AUSTRALIA A FIELD COURSE


LENGTH: 16 Days/15 Nights

FIXED DEPARTURE DATES: Please contact Rainforest and Reef for available dates by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

Note: It is essential that our Australia A Field Course be booked far in advance. Lizard Island and Orpheus Island Research Stations are both in great demand, not only by Educational Groups, but also Researchers.

*Other dates for individuals, families and groups, including WINTER INTERIM BREAK and SPRING BREAK, available upon request.

*Our standard AUSTRALIA A FIELD COURSE itinerary can be modified in content and length for SPECIAL INTERESTS and NEEDS.
S.C.U.B.A. DIVING is available before, during or after our AUSTRALIA A FIELD COURSE upon request.
*WHITE-WATER RAFTING on the Tully River is also available upon request.

*Affordable extensions including an ABORIGINAL CULTURAL EXPERIENCE; KANGAROO ISLAND; DARWIN/KAKADU NATIONAL PARK; TASMANIA and NEW ZEALAND are available upon request before or after our AUSTRALIA A FIELD COURSE. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

*FIELD COURSES for those with SPECIAL INTERESTS, such as BIRDING and GARDEN GROUPS are available upon request. Sample itineraries can be seen at http://www.birdingtours.org (being updated), http://www.gardentours.org (being updated) and also http://www.rainforestandreef.org. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

FIELD COURSE COST:

INSTRUCTOR LED STUDENT GROUPS: Please contact Rainforest and Reef by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721. Based on a minimum of 20 full-paying participants. Cost is based on triple and quadruple occupancy. Double and single occupancy available upon request, usually at an extra cost. On Lizard Island only triple and quadruple occupancy is available.

ADULT INDEPENDENT PARTICIPANT GROUPS: Please contact Rainforest and Reef for available dates by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721. Based on a minimum of 20 full paying participants. Cost is based on triple and quadruple occupancy. Double and single occupancy available upon request, usually at an extra cost. On Lizard Island only triple and quadruple occupancy is available.

Notes: As of February 21, 2013 1 U.S. dollar = 0.975227 Australian dollars. PAYMENTS for our AUSTRALIA A FIELD COURSE must be made in Australian dollars. Groups and individuals must assume bank costs for currency exchanges and any currency value fluctuations.

Using Orpheus Island Research Station is an second option for our Australia A Field Course. It is slightly lower in cost. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

Group Leaders, please contact Rainforest and Reef for details about STIPENDS for bringing 20 or more full-paying participants.

For individuals, families or groups of less than or more than 20 full-paying participants please contact Rainforest and Reef for pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

Includes: All INSTRUCTION and GUIDE SERVICES; all MEALS and LODGING as stated in the itinerary; all GROUND and WATER TRANSPORTATION within Australia; ROUND-TRIP DOMESTIC AIRFARE CAIRNS-LIZARD ISLAND-CAIRNS on DAYS 2 and 8; all ENTRANCE FEES to NATIONAL PARKS and OTHER SITES.

Does Not Include: ROUND-TRIP INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE to Australia; AUSTRALIAN VISA (ETA); GRATUITIES and PERSONAL ITEMS.

Note: Australian Visas (ETA) can be obtained along with your international airline tickets through Rainforest and Reef or on-line at: http://www.eta.immi.gov.au.
INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE: Rainforest and Reef uses consolidators/wholesalers for all of our GROUP and INDIVIDUAL airfares. We are therefore able to offer the LOWEST RATES available. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

ITINERARY:

MEAL CODES: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner

Notes: On the MEDICAL INFORMATION FORM that you will be receiving shortly after registration, please make us aware of any special meal requests and/or dietary restrictions….vegan, vegetarian, etc., that you or members of your group may have. We will be pleased to fulfill your requests/needs.

Meals at Lizard Island are “self-catered”. Field Course Staff prepare menus and order all ingredients. Each meal includes two main responsibilities for participants-setup and cleanup. Field Course Staff provide comprehensive preparation and cooking instructions for each meal, detailing amounts of ingredients and cooking methods. Staff members are also on-hand to assist with preparation and cooking.

