Multiple Locations +2
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
4 - 12 weeks

Program Details

City Exploring Hiking Trekking
Fall Spring
Guesthouse Host Family Hostel
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
Program tuition includes all food, accommodations, scheduled program activities, and international travel insurance for the duration of the program. Keep in mind, while budgeting, that international airfare and spending money are extra. International airfare estimated at $3,000 - $4,000; visa fees estimated at $50-$100.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Dec 20, 2022
Dec 08, 2022
92 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Spend a gap semester in Australia and New Zealand: located in the heart of the South Pacific, each is uniquely informed by indigenous cultures, European colonization, and diverse ecosystems. Both nations highlight the ever-evolving relationships between indigenous cultures and colonizing forces, and the challenges of balancing environmental conservation with the economics of industry and tourism. Both island nations also offer ample opportunities for outdoor adventures in some of the most picturesque regions in the world!

Learn about environmental policy and stewardship from your hosts as you traverse the rugged mountains and fertile agricultural lands in New Zealand. Connect with your neighbors to examine the role of the Māori culture in the context of post colonial reconciliation, environmental awareness, and relationship with the natural world. In Australia, explore environmental extremes as you work alongside scientists and activist in the largest contiguous rainforest.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Engage with conservationists: Work with farmers and scientists to explore the effects of climate change, regenerative agriculture, and sustainable living
  • Find your courage: Develop your leadership skills during a series of wild outdoor adventures, juxtaposed with intentional retreat
  • Delve into social justice: Learn from the Māori communities and develop context and history for how indigenous traditions intersect with modern life
  • Get outside: NZ and Australia were made for the adventurers - mountain bike, raft, hike, kayak, canoe, and explore this diverse region
  • Positive change: As is the Carpe Diem way, take time to reflect on the challenges you witness and how you can contribute to making the world a better place


Carpe Diem Education Scholarships

Carpe Diem Education awards $30,000 annually to support diversity and inclusion in its programs. The Access Scholarship provides up to $5,000 for a gap year semester or full-year experience. The Inclusion Scholarship offers up to $2,000 for a gap year semester. The Carpe Mundi Scholarship is for Portland-based students. Grants are mostly need-based, and applications open in January.

Program Reviews

4.81 Rating
based on 21 reviews
  • 5 rating 95.24%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 4.76%
  • Housing 4.55
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.8
  • Value 4.9
  • Safety 4.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 21 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

SoPac '22

Going on this amazing adventure with Carpe Diem was life changing! From the places we went to the people we met as contacts, this trip had a huge positive impact on me. From the moment I set foot in Australia, I learned so much about myself, the environment and the people around me. These past three months have opened my eyes to a different way of life, and helped me grow exponentially! Carpe Diem did an amazing job helping me prepare for the trip and my Oversea Educators were so welcoming from the start. All contacts that Carpe have are so insightful and you can make real connections with. From Claire and Marcus at Sheoak Ridge to Tiaki in Whangaroa you will learn about environmental conservation, but you will also learn things that you could never learn in a typical school environment. The Walkabout group and experiences we had will always stay with me, this trip wasn't just a vacation it was an immersive experience and I'm so happy I went with Carpe Diem!

5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South Pacific Review

I am so happy I decided to go to the South Pacific with Carpe. Unfortunately, my trip got cut short due to COVID-19. The time I did have in New Zealand was amazing. Carpe Diem does an amazing job planning itinerary, connecting with locals, and supporting students. While abroad, students participate in a diverse set of activities and are given skills to use in country and at home. Not only did we have fun, we learned about the different environments we were in and the everyday issues they face. It is interesting to learn and compare these issues with my life at home. Everyone should consider this program, it was life changing!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pack light! The more you bring, the more you carry and the less space you have to buy things abroad.
60 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Hongi Fall 2019 ~ Fiji, New Zealand, & Australia

I come from a town in Colorado where taking a gap year has never really been heard of. I remember sitting through classes during my junior year of high school thinking about how much I didn't want to go to college but had no idea on how to justify that to my family. Then, I found Carpe Diem.
I cannot even begin to explain how profoundly this past semester has impacted my life. I have had some of the most impactful experiences this semester--like in our remote Fijian village, at our yoga/meditation retreat in Australia, and in the Great Barrier Reef. I went into this program with uncertainty, fear, and loss of direction; I have left Carpe as a completely changed individual. I have gained so many new values I now carry into my day-to-day life. I feel exceptionally confident in my abilities as a solo traveler. I have made friends on this program that I still talk to everyday. If you are looking for an exceptional gap year program that will seriously challenge the way you think about the world (and life, for that matter), Carpe Diem is it.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I personally didn't eat it--you know, being vegan and all--but on our last day at our Fijian village homestays, the nanas cooked us a manta ray curry. People who ate it said it felt kind of rubbery and tasted like chicken, haha!
52 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Hongi 2019~ the most impactful 3 month journey of my life

