Sample Excursions

 

Byron Bay Learn to Surf Weekend

Theme: Local Australia, Active Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Australia Wide

If you've always wanted to see the incredible Northern New South Wales coast and the Easternmost Point of Australia then a quick flight up to the Gold Coast is for you!

This excursion includes: Two transfers to and from the Gold Coast airport; two nights accommodation at Byron Bay's premier surf hostel; All meals; two Surf Safaris (suitable for all abilities all equipment included); Entry into the Semi Pro Cup (Fun surf contest medals and trophies for the winning teams and individual prizes for most improved surfer, longest wave, surfer of the weekend, best Wipeout and most improved surfer; A guided lighthouse tour; Free beach games and a 15 % discount on all items at a surf hire shop that includes bikes, surfboards and snorkel gear; An opportunity to book additional activities such as Kayaking with Whales and Dolphins (extra costs incurred).

Free surf photos for each individual to take away and we also do a group video edit of the whole Weekend. This is an amazing trip and well worth looking for a cheap flight up to the amazing Gold Coast.Please note: you will need to purchase your own flight to the gold Coast Airport at your own expense.

Welcome and Farewell Meals

Theme: Local Australia
Location: Australia Wide

Please note the details for farewell and welcome dinners in Australia vary according location, class and travel schedules. In the past we have held both formal lunches, dinners and even breakfasts. These meals will be free and more information about each individual ones can be found on our Facebook groups.

Get Psyched to Bike

Theme: Active Australia, Local Australia
Location: Far North Queensland

Hire a bike and spend an afternoon getting to know your local area - the Ross River - by pedal power. A favourite area of the locals at sunset and the best way to work off that Tim Tam addiction! Arcadia Staff will show you the best spots to hang out, feed turtles, play volleyball or chill by the pool. Not to be missed! This event is free if you have your own bike (I would recommend getting one for your semester in Townsville

Wulgurukaba Plant Trail, Picnics and Waterfalls

Theme: Active Australia, Spiritual Australia, Indigenous Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes, Multi-Cultural Australia
Location: Far North Queensland

Road trip to explore the northern beaches and learn about the native trees and plants used by the aboriginal people through the Wulgurukaba plant trail. Then we’ll head off to picnic at a crystal clear river with a beautiful waterfall and play on the rock slides.

Kayak the Ross River

Theme: Active Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Far North Queensland

Stunningly beautiful Ross River Kayak tour at sunset with a local guide with plenty of knowledge of the local flora and fauna. This one was a real highlight last semester and we floated happily among giant lotus fields which looked like a scene from Alice in Wonderland!

Hike Castle Hill

Theme: Active Australia, Spiritual Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Far North Queensland

If you haven’t yet heard about it – every local in Townsville’s done the goat track or the Cudtheringa track up Castle Hill – it’s one not to be missed! Join Arcadia staff on an afternoon hike on one or two of the 15 different tracks up this iconic rock and visit the local watering hole afterwards for the best gelato in Townsville.

Sailing on the Bay

Theme: Active Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Far North Queensland

Come and learn to sail with a local crew and get to know some Townsville Aussies – this is run by Townsville Yacht club. Arcadia can’t guarantee you’ll get on a boat but usually there is plenty of space. It’s truly a magical evening watching the sunset from the boat and learning how to navigate the waters of Magnetic Island Bay. 

Mission Beach Excursion

Theme: Active Australia, Spiritual Australia, Indigenous Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Far North Queensland

Bus road trip up to Mission Beach where the tropical rainforest meets the reef for a weekend of good food, great company, kayaking and picnics with billy tea and damper. We will be hiking in cassowary country, creating our own adventures and engaging in aboriginal cultural activities. There will be crystal clear waterholes to explore, spectacular lookouts and beach time to chill.

