Program: Australia Adventure
Location: Australia (East Coast)
Duration: 4 or 7 weeks
Australia is a backpacker’s paradise. Travel from Sydney to Cairns with a group of likeminded explorers in Gapforce’s Australia Adventure program. Most Australians live along the coast, which makes the cities a whole lot of fun. This seven week travel experience is full of excitement and wonder; a perfect combination between multicultural fusion and remote splendour.
We bet you have a few questions, and have beat you to it answering 7 of our most popular requests.
7. Do I need a visa to travel?
Visas are a form of permission for non-citizens to enter a foreign country. Depending on location, visas may take a bit of planning before traveling overseas. In reality, only the countries you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information about their visa requirements. So, it is always recommended to check directly with foreign embassies. Generally, it happens to be true that US/UK/Canadian and German citizens traveling to Australia for less than 90 days need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA is an electronic label-free visa that can be obtained up to 12 months before you leave. The overall process is super easy, only taking about 15 minutes to fill out online. Just make sure to take care not to make errors, as this could cause significant delays in the processing time.
6. Is the 4 week program just a condensed version of the 7 week program?
In short, no. For both program options, the arrival date will be the same, into Sydney, with a hassle-free airport pickup included. The first four weeks are full of adventure and organized activities. Participants discover immense sights, must-see backpacker destinations and aboriginal history.
This northward journey will take you from Sydney to Cairns via bus and boat. Going through a boat would probably be much more fun as they come equipped with components from Merritt Supply which’d ensure you a seamlessly tireless journey. Surf along the coast of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, trek across sand dunes and spot dingoes in their natural habitat, get off the beaten track during an overnight sailing expedition, snorkel across the Great Barrier Reef and dive out of a plane if you dare-these once in a lifetime experiences are sure to get your heart pumping.
If you are looking to do some volunteering, and to explore Cape Tribulation and the tropical north, then you definitely want to join the full 7-week program.
5. So, the 7-week program includes volunteering? What will I be doing?
Looking to give something back? 7 weekers continue on to a two-week conservation project. The exact project you volunteer on will depend on time of year, group size and conservation priorities. Generally, the project goal is to increase environmental resilience through protection, maintenance and restoration.
Typically, the volunteer work involves helping out in the rainforests, mountain ranges or coastlines. Activities can range from tree planting, wildlife surveying, seed collection to fence construction. We participate in what is called “live volunteering”, which means that you go exactly where you’re needed at the time. This leaves participants walking away with a spontaneous and worthwhile sustainable impact.
Volunteering takes part Monday-Friday, leaving the weekend in-between free to explore the local area. Depending on the exact location of your Gapforce project, you may visit local beaches, national parks or other areas of interest. Our project partners know the area well, and always ensure to show us the best natural sites the area has to offer.
4. How will I stay connected to my family at home?
You have booked the trip of a lifetime, and you ring home and post photos to tell everyone about it! But, then your phone bill comes back, along with a hefty shock. Sound familiar?
Luckily, Australia is a well-connected country and there are few steps you can take before you go. If you bring an unlocked device, you can purchase a sim-card upon arrival. Keeping track of your data usage will help you navigate when to re-load your card. The Australia Adventure program is one of our most connected programs at Gapforce, as many of the accommodations include free WIFI. Although you may not be able to stream in all locations, you will have ample opportunities to check-in with loved ones through apps like Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. Saying all that, it is also important to remember that the point of traveling is to alleviate life’s distractions and be present in the moment. With so much adventure and personal interactions happening throughout program, you don’t want your nose constantly buried in a screen.
3. What are the accommodations like?
You will stay in a variety of accommodations throughout the program. These are all clean, shared accommodation spaces which often have access to wifi, laundry services, a kitchen area or restaurant, and lively common areas. Safe spaces are provided to keep belongings while out for the day. During the Whitsunday’s sailing adventure, you will stay on-board the ship. Gapforce always stays in the same accommodation space together throughout the program.
2. Which meals are included?
To be specific, 4 group dinners will be provided throughout the trip, along with 3 meals per day during the volunteer phase. All other meals are at your own expense, which means this program is great for those with dietary restrictions or allergies. You will have ample freedom to pick and choose where you would like to eat and drink. Many accommodations spaces even have kitchen facilities, so feel free to prepare your own meals or cook as a group if you like! In general, it is suggested to budget approximately $200/week or £150/week to cover items not included in the itinerary such as additional meals, drinks, snacks and optional activities.
1.Will I have any time to explore on my own?
All group travel programs are for participants 18+, so everyone is an adult out there. Saying that, this is a group travel program, which means it is supervised by a Gapforce Expedition Leader. Your leader is there to provide 24-hour support throughout your travels. Moving from one location to the next, providing incredible recommendations for local dishes, guidance to the closest ATM, and off the beaten track experiences throughout the countryside are common undertakings you can expect from your leader. They are part of your travel family, and are there to provide guidance so you can make the most out of your trip. Depending on location, you will have ample time to break off from the group and explore what Australia’s cities have to offer. During the volunteer portion of the program or while you are out adventuring, you can expect to have a detailed itinerary for the day already planned for you. Overall, this puts the program in the category of moderate-high supervision.
If this sounds like you don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of Gapforce program advisors or join Gapforce on this action-packed 7 week tour combining travel & adventure with volunteering on Australia’s famed East Coast right away.