This is Island Survival. Head to a remote island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef with only the bare essentials and five survival items of your choice. Think of this trip as “Survivor”, Rustic-style. For eight days, you’ll live on Rustic Island, surrounded by coral reefs and turquoise lagoons. Challenge yourself physically and mentally, learn from survival specialists, build your own shelter, and catch your own food. Watch the sun rise and set over the ocean, snorkel and spearfish on the reefs, and contribute to environmental projects to restore this island paradise. This trip is for students that’re up for a remote adventure and the experience of a lifetime. Enrol now!
Today you will meet your Rustic leaders and fellow group members in Gladstone, QLD. Recommended flight schedules will be provided by Rustic Pathways. After a warm welcome, settle into your hotel rooms then join an orientation to the program. Spend the evening getting to know your leaders and students from across Australia before feasting on a welcome dinner.
Overnight: Hotel, Gladstone
Today we’ll focus on team building activities in Gladstone to get you ready for the island. There’ll be gear checks to ensure you’ve only got the essential items and the five items of your choice. This afternoon, we’ll begin loading the barge and away we go!
This is the real deal. This evening we’ll be travelling by cargo barge to Rustic Island – a deserted island, 70 kilometres off the coast in the outer Great Barrier Reef. As the mainland disappears beyond the horizon with the sunset, the sense of isolation will set in and the excitement will build.
The barge trip will take six hours and is scheduled around tide times. We’ll arrive at Rustic Island early tomorrow morning before sunrise.
Overnight: Sleeping on barge, Great Barrier Reef
When you wake up this morning, the daylight will reveal the island is a coral cay fringed by coral reef and turquoise lagoons. When the barge pulls up on the beach, we’ll unload our gear and get settled into island life.
The pure white sands of the island encircle vegetated forest whose only inhabitants are thousands of birds that roost in the trees. The island is an important habitat for birds and seasonally nesting turtles, and the tropical waters are abundant in marine life. Walking around the island takes approximately two hours.
Today you’ll have an orientation to the island and go through some important ground rules. It 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 will also be a central basecamp for our staff. Using the equipment that you have brought, you will create a basecamp for yourself and set up your home for the rest of your stay. Finally, you’ll be given a ration pack of food to help you survive on the island.
The next six days and six nights are unscripted. You will compete in teams for a series of survival challenges that are carefully designed and overseen by our instructors. Our survival specialist will work with your team to teach you the essentials and ensure safety and proper technique. 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 and focus on personal development. It’s designed to be a challenge but you’ll LOVE it.
During the days, time will also be allocated to marine and 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, to help preserve this ecologically important environment.
During downtime, there’s tons of fun island activities like kayaking, beach volleyball, dancing under the Milky Way, sunbaking and a whole lot of relaxing.
Each evening, watch the sun slip down behind the ocean, and as night sets in, the starry night sky will be absolutely phenomenal and 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. Unfortunately we can’t have campfires and we can’t move/remove vegetation. The magnificence of the island makes this a worthwhile compromise 🙂
Overnight: Survival Shelters, 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. This evening you’ll stay in a comfortable hotel with hot showers and real beds to rest and recuperate. Enjoy a delicious dinner with your group and reflect on your journey together.
Overnight: Hotel, Gladstone
Every trip comes to an end and today will be full of farewells as you say goodbye to new friends. Wherever you go next, we hope you’re taking unforgettable memories with you!