DAY 1 LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO. Following your arrival in Los Angeles/San Francisco, we will connect with our regularly scheduled flight to Australia. D

Note: Because of the flight departure time from Los Angeles/San Francisco, length of the flight to Australia and crossing of the International Date Line, ADD TWO DAYS to your arrival date (example: a group departing on Jun 19 will arrive Australia Jun 21). On your return, you will arrive in the U.S. on the same date that you depart Australia.



DAY 2 ARRIVAL CAIRNS-CHARTER-FLIGHT LIZARD ISLAND-FIELD COURSE ORIENTATION
. Following our arrival in Cairns, Australia, we will be met by Australia A Field Course Staff and take a charter-flight over the Great Barrier Reef to Lizard Island. Here, we settle-in at the Lizard Island Research Station. Later this afternoon, our group will have an orientation session to the marine portion of our Australia A Field Course and the Research Station. This will be followed by an introduction to snorkeling off the pure white sands of Research Beach. Dinner and overnight Lizard Island. B L D

Notes: You will be met outside of Immigration and Customs by Rainforest and Reef Staff. They will be holding a sign that says:

Based on availability, Orpheus Island Research Station may be used instead of Lizard Island for the “marine component” of our Australia A Field Course.

3mm shortie wetsuits are available to participants on-site. We recommend that Field Course participants bring their own 5mm full-body wetsuits for the highest quality snorkeling experience and to insure best fit. Snorkeling gear, including mask, snorkel and fins are provided. Proper fit can’t be guaranteed and it is recommended that you bring your own.

DAY 3 SNORKEL WATSON’S BAY-REEF FISH IDENTIFICATION-DISCUSS MAJOR FISH GROUPS of the GREAT BARRIER REEF and FISH SAMPLING TECHNIQUES-SNORKEL HORSESHOE PATCH REEF. Following an early breakfast, we will depart for nearby Watson’s Bay. Our group will focus on the identification of reef fish during our morning snorkel here. We will return to Lizard Island for lunch and a discussion of The Major Fish Families Found on the Great Barrier Reef. Various fish sampling techniques used by Researchers will also be covered. This afternoon, our group will depart for Horseshoe Patch Reef. This reef has been specially protected from the coral eating “Crowns-of-Thorns Starfish”, so we will observe a particularly luxuriant hard coral community and large schools of reef fishes. In the late afternoon, participants will return to Lizard Island for dinner and overnight. B L D



DAY 4 SNORKEL WATSON’S BAY-FISH DENSITY and FEEDING BEHAVIOR-DISCUSS BIOLOGY of REEF FISHES-SNORKEL CLAM GARDENS
. After breakfast, participants will again depart for Watson’s Bay. Our goal this morning, will be to observe fish feeding behavior and also attempt to measure density of local fish populations. We will return to Lizard Island for lunch and a discussion of The Biology of Reef Fishes. After lunch, our group will visit the nearby “Clam Gardens”, which hosts one of the highest natural densities of “giant clams” anywhere on the Great Barrier Reef. These huge bi-valves, which may live to be 50 years old and grow to over 5 feet in diameter, are endangered in most of their former range. There are literally hundreds of these giant mollusks found here. In the late afternoon, we will return to Lizard Island for dinner and overnight. B L D

DAY 5 SNORKEL TURTLE BEACH/AGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR in REEF FISH-DISCUSS IDENTIFICATION of HARD, SOFT CORALS and OTHER INVERTEBRATES-SNORKEL BLUE LAGOON. Early this morning, we will depart for Turtle Beach. Our morning snorkel will focus on the aggressive behavior of herbivorous reef fishes and the patterns of zonation in the local coral community. Participants will return to Lizard Island for lunch and a mid-day discussion on The Identification of Coral Species and Other Invertebrates that make-up the Great Barrier Reef. This afternoon, we will travel to Lizard Island's Blue Lagoon. Here, our group will observe the spectacular reef-flat coral community and snorkel with two resident (and harmless) white-tip reef sharks. In the late afternoon, we will return to Lizard Island for dinner and overnight. B L D



