Welcome to Rustic Pathways Australia
Rustic Pathways is a leader in student travel in Australia. Over the past 20+ years we have developed a range of focused programs to engage students in new experiences and cultures of their homeland. Rustic Pathways Australia is committed to student growth by providing a range of thought-provoking and transformational programs. From learning about the critical issues in the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, to establishing connections in remote Indigenous Communities, to engaging in community service projects across Australia; our programs educate and challenge students to promote self-growth, empathy and a deep sense of community.
Group Travel in Australia
We offer programs in locations all around Australia and can customise existing programs to meet your schools requirements. As a general guide, here are some potential elements of your journey around Australia.
Environmental service and sustainability: Help monitor, maintain and preserve Australia’s magnificent natural environment. Participate in beach clean-ups, collect and propagate seeds, plant trees and mangroves in an effort to help reforest and ensure our wildlife thrive.
Critical issues on the Great Barrier Reef: Experience the underwater marine paradise of the Great Barrier reef. Learn about critical issues facing our reef systems, climate change, pollution, excessive fishing, and how this impacts the health of the reef ecosystems. Assist in transect surveys, build coral frames for coral farms and assist in mangrove planting.
Animal rescue and rehabilitation: Learn about critical issues endangering our wildlife, from deforestation and urban planning to natural disasters that displace wildlife and leave them homeless. Help a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre by cleaning enclosures, planting native trees, feeding baby animals and rescuing injured wildlife.
Social and community service: Engage in the community, connect with not-for-profit organisations helping everyday Australians through hardships. Prepare meals for those experiencing homelessness, help sort pre-loved clothing to go to families in need, learn about social injustice and be empowered to contribute positively to communities.
Education and Cultural Exploration
Over the past two decades Rustic Pathways has been facilitating students learning in the rich and diverse culture of our Indigenous Australians. With their soulful connection to country, ancient spiritual practices and sustainable ways of life, the Aboriginal culture is the oldest living culture on earth. Immerse yourself in a rural community on a non scripted opportunity to learn more about indigenous culture.
Participate in cultural activities: Hunt mud crabs, search for witchetty grubs and cook them in the ashes of a fire. Learn the correct way to throw a boomerang and how to use a woomera and spear.
Traditional plants and medicines: Learn about medicinal plants, their many uses and how to harvest and collect them. Learn about flora only found in certain regions and seasons and how they were prepared for consumption.
Ochre painting: Learn how Ochre is made, the significance of the variety of colours and body placement for different family groups and countries.
Ancient rock art sites: Learn about rock art and the significance of the sites they are found in. Hear and see stories told from 10,000 years ago and learn how ochre was made to withstand the elements through time.
Dreamtime stories: Hear the stories of mountains, rivers, and the spirits who guided generations through safe travel and spirituality for thousands of years. Understand the significance of particular sites in Australia and the importance of respecting and preserving them.
Immerse yourself with local life: Engage with locals in a rural community, play footy with the local kids, swim in waterholes, listen to Indidgenous songs sung around the campfire at night.
Promote understanding: Hear stories from elders, families and survivors from the stolen generation. Understand the importance of culture, community and spirituality for indigenous people, connect with locals and embrace the beauty of diverse culture in Australia.
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:
Kayaking / stand up paddle boarding: Try ocean/river kayaking or stand up paddle boarding for the first time, see if you can spot any marine life as you paddle along at a leisurely pace.
Mountain biking: See more of your location on two wheels! Ride along a variety of terrains, from rail trails, to bitumen paths to dirt tracks.
Surfing: Try your hand at riding some waves at any one of the awesome surf breaks throughout Australia.
High ropes courses: Break out of your comfort zone with an obstacle course in the sky! Try different levels of challenges whilst being safely strapped into a harness, enjoy ziplines, ladders, stepping stones and abseils on one of the many high ropes courses in Australia.
Snorkelling: Dive into the beautiful Australian ocean, snorkel with turtles, manta rays, tropical and temperate fish and explore the coral reef systems.
Sandboarding: Get ready for some adrenaline pumping sandboarding, soar down white sand dunes using the sandboard like a toboggan, then try your hand at balancing on the sandboard like a surfboard!
Hiking: Strap your hiking boots on and head on an adventure. Climb to mountain peaks, explore gorges, find secret waterholes and fill your lungs with fresh air.
There are various accommodation options that we can offer in Australia; it depends on how “rustic” you would like your journey to be.
Camping: Venture off the beaten trail to experience Australia’s magnificent national parks and remote areas. Depending on the type of program we’re running, our tents vary from 2-person hiking tents to 4-person base camp tents. Cook on camp stoves, bbqs, camp ovens or over the fire.
Glamping: These canvas glamping tents will include either a bed or a stretcher for your comfort, no set-up required!
Cabins in caravan parks: Camp in style in a 3 – 6 person shared cabin, ensuite bathroom and kitchenette.
Hostels: Stay in a hostel, students will share a bunk style accommodation, ranging from 4 person to 8 person shared rooms, with either a shared or communal ensuite.
Hotels: Live large in a hotel for the program, students will share twin rooms, triple rooms or quad share rooms, all rooms come with an ensuite and towels.
Sample Itinerary (Animal Conservation in Australia)
This is a service program located in South East Queensland. Pack your closed toed shoes, work gloves and your biggest smile as you prepare to lend a helping hand to some not-for-profit charities.
Day 1 – Welcome to Brisbane!
Meet Rustic staff at Brisbane Airport before heading to the Rustic Pathways Basehouse in the Glass House Mountains. Settle in, then strap on your hiking boots for a leisurely walk to the top of Mt Ngun Ngun. Hear the story of the Glass House Mountains and legends of how they were formed. Head back to the basehouse for a delicious group dinner.
Day 2 – Community Service and Adventure
Help to prepare delicious meals for the homeless with a non for profit organisation, learn about how they’re giving back to the community and discover ways students can help out in their own cities. Travel to an indigenous-run cultural centre, learn about indigenous culture in South East Queensland, explore the rainforest as your guide introduces you to medicinal plants, try your hand at throwing a boomerang and learn about the importance of ochre.
Days 3 to 6 – Service at Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Travel southwest to a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre. Meet our host, who is the sole owner and operator of the centre. With over 100 animals at any one time, she is always thrilled to have helpers and to educate people on animal care. Help clean out enclosures, feed animals, build enclosures, plant trees for koalas and feed some baby animals! Learn about critical issues in conservation and take a deep dive into wildlife biology and sustainability.
Day 7 – Goodbye Queensland!
Finish your service project before heading back to Brisbane. Say goodbye to your Rustic leaders during a final Rustic Ties ceremony then begin your journey home.