My time with Carpe in the South Pacific was nothing short of magical and amazing! We had several placements, teaching us about sustainability and culture, each fueling my passion of environmental justice. My favorite placements were the Hart farm and Sheoak Ridge. The Hart farm taught me so much about sustainable agriculture, mindful eating, and the true power of love. Sheoak Ridge was a nature reserve in Australia, where I learned what it means to have a true allyship with the land you live on and the indigenous people who it was stolen from, while having the perk of hanging out with wallabies! My time with Carpe was deeply transformative and I feel like I have a much better grasp on what my future can be. I recommend this program for anyone with an open mind, an urge to learn and a willingness to grow.

What was your funniest moment?
When one of the wallabies came to our camp at Sheoak Ridge and started doing a mating dance toward one of my group members. This was hilarious and it amazed me that I was just living alongside wallabies.
60 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South Pacific Adventures

Woooow. A three month era I will truly treasure for the rest of my life! I met some truly inspiring people on this trip, both within the group and with our hosts, guides, newfound friends, and acquaintances throughout the semester. After sharing ups (the otherworldly Outback stars, scuba diving in the vibrant reefs of Fiji, hiking through the astounding hills of the Abel Tasman in New Zealand), downs (travel days), stories, and most prominently, laughs, our group became a family. Our leaders were fantastic, not only in guiding us through the semester, but in teaching us things to take with us for life. Sarah and Paff both made individual lasting impressions on me as people and as leaders. This trip taught me to see the world in a more positive light, taught me to engage with the world around me, and to value every moment spent with the people and in the places I love. This is a program I would recommend to absolutely anyone looking for an eye-opening gap year experience.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Student directed travel would definitely have been better planned given a second chance. Still made for great memories.
57 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Hands down the most meaningful and powerful journey I’ve ever been on. Carpe does an incredible job of making the students experience as educational, inspirational and fun as possible. The contacts you meet with are all incredible people who teach you invaluable life skills as long as the skills to become a great traveller. I’ve been trying to decide which part of the journey was my favorite but each country and each city had its own uniquely beautiful qualities. The Carpe Overseas Educators were not only incredible educators, they were two of the most intelligent, wise and fun people I’ve ever met and the overall adventure was greatly improved by their leadership skills and genuine love of exploring. To anyone considering Carpe Diem for their gap year, it was the perfect choice for me and I feel incredibly I found a program like that. Seize the day!

What would you improve about this program?
The student directed travel section was a little rocky but all turned out well in the end.
62 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

"Oh the Place you'll go"

Oh the places you can go...
what an incredible time I had in the great South Pacific!! I can't thank Carpe Diem enough for giving the best people and the greatest leaders a girl could ask for. The things we did were absolutely incredible. I can't imagine going anywhere else with anyone else. I had the most amazing experience at the homestay and I would definitely by far say it was one of my favorite moments throughout our trip. However, the Outback was insane. Our tour guide, Guy, couldn't have been any more friendlier than he was and the places he took us were out of this world. If I were you I would go on one of these trips because you won't get to experience something like this. My leaders were maybe one of the two most incredible people you will ever meet. They taught me so much and I learned a lot from them. At first, its weird meeting new people for the first time but this group instantly became really close. Everyone at the airport was super friendly and willing to try new thins. No one was ever afraid of being themselves because you never know what someone else might be going through.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly this program was everything I thought it would be. It showed me how to be a stronger person both individually and within a group.
62 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

It's an experience alright!

I've been globetrotting my whole life, but there comes a point where you gotta do something by yourself, and 13 others.

Before this trip I never did anything remotely outdoorsy, never camped, or hiked, or backpacked- nothing! But after these action packed 3 months, I feel pretty confident doing any of those things now, and I actually enjoy them! If you can believe it, I never did any group activities either! So the most challenging part for was learning to live with 13 total strangers. It was a bit daunting at times, especially when someone was feeling down, but we always managed to pull through. And those 13 strangers became like family, the more I got to know them. My group with Carpe helped me grow into a more self sufficient, and confident traveler over the past semester, and I can't thank everyone enough who helped put this program together!

What would you improve about this program?
I would've appreciated more of a balence in regards to the stay durations in countries.
63 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

I would say so, I am finishing my college degree now in Film and Communications, and all of my friends in the program have also gone onto finishing their degrees! It's very easy to transfer to where you want to go.