DAY 6 SNORKEL VIKI’S REEF-DISCUSS BIOLOGY of CORALS-SNORKEL PALFREY HOLE-EXPLORATION of GHOST BEACH on PALFREY ISLAND
. Following breakfast, our group will depart for Viki’s Reef. This location will give us a good opportunity to observe Sea Turtles and possibly Manta Rays, while snorkeling. We will return to Lizard Island for lunch and a discussion on The Biology of Corals. Following lunch, participants will depart for and snorkel Palfrey Hole. Spectacular staghorn coral formations line the reef crest in this area. We may also encounter “giant humphead parrot-fish” (~200 lbs.) at this site. There will also be time to go ashore on Palfrey Island to hike and explore deserted Ghost Beach. In the late afternoon, our group will return to Lizard Island for dinner and overnight. B L D

DAY 7 SNORKEL CRAYFISH WALL-DISCUSS PHYSICAL CHARACTERSTICS and GEOMORPHOLOGY of the GREAT BARRIER REEF-SNORKEL NORTH POINT and MERMAID COVE-HIKE LIZARD ISLAND MOUNTAIN-EVENING WRAP-UP SESSION-BEACH BARBECUE. After breakfast this morning, participants will depart for Crayfish Wall. Snorkeling here should give us a good look at Wrasses and Reef Sharks. We will return to Lizard Island for lunch and a discussion on The Physical Characteristics of the Great Barrier Reef. This afternoon, we will snorkel North Point and Mermaid Cove. Here, we will observe spectacular coral walls that plummet into deep water. Late in the afternoon, participants will return to Watson's Bay and hike Lizard Island Mountain to Captain Cook’s Look, the point where the famous Captain plotted his course out of the Great Barrier Reef and back to open-water in 1788. Tonight, we will have a wrap-up session on the marine portion of our Australia Field Course, followed by a beach barbecue. Overnight Lizard Island. B L D

DAY 8 CAIRNS-MUNGALLI CREEK RAINFOREST VILLAGE-DISCUSS AUSTRALIA’S WET TROPICS-RAINFOREST HIKE-DISCUSS PLANTS and ANIMALS of the WET TROPICS. Following breakfast, our group will pack up, say farewells to Lizard Island Field Course Staff and depart for Cairns by charter-flight. Upon arrival, we will transfer to Mungalli Creek Rainforest Village in the Atherton Tablelands. Following lunch, there will be a brief introduction to Australia’s Wet Tropics by our Australia Terrestrial Staff. The afternoon will be spent hiking in the rainforest near Mungalli Creek Rainforest Village. Our group will then return to Mungalli Creek for dinner. This evening there will be a discussion on the Plants and Animals of the Wet Tropics of Australia. Overnight Mungalli Creek. B D

DAY 9 RAINFOREST HIKE-IDENTIFICATION of RAINFOREST TYPES-DISCUSS BIODIVERSITY in the WET TROPICS-HIKE to LAKE BARRINE and LAKE EACHAM CRATER LAKES-OBSERVATION of NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. Early this morning, we will hike along the Beatrice River Trail. Participants will observe various rainforest types found in the region. Following lunch, we will discuss Determinants of Biodiversity in the Wet Tropics of Australia. This afternoon, our group will hike to beautiful Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham Crater Lakes. We will then return to Mungalli Creek for dinner, followed by an evening hike to Mt. Hypipamee. Here, our group hopes to spot arboreal mammals and other nocturnal wildlife. Overnight Mungalli Creek. B L D