Brisbane By Bike

Theme: Active Australia, Local Australia
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Explore Southbank, West End and the Brisbane Central Business District via the excellent network of bike trails in and around Brisbane. This gentle cruise will take through the Botanic Gardens, the iconic River Walk and around the streets and many sights of this hustling and bustling part of Brisbane which you will call home.

Along with scenic destinations the tour will also orientate you to the supermarkets and other services of the area with a quick stop at the University of Queensland Campus.

Gold Coast Beachfront Markets

Theme: Local Australia, Multi-Cultural Australia
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Spend an evening exploring the Beachfront markets on the Gold Coast. Sample some street food or shop for souvenirs. The location itself makes this an excellent destination, but add the colour, lights and excitement of a busy marketplace and this is an evening not to be missed.

Mount Tambourine Day Trip

Theme: Active Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Join in on a fun-filled day adventure road trip to Mount Tamborine, a hidden gem snookered in the Gold Coast hinterland. Think rainforest hikes, beautiful waterfalls, swimming in freshwater pools, beer tasting and gourmet cheeses, plus you get to see glow worms! It really is a fabulous day out! Cost includes food, transport and all activities. Places are limited so get in quick! Some students from previous years have rated this as their favorite excursion in Australia.

Glass House Mountains

Theme: Active Australia, Indigenous Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

These beautiful volcanic mountains are located north of Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. On this day out you will hike one of the many iconic peaks of the area to take int he spectacular 360 degree views, explore the towns of Montville and Melaney and if the weather cooperates swim in one of the many natural swimming holes.

Stradbroke Island Weekend Excursion

Theme: Active Australia, Spiritual Australia, Indigenous Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

North Stradbroke Island, colloquially Straddie, is an island that lies within Moreton Bay, 30 kilometers (19 miles) southeast of Brisbane. Straddie is the second largest sand island in the world and gives many opportunities for recreation along its coast line and on its lakes. On this excursion you will have the opportunity to learn from the Quandamooka people, the traditional owners of the land. You will learn about “bush tucker”, the food which the Quandamooka are able to gather from the country. You will learn a traditional dance, how to throw a boomerang, and something of the culture of the Aboriginal people in this part of Australia. You will spend some time in a kayak exploring the coast and keeping an eye out for stingrays, turtles and fish which are abundant here. We’ll have some fun sand-boarding and surfing as well as going to some scenic spots.

AFL Game

Theme: Active Australia
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Come and experience this unique game at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. Australian Rules Football (AFL) has a fascinating history, first played as a modified form of an indigenous Australian game known as ‘Marngrook’. The stuffed possum ball was replaced by the oval ‘Sherrin’ ball made of leather and was used as a way for cricketers to stay fit during the winter. Today AFL is a national competition played around Australia with teams/clubs in most capital cities, some of which have been in existence for well over 100 years.   

Watching with Arcadia staff will assist you in understanding rules and tactics and make the most of your experience.

Burleigh Heads Hike

Theme: Active Australia
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

This small national park in the heart of the Gold Coast contains a diverse range of habitats including rocky foreshores, eucalyptus forest, pandanus groves, tussock grasslands and mangroves. You will explore the park via popular walking tracks, which take you towards the small summit and around the headland. you will have the chance to see Australian flora and fauna including the majestic sea eagles that patrol the water’s edge. The northern side of the park is home to one of Australia’s most famous surfing point breaks and watching the procession of wave riders is an excellent way to end the day.

Mt Cootha Hike

Theme: Active Australia
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Mt Cootha is the highest peak in Brisbane, offering breathtaking views of Brisbane city and the coastline from its summit. This popular destination also contains the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium within its boundaries. On this afternoon hike you will spend time exploring this bushland area’s many walking tracks and breathtaking views. You will be able to see some contemporary Aboriginal art works including tree carvings, rock paintings, etchings and rock arrangements on the Aboriginal Art Trail and discover the native flora of the Botanic Garden.

