Volunteering and Adventure in Australia

One day while sitting in a lecture hall for an economics class two Aussies representing a volunteer organization gave a 5 minute presentation about the volunteer and travel opportunities available through their group, including Australia. I had never traveled abroad before and the idea of Australia always appealed to me, so I signed up. The trip included 2 weeks of volunteering in a not-yet-determined locale within the country and 2 weeks of adventure activities along the east coast of Australia, from Cairns down to Sydney. I ended up being a part of a unique experience to volunteer in The Outback (Alice Springs) and our group was fortunate to get to see parts of the country many other travelers do not. As the trip ended I walked away with a life changing experience that has helped define my travel philosophies for life.
1. Get Ready To Get Your Hands Dirty In The Outback
Lookout Over Alice Springs From Anzac Hill Monument At Top Of Anzac Hill Alice Springs Australia
Alice Springs, Australia in the center of the country was our base for the volunteer portion of the excursion.
2. On Your Off Time Hike The Surrounding Countyside
Hiking In Glen Helen Gorge Australia Enjoying A Beer In Glen Helen Gorge Of The West MacDonnell Range
Glen Helen Gorge outside of Alice Springs
3. Take Advantage Of Being Close To Uluru And Visit The Giant Monolith
The Sun Setting On Ayer's Rock/Uluru In Outback
4. Set Up Camp In King's Canyon, Your Volunteer Destination
Tents Set Up Outside Of King's Canyon Australia Hiking in King's Canyon
5. Survey For Buffle Grass, An Invasive Plant Species
Searching For Buffle Grass In King's Canyon Termite Mound In King's Canyon Australia
Buffle Grass is an invasive species of plant that has taken a toll on the Outback landscape by crowding out the roots of native grasses. Our group surveyed for Buffle Grass that was geotagged to later be sprayed at the appropriate time of year. Tumble Weed removal from the Mala enclosures was another project completed at King's Canyon and in Alice Springs we assisted with renovations at an Arid Botanical Garden.
6. But Make Sure Not To Overdue It
Make Sure To Rest
7. And Make New Friends
Volunteer Group Making Shadows On Canyon
8. After Successfully Completing Volunteering Head To The North East Coast For More Adventure
Beach At Cape Tribulation Australia
Cape Tribulation Queensland Australia
9. Go On A River Cruise
Boat Cruise Outside Of Cairns Australia
@ The Daintree River
10. In Search Of Crocodiles! By Crikey!
Crocodile On Edge Of River In Australia
Check out the size of this bloke.
11. Of Course You Need To Scuba Dive At The Great Barrier Reef
Scuba Diving At Great Barrier Reef
And the size of this bloke.
12. And White Water Rafting On The Tully River
White Water Rafting On Tully River
13. Get In A Plane For Aerial Views Of The Whitsunday Islands
View From Skydiving Plane
14. And Jump Out!
Skydiving
Surreal experience to skydive for the first time in a place of such beauty.
15. Stop On The World's Largest Sand Island, Fraser Island
Fraser Island Australia Beach
Be careful, the beach also serves as a highway and airplane landing strip.
16. And Bathe In Chilly Waters With Healing Properties
Lake McKenzie Fraser Island Australia
Lake McKenzie features silica sand that is supposed good for you.
17. Tour The Shipweck Ruin On The Island
Maheno Shipwreck On Fraser Island
The Maheno Shipwreck
18. Make Sure The Dingoes Don't Getcha
Dingo Approaching On Fraser Island
Fraser Island is home to the most genetically pure population of Dingoes in Australia. Dingoes are an Asiatic Wolf and this guy got a little close for comfort.
19. Stock The Fridge With Tooheys
Fridge Full Of Tooheys Beer
20. Surf Lessons In Byron Bay!
Surf Lesson In Byron Bay Australia
Surf lessons in Byron Bay
21. Surfs Up!!
Surfing In Byron Bay Australia
22. Venture Around Sydney And See The Sites
@ Sydney Opera House
23. All Aboard A Sunset Cruise In The Harbor
24. Stop At A Zoo To See The Unique Aussie Creatures You Didn't See In The Wild
Tasmanian Devil at the Zoo.
25. Repel In The Blue Mountains
View of Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains. Later we repelled down some cliffs nearby.
26. The Most Important Piece Of Advice: Bring Your Own Ketchup
They charge you everywhere for those small packets of "tomato sauce".
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