DAY 10 BIRDING-BIRD CENSUS TECHNIQUES-REPTILES-REPTILE CENSUS TECHNIQUES-DISCUSS ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES in the WET TROPICS-HIKE WATERFALL CIRCUIT-FROGGING-FROG CENSUS TECHNIQUES. After breakfast this morning, we will hike looking and listening for birds found in the region. Participants will also be on the lookout for amphibians and reptiles found here. Census techniques for both will also be discussed and observed. After lunch at Mungalli Creek, we will discuss Various Ecological Processes in the Wet Tropics of Australia. This afternoon will be spent hiking the “waterfall circuit” that includes Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls and Elinjaa Falls. Late this afternoon, participants will return to Mungalli Creek for dinner. This evening, we will go frogging and discuss various frog census techniques. Overnight Mungalli Creek. B L D

DAY 11 OBSERVATION of PLATYPUS-HIKE TO PALMERSTON or BARTLE FRERE NATIONAL PARK-DISCUSS MANAGEMENT ISSUES of the WET TROPICS. At sunrise today, our group will hike to a nearby lake and observe the platypus, one of many unique animals found in Australia. Following breakfast at Mungalli Creek, we will do an all-day hike to Nandroya Falls and Palmerston National Park or Josephine Falls and Broken Nose in Bartle Frere National Park. Late in the afternoon, we will return to Mungalli Creek for dinner. This evening, there will be a discussion on Land Management Issues of the Wet Tropics in Australia. Overnight Mungalli Creek. B L D

DAY 12 MUNGALLI CREEK RAINFOREST VILLAGE-UNDARA-SUNSET HIKE. UNDARA SAVANNAH-SUNSET HIKE-BARKER’S TUBE BAT EMERGENCE. Early this morning, participants will travel west through the beautiful Atherton Tablelands to tropical north Queensland's Outback region, known as the Gulf Savannah. Following our arrival at the Undara Lava Lodge, we will have lunch and then go for a bush-walk on one of the many local trails. There will also be some time to relax by the Lava Lodge pool. Late this afternoon, participants will join our Savannah Guide for a magnificent sunset hike, where the savannah life-zone found in this region, along with its flora and fauna will be discussed. We will hope for a magnificent sunset, as the sun descends behind the rugged Newcastle Mountain Range. After dinner and as dusk settles, our group will drive to the entrance of Barker's Tube and witness the amazing bat emergence as literally thousands of small bats leave to feed for the night. Due to breeding season fluctuations, the bat emergence is most prolific from mid-October to mid-March. Overnight at Swags Tent Village. B L D

DAY 13 UNDARA LAVA TUBES-CAIRNS. Following an early breakfast at the Ringers Camp, we will join our Savannah Guide for a half-day lava tube tour. The Undara Lava Tubes were formed some 190,000 years ago when a major crater in the McBride Volcanic Province erupted, its molten lava then flowed down a dry river bed. As the top layer quickly cooled and crusted, the fiery magma below continued to flow through the tubes taking it further and further from the crater. As the eruption slowed, and then stopped, the lava drained out of the tubes leaving a series of long, hollow tunnels. Ancient roof collapses created deep, dark and moist depressions, where fertile pockets of rainforest can now be seen. Rainforest plants and animals thrive in this environment, where each tube offers an insight into this rare geological wonder. The word "Undara" is an Aboriginal word meaning "a long way", and one of the lava flows from Undara extends for 100 miles, making it the longest lava flow from a single crater on Earth. Late this afternoon, participants will return to Cairns for dinner and overnight. B D

DAY 14 CAIRNS-FAREWELL DINNER. Today will be spent at leisure in Cairns. This evening, we will have our “Farewell Dinner” and overnight Cairns. B L

DAY 15 DEPARTURE. After an early breakfast and farewells to our Australia A Field Course Staff, you will be transferred to the airport in Cairns for your return flight home. B

DAY 16 ARRIVE LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO. Following our mid-day arrival in Los Angeles/San Francisco group members will board their connecting flight for home.

Note: Due to weather conditions and circumstances beyond the control of Field Course Staff, certain activities may be changed or done on different days in the best interest of the group.

 
 


Rainforest and Reef

"Outstanding-Affordable Field Courses in Rainforest & Marine Ecology"

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Grand Rapids, Michigan 49514-1543 USA
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