Noosa and Sunshine Coast Weekend Getaway

Theme: Active Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

The town of Noosa and the surrounding Sunshine Coast region are located approximately an hour and a half north of Brisbane. The area has beautiful beaches complete with white sand and clear water. This short weekend getaway will provide the opportunity to explore the beach, river, hinterland and national parks of the area.

Enjoy a hike in the Noosa National Park, home to many native animals including koalas and birds of all varieties. Take a surf lesson at the picturesque main beach, hire a stand up paddle board and explore the Noosa River system or simply enjoy sand and sun while soaking in the atmosphere. You may even be lucky enough to see marine life such as whales, sea turtles and dolphins swimming up and down the coastline. A visit to the famous Eumundi markets is sure to be a highlight and an opportunity to purchase memorable souvenirs. Accommodation is dorm style, with transport, dinners and breakfast included.

Jellergal Walkabout and Aussie BBQ at Burleigh Heads

Theme: Active Australia, Spiritual Australia, Indigenous Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes, Multi-Cultural Australia
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Jellergal is the home to the traditional aboriginal owners of the land around Burleigh heads, this is an opportunity to learn about the Gold Coast and the land that was part of the traditional owners. Afterwards we will hike through the small national park which is in the heart of the Gold Coast and contains a diverse range of habitats including rocky foreshores, eucalyptus forest, pandanus groves, tussock grasslands and mangroves. Traveling through the park via popular walking tracks, taking you towards the small summit and around the headland, you will have the chance to see whales migrating off the coast to warmer waters and the majestic sea eagles that patrol the water’s edge. The northern side of the park is home to one of Australia’s most famous surfing point breaks and watching the procession of wave riders is another favorite pass-time.

A traditional Aussie BBQ on the Burleigh foreshore is a fine end to the day and a fantastic welcome to your new home.

Miami Marketta Tapas Night

Local Australia, Multi-Cultural Australia
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Miami Marketta is an amazing food festival every weekend but they run a special tapas night on a Wednesday where all plates are $6 and under! Grab a group of mates and head on down to try the delicious food from around the world.

Snorkel Wave Brake Island

Theme: Active Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Always wanted to see what lies beneath? Here's your opportunity to see the underwater life of the Gold Coast seaway with a snorkel trip to Wave Break Island on the northern end of the Spit.  The Seaway is home to so many different fish so take the opportunity to get to know your underwater neighbors.

What’s up at Currumbin

Theme: Active Australia
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Try your hand at stand up paddle boarding in Currumbin Creek, not only can you see if you can keep your balance, you can also see a huge array of sea life including stingrays, water birds and hopefully not too many wet and bedraggled classmates.

Outdoor Rock Climbing

Theme: Active Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

This is a great challenge with spectacular views of the Southern end of the Gold Coast, a morning out trying rock climbing or abseiling at Point Danger.  You could make a day trip of it and check out the most advanced surfers who ride the waves at Duranbah and Snapper Rocks.

Country Queensland Day Trip

Theme: Active Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Brisbane/Gold Coast

Join Arcadia staff on a trip out to the country to learn about bush tucker, try some billy tea and damper, experience the country through the ears of a horse, check out some sheep shearing and listening to the bird life on the bush walking trails. Limited numbers so get in quick!

Bondi to Coogee Walk and Aussie BBQ

Theme: Active Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: New South Wales

The Bondi to Coogee Walk is a popular 6km (3.7miles) walk along the coastline of Sydney. It features stunning views, beaches, cliffs and rock pools. The Arcadia group meets at Bondi Beach around 9am and does the walk together all the way to Coogee. The walk normally takes about a half hour to two hours, depending on the size of the group, its fitness level and how many swims we stop for. At the end of the walk we have a fabulous Aussie BBQ complete with kangaroo, lamingtons and other Aussie “treats” such as a hot chip sandwich!

The walk is a great opportunity for the students to catch up with the Arcadia friends they made during orientation and to see the Arcadia staff and chat about how you are settling into life in Australia. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to learn to use Sydney’s public transport system whilst also experiencing an iconic part of the NSW coastline.

