Summer High School Programs in Australia with Rustic Pathways

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About

The magical Land Down Under occupies a special place in our history as the origin of the first Rustic Pathways program in 1983. As Rustic has grown across the world, Australia has remained at the heart of our operations, thanks to the tireless efforts of our energetic and expert Aussie staff. Whether on adventure or service trips, these blokes and sheilas bring with them years of expertise, knowledge, and a strong pride in their wild homeland.

Known for its wild outback and pristine coasts, Australia programs feature awesome outdoor activities like surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, skydiving, wildlife encounters, and riding through the Outback in a 4×4. No matter which program you choose, you’re bound to have a blast!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 29 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 16 - 29 of 29
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Daniele
10/10

Best 2 weeks of her life

The first year of high school took a bit of a toll on our 15 year old and the confident, happy-go-lucky middle schooler we knew was hard to find by the end of the school year. Her Rustic Pathways trip to the Australian outback was just what she needed. Going on her own, for the first time, on the other side of the world without knowing anyone was a little daunting at first. What she found was a fantastic group of peers and inspiring group leaders that offered a unique opportunity to establish new bonds, regain her free spirit, put life into context, challenge herself in so many ways, build confidence and self-esteem and so much more. She came back full of positive energy and love for herself and the world around her and told us it was "the best two weeks of her life." We could not be happier. Thank you, Rustic Pathways!

How can this program be improved?
Nothing, really. I think that the success of this type of program also depends on being fortunate enough to have a great group of peers.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Susan
10/10

Amazing experience

Our daughter is 14, a rising 9th grader, and just completed the Seven Wonders of Austalia program with Rustic Pathways. She had the most incredible experience. Every place they stayed was rated number 1 or 2 on Trip Advisor (with exception of the base camp). The staff was energetic, fun and caring. The community service work was both inspiring and humbling. They program itself was top-notch. She loved the program, the people and the staff...she made so many new friends and they all became very close. It was a great group of kids and they all got along so well together. She went knowing only one person and came back having made thirteen lifelong friends. I can't say enough good things about the program and how organized they were- from meeting her at the airport, to activities, experiences, group activities, dining, etc and it was very safe. They were well cared for & looked after the entire time. I highly recommend Rustic Parhways and the Seven Wonders of Australia. It was an amazing experience that will forever change and shape who our daughter is.

How can this program be improved?
We wouldn't change anything!! It was a fantastic experience.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Julia
10/10

7 wonders of Australia

This trip is adventure packed and visits multiple once in a lifetime destinations. The highlights were scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, bungee jumping, climbing Ayers Rock, and climbing the sydney harbour bridge. I would recommend this trip to anyone.

How can this program be improved?
The additional activities were expensive and I would've liked to stay in sydney longer.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Taylor
10/10

Best summer of my life.

I have been on several other teen summer programs such as this one, even with Rustic Pathways, but Rustic's Australia program has made this by far the best summer of my life. I made friendships that will last a lifetime, and memories that I will never, ever forget. This trip was unbelievable; everything I hoped it would be and more.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jenny
10/10

Awesome Aussie surpassed all expectations

By traveling with Rustic, you can always expect to have a full day ahead of you every single morning. To call the days busy would be improper because the activities and service projects you participate in are worth-while and leave an impact on you. It could be something as simple as walking around Brisbane or Mooloolaba and the other kids you meet from all around the world really help to enrich every experience. Surfing in a place like Australia is truly a one of a kind experience and I am forever thankful I got to create that memory with such amazing leaders and new friends.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Carissa
9/10

It's an unexpected yet fulfilling experience

I had so much fun on this trip! I got to do something that I never thought I would do like surfing, sky diving, jet boating, and camping for the first time in my life. I would definitely advice other people to join this program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Bethany
9/10

Amazing trip

I loved all the day to day encounters with the animals but I wish we could have spent more time doing activities outside of the zoo other than just walking around Brisbane. Some planned activities would be fun.

How can this program be improved?
Length of the trip
Yes, I recommend this program
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Paige
10/10

Amazing trip

This trip was amazing. The atmosphere of the trip was just fantastic. The houses we stayed in to the leaders and fellow students was all positive and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect way to start my summer!

How can this program be improved?
Sometimes the things we are were pretty gross. Also, the camping was really cold on the trip. Lastly, this is probably out of your control, but the some of the people on the trip were negative. You can't actually know that when they sign up though
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jbtatter
10/10

The Amazing Outback

Being in the outback was an unreal experience, beyond anything you encounter at home. The leaders were amazing and without their personalities the trip wouldn't have been nearly as good. The wildlife and the people were both unforgettable and someday I would love to come back to the Kimberly's region.

