Location
Multiple Locations +2
  • New Zealand
    • Auckland
    • Rotorua
    • Wellington
    • Queenstown
  • Australia
    • Sydney
    • Byron Bay
Length
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel After College College Credit Conservation Cultural Immersion Hands-On Learning Post-High School Volunteer Abroad Wilderness

Program Details

Activities
Animal Viewing Backpacking Bird Watching Camping City Exploring Hiking Kayaking Mountain Climbing Rafting Remote Exploring Rock Climbing Sightseeing Snorkeling Surfing Swimming Trekking
Timeframe
Fall Spring
Housing
Hostel Lodge Tent
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
17
Age Max
22

Pricing

Starting Price
16495
Price Details
Program Tuition Includes...
- All in-country travel and transport excluding flights
- All accommodation & 3 meals daily excluding snack
- All expeditions, activities, excursions, entry fees & adventure travel
- Individual mentorship from program instructors & local guides
- Lectures from resident experts on conservation & eco-tourism
- 1-3 week optional extensions if you wish to continue traveling independently
- Pre-departure information
- 24/7 emergency contact number for students and parents
- Global medical rescue and political evacuation insurance
- 24/7 access to a physician and psychologist
- Pacific Discovery T-shirt, water bottle stickers and a buff
- Online image library
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Meals Park Fees Tour Guide Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance
Oct 18, 2022
Dec 18, 2019
155 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

This epic gap year program through New Zealand and Australia will reveal the wonders of life Down Under, before you hike, climb and camp your way through Aotearoa.

New Zealand and Australia are two of the most ecologically intact and diverse countries in the world, and this experiential travel gap semester offers an amazing immersion during the temperate southern hemisphere spring and summer months.

It combines week-long conservation volunteer projects in diverse national parks and marine reserves; multi-day outdoor expeditions including backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing and surfing; and educational adventure travel through New Zealand and Australia’s stunning mountain, forest and beach environments!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Rewarding volunteer conservation projects in National Parks and wildlife reserves
  • 4-day tramping (backpacking) trip in Kahurangi National Park
  • 3-day canoe journey in the Noosa Everglades, Australia
  • Mountain bike in Rotoura, New Zealand’s mountain biking mecca
  • 4-day surf camp, learning to surf on Australia’s East Coast

Popular Programs

New Zealand

This program combines three week-long service-learning conservation projects in diverse national parks and marine reserves; five multi-day outdoor expeditions including backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing and surfing; and educational adventure travel through New Zealand and Australia’s stunning mountain, forest and beach environments.

New Zealand

This program combines three week-long service-learning conservation projects in diverse national parks and marine reserves; five multi-day outdoor expeditions including backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing and surfing; and educational adventure travel through New Zealand and Australia’s stunning mountain, forest and beach environments.

Program Reviews

4.87 Rating
based on 38 reviews
  • 5 rating 94.74%
  • 4 rating 2.63%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 2.63%
  • Housing 4.9
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.95
  • Value 4.8
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 17 - 24 of 38 reviews
Julia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

An Adventure Worth Sharing

I think when most people are young, adventure is all they dream about. I remember sitting at the top of a grassy hilltop. Surrounding us where beautiful, blue bays of clear water. The wind swept over the hills and made the long grasses ripple like waves. An intense sense of peace came over me as we watched the sun slowly dip towards the horizon. Another day in Mimiwhangata has come to an end. Tonight, we will play a few games, eat dinner in our wool shed home, and we will fall asleep beneath the Southern Cross.

What would you improve about this program?
We spent the last week at a farm in Australia, it would've been nice to spend less time there and more time in Sydney. By the end of the trip all we wanted to do was explore, relax, and spend time together. It was difficult to do that at the farm since we were working all day.
18 people found this review helpful.
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Theresa
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Such a great experience

I am so happy that my son had the opportunity to travel with Pac Disco! What a wonderful healthy experience. The community is conscious of what I want for family - eco-living, economical use of money and travel, community service, organic farming, working together as peers/mentors/leaders, integration into other cultures. Exactly what my son needed to help him mature into the wonderful young man he is today.

What would you improve about this program?
My only complaint is that the information leading up to the program launch was delivered in different emails. Very hard to keep track of the details.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Grady
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a blast!

It was so great! I had a blast! Met some great friends that I will be friends with forever. Learned so much more about myself and how to live within a budget. I really enjoyed it! I would love to do it again!!

What would you improve about this program?
It really was amazing!
16 people found this review helpful.
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Naomi
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Trip Ever!

Going on this program was definitely the best decision I ever made! It allowed me to travel abroad with a group of amazing people while doing amazing adventures I would never have done otherwise such as skydiving, rock climbing, abseiling and scuba diving. I have always loved camping so the canoe and hiking trips were incredibly fun, but physically and mentally challenging. So many experiences on this trip pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me grow as a person. The scenery in New Zealand and Australia is breathtaking and the places we went on this trip such as the Whanganui River, Kahurangi National Park and the Blue Mountains are examples of some of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I would recommend going on this trip, I would go again if I could!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change would be to make the program even longer.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Kalob
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Pac Disco is the way to go!