We encourage all students to participate – you do not need to be super fit to complete this walk. This walk is for everyone. For those students who don’t want to do the walk, then we would still encourage you to join us at Coogee Beach for the BBQ.

Broken Bay Excursion

Theme: Indigenous Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: New South Wales

Broken Bay is about an hour and a half north of Sydney by train and sits at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River. Broken Bay provides the perfect place to take in Australia's natural environment as it is surrounded by bushland and waterways. This weekend excursion will give students the opportunity to recharge and reflect, and to learn about Australia's rich indigenous history.

During the weekend we will explore Ku-ring-gai National Park which is home to Sydney’s most concentrated collection of Aboriginal heritage sites. We will cruise the beautiful Hawkesbury River waterways on a catamaran, accessing indigenous rock art that is only accessible by water. Students will learn about creation stories and about the native plants and animals that are important to the area.

During the weekend students will also be given the opportunity to go on a hike and to learn to throw a boomerang. The evenings will be spent around a bushfire learning to make damper, a form of bread – a very Australian tradition.

Note: This weekend is free for all NSW and ACT students and it is all inclusive. It will include transport and one night’s accommodation in Sydney for any students studying at the ANU.

Secret Gems of Sydney Walking Tour

Theme: Local Australia, Innovative Australia
Location: New South Wales

There is so much to see and love about Sydney but more often than not students only visit the big ticket places such as the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This day excursion encourages students to look beyond this and to interact with the locals, the art and the architecture. Patrick Franklyn our Sydney Internship Director, who lives and breathes all things Sydney, will take our students on a walking tour uncovering some of the hidden gems Sydney has to offer. These are the places that students really must see, but they are also the places that students would never find on their own.

During the course of the day students will examine some of the great architectural highlights in the heart of the city such as the Goodes Line, the Frank Gehry building at UTS and the ‘Vertical Gardens’ by Patrick Blanc, which was the winner of the best tall building in the world in 2014. Students  will also visit a number of galleries including the White Rabbit Gallery, which some people say is the best art private gallery in Sydney; and also the Brett Whitely Studio, the studio of an iconic Australian artist. Students will be introduced to local institutions such as the Burke St Bakery and the Spice Alley for lunch, as well as having an opportunity to unleash their inner artist.

The price includes lunch and afternoon tea, guided tours of the two galleries and an art lesson.

Dreamtime Astronomy

Theme: Spiritual Australia, Indigenous Australia
Location: New South Wales

There are so many differences between America and Australia, and one difference that really intrigues students is the difference between our constellations in the night sky. In Australia we don’t have the North Star and there is no such thing as the ‘South Star’. So what constellations do we have and why is our night sky different from the Northern Hemisphere?

During this informative evening we take students to the Sydney Observatory for an evening of star gazing. Students will hear first hand from a local indigenous guide about how the Australian Aboriginal people interpret the stars and what the changes in the night sky mean for them. Students will learn to identify the Southern Cross and will be given the chance to use the observatory’s telescope to view Jupiter and other planets. For any student who loves astronomy, star gazing, indigenous studies or the wilderness this is a perfect evening for you.

Please note we can only take 15 students through at one time. We will therefore add extra evenings as needed depending on the demand for this event.

Wollongong Coastal Trip

Theme: Active Australia, Spiritual Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: New South Wales

Wollongong is Australia’s 10th largest city and was originally established to harvest the great forests of the area. It subsequently became an industrial town when coal was discovered in the area. It occupies a narrow strip of coastline, with a mountain escarpment offering spectacular views over the city. During this full day excursion students will experience the many facets that make up Wollongong, or as the locals affectionately call it, the ‘Gong.’

This excursion is perfect for both Wollongong University students as well as those studying further afield as we take you to places that are hard to access without personal transport. It’s a day not to be missed.

