Get ready for the ultimate Island Survival experience. Hop on a cargo barge that will take you to Rustic Island, a remote, forested island in the Great Barrier Reef. Here you will test your skills and learn important survival techniques. Build your own shelter, procure your own food, and learn how to spearfish. Learn how to find and collect clean water and learn wilderness first aid from a remote survival expert. We will also take advantage of being in a lush national park by monitoring species and collecting data for scientific use. This program is for groups that are ready for an outdoor adventure and the bonding experience of a lifetime.
Our program leaders will meet you upon arrival into Gladstone today. After a warm welcome, settle into your hotel and get to know your program leaders. Then learn more about what to expect over the next eight days.
This is the real deal. Get ready to dive in deep to your island survival experience! We will be travelling by a cargo barge to Rustic Island. Rustic Island is a deserted island, 70 kilometers off the coast in the outer great barrier reef. The barge trip will take five hours, and we’ll arrive at Rustic Island in the early evening. As the mainland disappears beyond the horizon, the sense of isolation will set in and the excitement will build. When the barge pulls up in the dark, we’ll unload our gear onto the beach, then wave farewell to the barge. Finally, we’ll set up a basic camp for tonight, and get some sleep while we await daylight!
Overnight: Rustic Island
Wake up to discover the island is a coral cay fringed by coral reef and turquoise lagoons. The pure white sands of the island encircle vegetated forest. The only inhabitants are thousands of birds. The island is an important habitat for birds and nesting turtles (seasonal), and the tropical waters are abundant in marine life. Walking around the island takes about two hours.
You’ll have an orientation to the island and go through some important ground rules. The island is a national park, so we need to minimise our impact while living out here. Each small team will establish its own base camp around the island. There’ll also be a central base for our staff. Using the equipment that you have brought, you will create a base camp for yourself. This will be your home for the next five days during your island survival experience. Finally, you’ll be given a ration pack of food to help you survive on the island.
These six days and six nights are unscripted. You will compete in teams for a series of survival challenges. These challenges are carefully designed and overseen by our instructors. Our survival specialist will teach you the essentials of survival. You will be required to create shelters, cook your own food, snorkel and spearfish, fish with hand lines, and collect and distill water. You can trade and barter supplies and food with the other teams. You’ll also learn wilderness first aid skills.
During the days, time will also be allocated to environmental service work. We will contribute to ongoing marine monitoring projects by collecting data on marine life for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Collect and remove rubbish from the beaches and lagoons. Help preserve this ecologically important environment.
Each evening, watch the sun slip down behind the ocean. As night sets in, the starry night sky will be absolutely phenomenal. You’ll fall asleep with the sounds of the ocean lapping on the coral reef lagoon.
Please note: The island is a national park and there are some restrictions on activities. We cannot have campfires and we can’t move/remove vegetation to build shelters. The magnificence of the island makes this a worthwhile compromise, and we’ve never had a student complain!
Overnight: Rustic Island
Today our island adventure will come to an end. The barge will come to collect us in the morning and we’ll depart our island home. Reflect on your experience during the five-hour barge ride back to the mainland. This evening you’ll appreciate hot showers and real beds to rest and recuperate before returning home tomorrow.
Check in to your flight, then your Rustic leaders will farewell you as you begin the journey home. Safe travels!
Challenge yourself physically and mentally on a 13-hectare coral cay surrounded by reef and lagoon.
Learn survival skills, wilderness first aid and marine biology from specialist instructors and educators.
Gain deep insights into yourself through personal development workshops facilitated by The REACH Foundation.