As you may remember, Becky's going to Australia this summer. So I thought I'd give you a glimpse into their itinerary - Slow Travel, it is not.
2008 Schedule of Activities
Depart for Sydney, Australia - greet your fellow Ambassadors in your departure city before boarding your international flight to Sydney, Australia.
En route to Sydney, Australia - lose a day as you cross the International Date Line en route to Sydney, Australia.
Thursday - Sydney, Australia
- Meet your Delegation Manager upon arrival at Sydney Airport.
- Welcome to Sydney, Australia! The largest city in Australia and the capital of New South Wales, Sydney is uniquely set on the natural harbor of Port Jackson.
- Visit the Sydney Aquatic Centre and ANZ Stadium at the site of the 2000 Summer Olympics.
- Go beneath the sea at the Sydney Aquarium for a chance to discover fascinating marine life.
- You will have an opportunity to take a swim at the Aquatic Centre so make sure you have your swimmers and towel in your carry on luggage.
- May we suggest comfortable walking shoes for your time in Sydney?
Friday - Sydney, Australia
- Learn about Australia’s national gemstone, the opal, during a cutting and polishing demonstration at an opal establishment.
- Cruise Sydney Harbor, see the city’s highlights, and learn about its amazing history.
- Experience the history of Hyde Park Barracks, and discover what life was like for the convicts sent to Australia.
- Enjoy a guided orientation of the majestic Sydney Opera House complex.
- Tonight dine at a Sydney restaurant overlooking the famous Darling Harbour.
Saturday - Vision Valley, Australia
- Participate in fun, interactive and challenging workshops designed to help develop leadership skills, set personal goals, and step outside your comfort zone.
- For your “Full On” experience, please be sure to bring a warm hat, gloves, clothes for layering, and a medium weight coat that is water-resistant.
Sunday - Canberra, Australia
- This morning, say goodbye to New South Wales and head to Canberra.
- Canberra was selected as the capital of Australia in 1908 because it was diplomatically situated between archrivals Sydney and Melbourne.
- Take an interactive tour of the Australian Institute of Sport, Australia’s training ground for elite athletes.
- Eat lunch in the athlete’s dining room.
- Go behind the scenes of Australia’s New Parliament House and learn more about Australia’s system of government and political history.
Monday - Canberra and Head to Darwin, Australia
- Discover the suburb of Yarralumla which houses the many embassies and consulates. Be sure to keep your eye out for the American embassy.
- See how Australia has participated in armed conflicts all over the world at the Australian War Memorial.
- Enjoy lunch at Gold Creek Station, a highly noted pastoral property just outside Canberra.
- Head back to Sydney to board your flight for Darwin, in the Northern Territory.
Tuesday - Darwin, Australia
- Orientate yourself with the city of Darwin.
- Find out about the government of the Northern Territory.
- Have a close encounter with a crocodile at Crocodylus Park and try to spot crocodiles lurking in the murky waters.
- Explore the Northern Territory Museum and keep your eye out for “Sweetheart”.
- Take a drive through East Point Reserve to discover both the history of the area and Australia’s military role during WWII.
Wednesday - Kakadu National Park, Australia
- Discover the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre to spot water buffaloes and learn about the management and preservation of the environment.
- Explore Kakadu National Park, world heritage listed and jointly managed by its traditional Aboriginal owners and Director of National Parks. You may recognize some of its landscape from the movie Crocodile Dundee.
- Take a scenic cruise on the East Alligator River on the border of Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land. Arnhem Land is one of the largest Aboriginal Reserves in Australia and is perhaps best known for its remoteness, its art, and the strong continuing traditions of its Indigenous inhabitants.
- Watch sunset from Ubirr Rock for an amazing view across the wetlands and escarpments
- Keep your eye out at sunset for kangaroos and other Australian wildlife
Thursday - Katherine, Australia
- Journey to Nourlangie Rock, home of Namargon, who is better known as Lightning Man
- Look for ancient rock art painted by the Aboriginal people 20,000 years ago
- Discover Edith Falls, traditional known as Leliyn, and if time permits take a swim.
Friday - Katherine, Australia
- Head to Manyallaluk, home to the Jawoyn people, and learn more about Bushtucker and traditional bush medicines from your Aboriginal guides.
- Interact with the local aboriginal people by learning how to throw a boomerang.
Saturday - Darwin, Australia
- See the beautiful, cascading waterfalls and the giant, magnetic termite mounds at Litchfield National Park.
- Take a swim at the picturesque Wangi Falls (at your leader’s discretion).
- Return to Darwin this evening to prepare for you early flight to Cairns
Sunday - Home Stay – Cairns, Australia
- Bid farewell to Darwin and catch your flight to Cairns, North Queensland.
- Cairns is a coastal cosmopolitan city is nestled in northern Queensland amid two of Australia’s most treasured World Heritage destinations, the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. A committee chooses World Heritage sites from several nominated locations all over the world, which represent a significant “cultural or natural heritage”.
- Tonight, meet your home stay family and stay with them for two nights.
- Be sure to bring your pictures of friends and family back home, as your host family will enjoy seeing them.
Monday Home Stay – Cairns, Australia
- Your home stay continues with a chance to experience everyday life in Australia and meet the locals.
- This is your opportunity to make lifelong friends.
- Remember to thank your home stay family as this will be your last night with them.
Tuesday - Cairns, Australia
- Don’t forget to exchange address information so you can keep in touch!
- Bid farewell to your home stay family.
- Gain an understanding of the Royal Flying Doctors Service. They are the life line for medical assistance for many Australian families that live in the remote Outback.
- Ride through the rainforest in a World War II amphibious vehicle, an Army Duck, which can traverse land and water.
- Encounter Australia’s unique fauna, such as koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles, and wombats at a wildlife sanctuary.
- Have your photo taken with a koala.
- Participate in a bush dance.
- Don't forget to pack your day bag for tomorrow with sunscreen, sun hat, swimsuit
and towel. An underwater camera will capture those magical moments on the Reef!
Wednesday - Cairns, Australia
- Cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef across pristine waters.
- Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and see brightly colored tropical fish, giant clams and different types of soft and hard coral.
- Any questions that may arise out of your exploration of the Reef, take to the Marine Biologist that joins your delegation for this experience.
Thursday - Cairns, Australia
- Spend the morning learning to be a river guide on the Mulgrave River
- Stroll along the Esplanade in Cairns and maybe take a swim in the lagoon
- Dine at a restaurant in Cairns
- Peruse the local Cairns night markets for a last minute Australian memento to take home with you.
- After packing your suitcase for the last time, make sure you have everything you need for the flight, in your carry-on.
Friday - Depart for the U.S.
- Board the coach to the airport for your return flight to the United States.