Welcome to Rustic Pathways in Australia!

Rustic Pathways actually began its operations in Australia and has been running trips here for 32 years. With offices and bases near both Melbourne and Brisbane, we have a deep and heartfelt attachment to Australia. We offer programs for high school students, as well as Gap Year programs and customised itineraries for private groups and families throughout the year. Our country director and managers have travelled extensively throughout this country and have a deep understanding of its people and environments.

Your Group Journey Through Australia

We custom design our Journeys to meet your school’s requirements, so please contact us to discuss the type of experience you are looking for. As a general guide, here are some of the potential elements of your Journey through Australia:

Service Projects

Rustic Pathways has strong community service initiatives throughout Australia. We support rural schools, assist with special-needs learning programs and promote environmental conservation. While many of the service programs offered by Rustic Pathways are located internationally, we recognise the strong need to encourage Aussie kids to become more actively involved within their local communities. We are currently developing new and exciting volunteer projects within Australia. Some of our service projects that you could support include:

Working in Indigenous Communities: Social, education and infrastructure projects in remote aboriginal communities and schools across North-western Australia.

Save the Children – Youth Hub: Help to run sports and cross-cultural engagement programs for indigenous kids at a youth centre.

Primary Schools and Education Exchange: Supporting children with their core subjects, and providing cross cultural education and relationships.

Aged Care Facilities: Providing social interaction for elderly residents which enhances their fine motor skills, while also providing cross generational relationships.

Environmental Conservation: Participating in a local beach clean-up, assisting local volunteers with the maintenance of national parks and community bushland.

The Shack: Support people in the local community who may be experiencing homelessness, domestic violence or drug and alcohol abuse by cooking nutritious meals and running games and activities with local children.

Special Olympics Basketball: Assist athletes with their basketball skills and training, while also providing positive and healthy social interaction.

Wildlife Parks and Rehabilitation Centres: Lend a hand in one of the wildlife facilities we partner with around the country. Your duties may include shadowing park rangers, cleaning enclosures, redesigning habitats, collecting native foods and general grounds maintenance. Plus, enjoy getting up close and personal with some of our native wildlife!

Turtle Rehabilitation: Meet the founders of a volunteer turtle rehabilitation centre. Learn firsthand about ongoing conservation efforts on the Great Barrier Reef and the threats that turtles are facing. Take a trip out to Fitzroy Island to visit the rehab centre and assist with any tasks that need completing, like cleaning out the turtle tanks. As a reward for your service, you may have the opportunity for close encounters with turtles and even see them being released back into the wild!

Australia Zoo: Volunteer at Australia Zoo and learn what it takes to be a wildlife carer and zoologist by shadowing zookeepers. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

Education and Cultural Exploration

Whether it is experiencing Australia’s gorgeous landscapes and natural wonders or getting to know kids or families from a remote indigenous community, a Rustic Pathways adventure closer to home will not disappoint.

The Kimberley: Learn about social, education, environmental and medical challenges of living in remote outback locations. Develop an appreciation for Indigenous culture and heritage through experiencing their land and learning about their culture.

Explore the Cape York Peninsula: Travel to the Northern coasts of QLD to learn first hand about Turtle Conservation.

Discover the Sunshine Coast: As the base of the majority of Rustic Pathways’ operations in Australia, there is never a shortage of activities or places to visit in this sunny stretch of coastline.

Whale research: Head out on a whale research boat with a Marine Mammal Scientist to learn about and record Humpback Whales as they migrate up the east coast.

Sydney’s Harbour Districts: See the sights of spectacular Sydney Harbour, walk through the famous Rocks District, admire the bridge, and ponder the Opera House. Then cruise through the harbour to the seaside suburb of Manly and experience Darling Harbour and Chinatown.

Outback living: Learn how to throw a boomerang, play the didgeridoo, cook over a campfire, and experience bush life camping in the Outback.

Daintree Rainforest: Here you will find a veritable paradise of pristine white-sand beaches and incredible rainforest that grows right down to the sea. The sheer grandeur of this ancient rainforest will keep you in awe as you learn to appreciate why it is a World Heritage listed site and the world’s oldest continuously surviving rainforest in the world.

Adventure and Challenge

Adventure and challenge is inherent to every Journey, however,
if you are looking to physically challenge your students through a specific activity, you may opt to include:

Surf Lessons: Learn to carve up the waves from Sunshine Coast locals in a series of surf lessons.

Waterfalls & Gorges: Throw your togs and hiking shoes on and hike into a gorge for a swim in the Kimberley.

Cycling: Spend a morning discovering Brisbane city by bicycle while on a photography scavenger hunt.

Cable-ski Park: Spend an afternoon testing your skills at a cable ski park on the sunshine coast where you can water-ski, wakeboard, or kneeboard around the lake.

Great Barrier Reef: Sail out to the magical Great Barrier Reef. With the world’s largest reef system as your playground, there’s no telling what you may see. Snorkel – or scuba dive if you prefer – on a 1-4 day boat trip, giving you ample opportunity to spot fish, turtles, reef sharks, or even a dwarf minke whale!

Sky Diving, Bungee Jumping & the Giant Swing: Have the option of taking a skydive from 14,000 feet to see the reef from the air! Or push your limits and take a leap off the bungee tower! There’s also the option to swing through the jungle on a giant swing – flying from 135 feet down to 3 feet in 3.5 seconds!

Camel Rides into Kata Tjuta: Take an early morning camel ride into the lesser-known sibling of Uluru, it holds a wealth of surprises and beauty just waiting to be discovered.

Uluru (Ayers Rock): The infamous red-rock geological structure that is the world’s largest monolith astounds everybody who set eyes upon it.

Jet Boating: Jump on an ex- South African military jet boat for the ride of a lifetime as you punch through waves on the Sunshine Coast.

Sand boarding: Feel the power and speed at your feet as you sand board down some of the largest sand dunes in Australia.


There are various accommodation options that we can offer in Australia; it depends on how “rustic” you would like your Journey to be.

Hostels: A variety of shared dormitories in cities and towns

Camping: Both tent and swag style camping for remote locations

Base House: A traditional Queenslander home set amongst 50 acres of temperate rainforest in the Glass House Mountains of the Sunshine Coast.

Special Requests

Please chat to us if you have any special requests that you would like included in your Journey. There is nothing too big, small, or out-of-the-box that we can’t handle.

What Next?

Please email us at to start designing your Journey! We would be delighted to partner with your school to support the global education of your students.