How can this program be improved?
I wish we hadn't spent as much time traveling so we could have spent more time enjoying Australia.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Chrissy
10/10

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

On the "You A Roo and Australia Zoo" trip, I experienced the daily tasks of a zookeeper and learned several things about the animals. It was a mix of work, rewarding encounters with the zoo animals, and a little bit of city sightseeing as well. I was surprised with how many animals i got to hold or feed, such as a koala, python, echidna, kangaroo, wombat, rhino, and a lemur! The croc show in the crocosseum is also a sight I will never forget.

How can this program be improved?
The base house we stayed at was very cold. There was also a leak in the ceiling and the stove ran out of gas at one point.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ana
10/10

Rustic Pathways Australia

Traveling with Rustic Pathways to Australia was amazing. I spent ten days in Queensland (north eastern area). In Cairns we went sky diving, bungee jumping, white water rafting, water-skiing, pet koalas, fed crocodiles, and took a train up a beautiful mountain. We then traveled to Port Angeles where we snorkeled the Great Barrier reef...what a spectacular experience. We then traveled into the oldest rainforest in the world, the Daintree Rainforest, where we went swimming, spent a day with the aboriginals, and enjoyed the outdoors. My counselors Whitney and Alex were both so much fun, the hostiles we stayed in were nice and all the food was tasty. The group of kids that I went with truly changed my life. Such a fabulous trip!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lilpuglet
10/10

You, a 'Roo, Australia Zoo

Upon discovering Rustic Pathways, this program was first on my list. After traveling to Costa Rica, I went on a "reunion" Rustic Pathways trip to Australia with the lifelong friends I made at the ecobase by Arenal Volcano ("Fire into Water"). Rustic Pathways unique "Star Alumni" program enabled us a cost-friendly opportunity to enjoy the service trip in Australia ("You, 'Roo, and Australia Zoo"), followed by a vacation trip in Fiji ("Escape to Fiji Islands")! It was amazing to travel to Australia with three people I met on the Rustic Pathways trip the summer before.

Emily Harney was an amazing and hilarious counselor. I absolutely adored her. I admired her ability to take the volunteer program seriously while having loads of fun. I sat in the front seat of the van next to her the entire week and she let me dj music for the rest of the group. I was a bit shy and older than other people on the group, so it was nice to feel close with the counselor. I was introduce to Tim-Tam Slams and practiced my Australian accent a lot on this trip!

The program itself was incredible. The base house was beautiful, overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains. It was so nice to relax after a hard day of volunteer work at the zoo. Food accommodations were made for those with special diets. I loved driving to and from the zoo every morning and was awe struck by kangaroos crossing the road instead of deer. At the end of the trip we spent a couple nights in a hostel in Brisbane which was a joyous experience. Here, we met Australian teenagers who entertained us with their accents!

Working in the zoo required me to follow strict rules and guidelines to ensure the safety of myself and zoo guests. The Australia Zoo is one of the world's most celebrated wildlife parks and it was important to support their professional image. The zoo works hard to foster people's love for animals in hopes that they will protect them. By being an official part of the Australia Zoo team I contributed to the education and wildlife conservation mission. The job required me to work diligently and cooperatively with others, communicate efficiently, show initiative, behave professionally and take pride in fulfilling the tasks I was given by zoo employees. Tasks included cleaning animal enclosures and working to maintain a clean and welcoming zoo appearance. I was educated on the animals in the zoo and encouraged to assist visitors in whatever way possible. This was a real service trip and more than just "playing with animals"...though of course we got to do that too! :)

On this trip I met my girlfriend who I have since been with for the last three years. She lived in San Francisco and I in Boston when we both travelled to Australia for the "You, a 'Roo, Australia Zoo" program. I had no idea that I would meet the love of my life in another country, and then move across the United States to begin a new life on the West Coast...but it happened! Thank you, "You, a 'Roo, Australia Zoo"!

How can this program be improved?
As with the "Fire Into Water" program in Costa Rica, the base house for "You, a 'Roo, Australia Zoo" left me craving more of Australia.
Yes, I recommend this program
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meredithsloan
10/10

Awesome Aussie Adventure

I absolutely loved my Rustic Pathways experience! I met many amazing friends (with whom I still keep in touch with) and gained hands-on leadership experience that could not be found anywhere else. My leaders: Emily, CJ, Alejo and Liz were outstanding! I am currently writing an essay on my wonderful experience in Australia.

Yes, I recommend this program
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AustraliaLover
10/10

LOVE Rustic Pathways!!

Rustic Pathways in general is amazing. My trip to Australia seriously couldn't have been any better. The trip leaders were awesome and were really great at making sure everyone was comfortable and having a good time. There was never a dull moment and there was constantly something fun and new to do. I went on the Tropical Reef and Rainforest and You a Roo and Australia Zoo trips and it was amazing. Meeting all the new people in such new places was definitely the highlight.

How can this program be improved?
I would make the Tropical Reef and Rainforest trip longer
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Rustic Pathways

Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways to one of many exotic locations.

We take students on unique, rewarding, and safe programs to some of the world's friendliest and fascinating countries. Immerse yourself in a new culture, work on...