The excursion will start with a walk along the famous Sea Cliff Bridge, followed by a stop at Bulli Beach for a coffee and a swim before heading to the Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere, for a vegetarian lunch. We will then drive through the Steel Works and its port, which is a major part of Wollongong's industrial history. For those students that are keen and have the energy we will also hike up Sublime Point. This hike is not for the faint hearted as it does involve a few ladders, so please be warned! The cost for the excursion includes bus transport, entry fees, lunch and snacks.

See a Show at Sydney Opera House

Theme: Local Australia, Multi-Cultural Australia
Location: New South Wales

A must see when you are in Sydney! Dress up and come along with fellow Arcadians to see a show in the World Heritage listed, and internationally acclaimed performing arts centre, The Sydney Opera House. This semester we plan on seeing an Australian ballet, Nutcracker - The Story of Clara. It is a unique Australian nutcracker; the enchantment and fantasy of the original Nutcracker but featuring settings, themes and characters familiar to Australia.

ANU / ANUIP Students

Theme: Local Australia
Location: New South Wales

Please note that ANU and ANUIP students will be offered the opportunity to attend all the NSW excursions and events, but we will also hold customized day trips in Canberra based on the students’ timetable and interests. These events are all organized once the students are in country. In the past Canberra events have included a local hike, a bike ride around the lake, a trip up Black Mountain Tower, a visit to Old Parliament House, a visit to Cockington Green (miniature world), the Portrait Gallery, meandering through Western Park to see kangaroos in the wild, the Australian War Memorial, which is one of the world’s best war museums, a trip to the Canberra zoo and a visit to the food trucks in Braddon. The possibilities in Canberra are endless.

Grampians Excursion

Theme: Active Australia, Spiritual Australia, Indigenous Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Victoria

The Grampians National Park is a mountainous reserve rising out of flat agricultural land located in the west of Victoria. The Grampians are difficult to access unless you have your own transportation. This is an opportunity to experience something of the Australian “wilderness”. We will stay in Halls Gap, a small town on the edge of the mountains, famous for its almost tame kangaroos.

We will start this weekend at the Brambuk Centre where you will learn about the culture of the traditional owners of the land, the Gariwerd, the Djab Wurrung and the Jardwidjarli. You will learn how to throw a boomerang, learn about aboriginal art and paint your own boomerang. This form of exposure to indigenous culture is not available in Melbourne, and learning something about the ancient culture of this land is something all students enjoy.

We will follow this by spending the rest of the afternoon exploring the Grampians, traveling to Mackenzie Falls, a spectacular waterfall. This is a very popular spot and the walk to the falls is not difficult. The following morning we will go rock climbing and abseiling on Hollow Mountain, were a team of experienced guides will show you all the ropes! The difficulty of the climb varies, with something for everyone to try. We will follow this by going on a hike on Hollow Mountain to get a panoramic view of the Grampians: a perfect profile picture opportunity before we make our way back to the bus and head to Melbourne.

Horseback Riding Through the Outback

Theme: Active Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Victoria

Ride a horse through the Australian outback to witness Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and echidnas in their natural habitat. This three-hour ride requires no experience and will take you from open plains through to the State Forest of Mt. Disappointment. Despite the name of this mountain, this horseback tour will not disappoint and is a fun and unique way to see parts of the countryside you would not normally be exposed to.

Moonlight Kayaking

Theme: Active Australia, Local Australia, Australian Landscapes
Location: Victoria

Kayaking on the Yarra River is a spectacular way to experience the lights of Melbourne from a unique water level perspective. Melbourne’s Yarra River is an excellent location for new paddlers to experience kayaking for the first time, or for experienced kayakers to enjoy a stunning paddle through Melbourne’s scenic waterways. You will use a fleet of fiberglass Sea Bear sea kayaks, which are extremely stable and easy to operate. No kayaking experience is needed to enjoy the tour and you will be accompanied by experienced tour guides.