surfing. The waves are suitable for all abilities. You’ll see pros out there as well as learners - it just depends on which part of the beach you go to. The instructors will teach you about ocean currents and wind direction so you can take these newfound skills and feel comfortable in other surf locations across the globe. It’s such a special moment when one of us gets to our feet for the first time and everyone cheers! By the end of surf camp, we will be catching waves. Spend evenings relaxing at camp, playing games, debriefing, and hearing the instructor’s wild stories before more sunrise surfs! Surf camp is all about having a laugh together, learning about muscles you never knew existed, and making memories that last a lifetime.

Conservation Volunteering & Byron Bay

We spend a few days giving back to the area that’s given us such a good time. We will undertake volunteer conservation, pulling out invasive plants alongside National Park staff in a joint collaboration between Pacific Discovery, Surfaris Surf Camp, and the New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service. The conservation project revolves around ecosystem enhancement in Arakoon National Park and is connected to a state-wide program called, ‘Saving our Species’, which aims to halt and reverse the growing numbers of Australian animals and plants facing extinction. The project aims to secure as many threatened species as possible, for the next 100 years.

Up next, we head to Byron Bay. We will go snorkelling and spot humpback whales from the iconic Byron lighthouse. If you haven’t heard of it already, Byron Bay has been an alternative hang-out since the 1970s and is the quintessential surfing town. Tie-dyed hippies, bronzed surfers, artists, and lots of local and international tourists head there to enjoy its beaches, boutiques, and cafes. There has been a recent major threat here, with unprecedented floods the past few years. We will speak with Flood Resilience community groups and visit a nearby wildlife rehabilitation hospital at Australia Zoo.

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 summer program! 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.

Low Camping Level

You will only be camping for a couple of nights on this summer program. 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 College Summer Program