At the beginning of my Pacific Discovery trip, I was a little nervous. Of course, I didn't know any of the people I would spend the next 2 months with. This made for a difficult first could of days. After this passed, Pacific Discovery became one of the funnest and most rewarding things I have every done in my life. A challenge for me in particular was The Crossing, an organic farm we volunteered at on our second week in Australia. It was hard because ALL of the food we ate was extremely healthy. Now, I had never eaten like that before (especially not for a whole week) but after the first couple of days I started to really enjoy the food. The taste and the energy it gave me. This set me up for a great 2 months of healthy eating--which I enjoyed very much. The leader of my trip, Kim, was outstanding. She had so much life experience and knew how to handle any situation, we all learned a lot of valuable travel skills from her. My plans for life are to travel the world and live how we did on Pacific Discovery--happy, healthy, and in the moment.

What would you improve about this program?
The biggest problem for me on the trip was some of the kids had to be babied a little more than I thought was necessary. I know there isn't much to do to fix this but it is what stood out to me most. I always thought to myself, "we're adults, she is our guide, not our mother."
17 people found this review helpful.
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Emily
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 9 Weeks of My Life

I am so glad I decided to fill part of my gap year with a Pacific Discovery program. I learned more about myself than I have from any other experience. The level of leadership, responsibility, and freedom made me much more independent and confident in the skills that I have. I got pushed out of my comfort zone multiple times and always got a huge thrill from the adventures that I had. The trip as a whole gave me a personal revolution and made my feel more alive than I have in a while. As a person who relished everyday, this was quiet an accomplishment. Also, the people on the trip far exceeded my expectations. Every person was able to teach my something, whether or not they realized it. I know that I have made thirteen life long friends. If you are on the edge, go for it! If you are not on the edge, choose Pacific Discovery! I can't praise this company enough. It is amazing, and it will change your life.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing I would make sure that kids come prepared to work and help out. They know hat they are going on a service learning program. They need to realize that they are signing up to help with community service projects. Kids knew they would have to do work but sometimes acted as if simple work was hard, or boring. Everyone should come prepared to pull their weight and help, try to keep an open mind because something that seems like it won't be fun can be a blast. Most of the time everyone was fine, I just noticed that every once and a while people got a bit down from having to do work.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Claire
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

From a backpacking/camping newbie to an avid adventurer!!

I had a few months in between graduating college and starting graduate school, and I knew I wanted to travel abroad. I could have chosen to go abroad with my college program, but I decided to take a risk and go with a group of 13 people from all over the world that I did not know. I am so glad that I chose Pacific Discovery instead! Thanks to this program, I have made friends all over the world that are now a family to me, and the experiences that we were able to have together were unforgettable.

I did so many things on this trip that I never thought I could do, and I feel like a stronger person because of it. I had little camping experience and no backpacking experience, so I was worried about the backpacking and canoe trip expeditions. Turns out, those were some of my favorite and most memorable parts of the trip! That backpacking trip was both physically and mentally challenging for me (I'm scared of heights and a little unsteady on my feet at times to name a few things) but everyday I pushed through and surprised myself. My group leader and the other participants always encouraged me and cheered me on, and that was so refreshing especially on longs days of hiking. Those expeditions made me realize that the scenic views are so much more beautiful (how could that even be possible, right?), but they really are even more beautiful when you work for them.

Pacific Discovery inspired me to keep on exploring and to seek out adventure, whether it may be across the world or just around the corner in my own town. And since I'm not new to backpacking and camping anymore, I feel confident in my knowledge and background from this trip to go on some more adventures and can't wait to plan my next excursion!!

If I were to do it all over, I would choose Pacific Discovery over any other program because their main goal is to help you develop as a person by immersing you in different cultures, pushing you out of your comfort zone a little bit, and surrounding you with awesome people through it all. Couldn't be more grateful for this experience of a lifetime.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish more people could experience what Pacific Discovery has to offer. That's why I am writing this review, so hopefully more people will be encouraged to choose this program!!
14 people found this review helpful.
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Carolyn
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Study Abroad Program

During my sophomore year of college, I began researching study abroad programs. I came across Pacific Discovery and knew the New Zealand and Australia program was the perfect program for me.

I am so happy I made that decision. Scott & Rachel were wonderful throughout the whole process. The coursework provided by Seattle Central Community College was all independent study with syllables and instructions provided prior to the trip. I loved that there were no formal classes and that I learned and grew so much by living those incredible experiences.

The trip was unforgettable. The itinerary was the perfect mix of outdoor adventure, worthwhile volunteer/conservation projects, and free time. I crossed more things off my bucket list in 9 weeks than most people get to in their lifetime.

The friends I made came from all different backgrounds and locations. We became like family and I can't imagine not ever getting to meet those incredible people.

This program changed my life. There isn't a week that goes by when I don't think about a memory from that time and I would definitely recommend it to everyone!

What would you improve about this program?
I would want to know to plan some to save up for additional spending money to extend my trip before or after.
16 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

My trip was also ranging between 18-22 years old. Most of the people were 18, but I was 22 at the time, done with college, and was the oldest besides the trip leaders. I wasn't bothered by this though because it was still awesome to hang out with such outgoing and motivated people!