This one month summer program offers you an enriching and inspiring experience in Vanuatu and Fiji. Immerse yourself in marine and beach conservation in Vanuatu and work with a Fijian community in Nasautoka Village, becoming part of the family as you build and live together. Gain skills with lessons in fishing, marine conservation, Tapa making, rock climbing, caving, hiking, scuba diving and snorkeling. Join us on a journey through the Pacific and an exciting summer abroad.
Vanuatu is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. From dances, ceremonies, artistic styles, animal and crop husbandry and more, varying from island to island. It consists of 82 relatively small islands located in the South Pacific Ocean and is well known as one of the premier vacation destinations for scuba divers wishing to explore coral reefs of the South Pacific region.
Fiji is a ‘tropical paradise’ of over 300 islands with forests, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and gorgeous clear waters. The Beach Comber Islands are volcanic in origin and fringed by spectacular beaches and
reefs. Fiji is home to people with a vibrant culture rich in music and dance, arts, sports and food.
If your looking for a summer filled with tropical experiences and activities then this program is for you! Along with all the sightseeing and adventure, there will be plenty of time to relax on the shoreline and soak in that island sun!
• Trek to the top of an extinct volcano, Mr. Tapuaora.
• River kayak through a rain forest.
• Visit the National Museum of Vanuatu, National Parliament and the epi-centre of Vanuatu traditional meeting places.
• Participate in a Sand Dune Conservation project.
• Introduction to scuba diving in Vanuatu
• Local craft making, planting local crops, collecting firewood and playing local sports in Fiji.
• Indulge in the fresh local cuisine.
• Snorkeling over coral reefs in Beach Comber Island.
• Service work project in Nasautoka Village where you’ll be joining the locals to help out on projects around the area.
• Informal lectures and discussions on history, culture, society and environment.
• Very personalized and supportive small group experience – maximum 12 students.
• Two experienced and inspiring Pacific Discovery Program Instructors for 9+ students supported by local guides (one
experienced instructor for groups of 8 and below).
You’ll arrive in Port-Vila, Vanuatu where sunshine, fresh air and smiles await you. Your Program Instructors will meet you at the airport and transfer with you to our group accommodation. The program orientation begins, inclusive of ice breaker games and “get to know you” activities to encourage all students to bond and relax into island life.
Start your exploration of the Pacific Islands by hopping on a tour with 8 interesting stops. Vanuatu is comprised of 80 islands, stretching over 1300 km through the Pacific Ocean. Port Vila is the capital city of Vanuatu, located on Efate Island. Enjoy getting to know each other, expose yourself to the local culture, delicacies and start to wrap your head around local tradition. Next up is Nguna Island; a short, 25 minute boat ride to a neighboring island which is full of adventure. You will get the experience of a Volcano. Walk with a trek to the top of an extinct volcano, Mr. Tapuaora. At the peak of this challenging walk, you will get to bask in the sweeping views across the Shepherd Islands to the north and Efate island to the south where you just arrived from.
Sit back on the scenic drive to the Rentapao River. Upon arrival at the exclusive kayak base, you can explore the Garden of Eden before getting the safety briefing for the day. Spend 2 hours on the river, paddling through the rain forest and getting a peek into the village life. Then switch gears as you get to explore the capital city. The small download hosts colorful market stalls, unique mural paintings and some impressive sites to see. You will have the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Vanuatu, National Parliament and the epi-centre of Vanuatu traditional meeting places. Wear comfortable walking shoes as this tour will be winding the small streets and meandering through the local hotspots.
Slow down the pace as you reside on Tranquillity Island for the next three nights. Here you will get to experience searching for coconut crabs, a bushwalk, turtle information talks, and beach clean-ups. Prepare yourself to explore the underwater world even further by trying your hand at SCUBA diving in the warm, clear waters of the Pacific. Learn new species of fish and water animals through ID classes and collection of crown of thornes while snorkeling.
Move onto your fourth Pacific Island of this journey as you take a short flight from Vanuatu to Fiji. Comprised of over 300 islands and surrounded by pristine ocean waters, you will undertake some intensive exposure to local Fijian culture as well as conservation initiatives. Your first destination will be on Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island, where the Coral Coast awaits you. Get the sand between your toes as you participate in a Sand Dune Conservation project.
Once again, you will have the opportunity to explore another Pacific Island. Based for 5 days, you will have the opportunity to participate in true island life as you are immersed in the culture. From celebrating with a kava ceremony, making some delicious tapas, trying your hand at fishing or making some local crafts, your knowledge of Fijian culture will greatly expand. An appreciation of the use of local flora will astound you as your connection with nature also grows through
Head back to Viti Levu Island to a location called Pacific Harbour. Here you will have a day to restore yourself before undertaking some more water adventures. Test your skills at kayaking and enjoy a thrilling white water raft in the nearby river.
Sit back for a scenic 2 hour drive to Nasautoka Village. During your time in the village, you will be providing some hands-on service needed around the area. Depending on the project, you will be joined by locals that will be working alongside your group. The afternoon is dedicated to local craft making, planting local crops, collecting firewood and playing local sports. You will be treated to some incredible local meals while in the village- prepare to have your taste buds excited!
Enjoy the last scenic coastal drive as you return to the bustling city of Nadi. Soak away the soreness of muscles after a few days of hard work in the hot springs and mud pools. Spend the last two days beachcombing, soaking up the sun, and swimming in the brilliant blue seas. These last few days will be spent rejoicing about your journey and have you thinking about the next time you can visit the beautiful Pacific Ocean Islands.
Open to high school graduates, university students and graduates, ideally 18 – 24 years. This program is suitable for anyone of average fitness with an enthusiasm for conservation and new experiences. You need to be committed to, and prepared for, some physical work whilst on the volunteer component of the program i.e. trail building, tree planting or painting. You don’t need to have had previous experience with travel or any of the activities offered.
The program is a shared group experience. We expect you to join the program with an open mind and a willingness to work together with your group mates to make the program an amazing experience for the whole group. Additionally, the program will be as much about the inner journey of personal growth and learning about yourself as it is about what you will experience in the outer physical journey. We expect you to be open to learning and challenging your ideas and assumptions.
Our accommodation will be comfortable and clean hostels and lodges. Laundry and WiFi facilities will be available most days, except while in the field on the volunteer projects. Accommodation is diverse, comfortable and carefully chosen to fit our needs.
Meals are fresh, tasty, healthy and varied. Special dietary requirements and vegetarians are catered for. 85% of meals are included in the program cost. Food preparation, shared by all participants, is fun, social and often a highlight. The remaining few meals are not included to allow a choice of when, where and what we eat. For the meals not included, you will have the option of dining out, or self-catering with others in the group. We recommend you budget the sum of $10 per day for snacks, drinks and meals not included in the program cost (allow $300 for the program).
Program Tuition Includes
Visa on arrival*; All in-country travel and transport (except flights); All accommodation; Most meals; All activities, excursions, entry fees and adventure travel as described in the itinerary; Two weeks of volunteer conservation projects; Informal lectures from resident experts on conservation, history and eco-tourism; Experienced Pacific Discovery Program Instructors and local guides; Online image library for your program. *Note: Free visitor visas for Vanuatu & Fiji are issued on arrival.