Gary Lewis, GEOetc, leads…..

Discover Australia 2021

A trip for STEM & Geography Teachers, students, and all geology enthusiasts.

Pre-service teachers and College Students are welcome on this trip.

 23 July – 2 August 2021

The current travel restrictions in Australia means that this trip will be postponed for 2021.  More details will be announced when they become available.

Explore the amazing and varied geology and landscapes of Australia on this 11 day exploration of a land ‘downunder’.   Visit Sydney’s wonderful geology and history, snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, visit the worlds oldest caves, go deep into the red center and see the amazing Uluru (Ayers Rock), see amazing coastlines and wildlife- this trip has it all!


This is the ‘must-do’ tour of Australia for teachers who want to experience the real Australia.   Led by an Australian geoscience educator, this tour aims to show you Australia through ‘geoscience’ eyes – but includes wildlife, history and culture.  There is time for educational discussions and exploring as well as guided tours of some of the most famous (and some amazing but unknown) sites. Friends/partners/family members are welcome to join the group.

What about the pandemic?

We want to keep everyone safe.  We will not run a trip if there was a risk that you would be hurt or injured in any way – including infectious diseases.   If travel restrictions are not lifted, trips will be postponed for 12 months.  If travel is allowed, we will be insisting that everyone wears masks and maintains social distancing.  If a vaccine is available, we will be asking people for proof they have been vaccinated.   If not, we will be asking participants to provide us proof of a recent negative COVID test before travel (details will be sent to you a few weeks before departure).   These are not unfair conditions – but ways that we can ensure everyone is safe.


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Day 1 – Arrive and meet in Sydney airport (morning flights)

On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.  Morning is your own time.  We will meet at 2 pm for orientation and meeting with the leaders.  Then we are off for a visit into the heart of Sydney to see icons (Harbour Bridge, Opera House) and some of the historic convict areas of the city.  This tour is led by our leader Gary – a native of Sydney.  It will not be a late day, so you have more time to recover from the flight. (Meals: None)

Day 2 – Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves

Travel from the city to historic Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. See the Three Sisters rock formation, Echo Point and Jamison Valley.  Continue to Jenolan Caves on the winding roadway reaching down into the deep valley, leading through an immense limestone tunnel and the Grand Arch.  Enjoy a guided inspection at Jenolan Caves and have lunch at the beautiful Jenolan Caves House (own expense).  Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 – Sydney Basin transect – a cross section of the Sydney Basin.

Drive south the Royal National Park to Stanwell Park.  Explore the Earth science of the escarpments, see engineering for landslide hazards, see natural resources (coal) and views over the city of Wollongong. Travel to Bombo/Kiama to see amazing lava flows and blowholes.  Drive to the base of the Sydney Basin.  Overnight in Batemans Bay area. Meals: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 4 – Drive to Canberra – Australia’s capital.  Tour of the city, parliament house and amazing geology of the area. See faulta, fossils and smell a mineral deposit.  Overnight in Canberra.  (Breakfast, dinner)

Day 5 – Fly to Cairns- Far North Queensland.  Tour of the Cairns area.  Evening to relax.

Day 6 – Great Barrier Reef Cruise

Cruise on a high-speed catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef. View the coral and fish from a semi-submersible vessel. Snorkeling gear is included (extra charge for scuba). Enjoy a reef education presentation on this natural living wonder and a delicious buffet lunch.   Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 7 – Cape Tribulation and Daintree 

Travel to the Cape Tribulation wilderness area and explore the rainforest and amazing landscapes. Cross the Daintree River and continue on to the Daintree Discovery Centre, where an expert guide will take you on a boardwalk whilst explaining some of the secrets of one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Continue on to Cape Tribulation Beach for a walk on the beach or boardwalk and then enjoy lunch in a tranquil rainforest setting. See panoramic views from Alexandra Lookout before re-crossing the river. Join a guided cruise on the Daintree River to see wildlife and plants before returning to your hotel.  Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 8 – Fly to  Uluru/Kata Tjuta

On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. At 2.30 pm you will travel to the mystical 36 domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). On the way, stop at a lookout for a panoramic view of the eastern side of Kata Tjuta. Continue on before arriving at the base of Walpa Gorge. Spend some time exploring the gorge and the unusual conglomerate rock formations. The walking trail through Walpa Gorge follows the natural creek between two of the tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. In the late afternoon, we travel to the Uluru sunset viewing area. Witness and photograph the striking color changes of Uluru at sunset whilst enjoying nibbles and a glass of wine. Meals: Breakfast, sunset nibbles & wine

Day 9 – Kings Canyon

Drive through sandhill country towards Kings Canyon, stopping for breakfast at Kings Creek Station (own expense) along the way. Continue on to Watarrka National Park where you can make the rocky climb with your Guide to the rim of Kings Canyon to be rewarded with marvelous views. The climb may take up to 3 hours and is for those with a good level of fitness. Alternatively, you may wish to explore the boulder-strewn canyon floor, an easier walk. After lunch (own expense) we make our way back to Ayers Rock Resort.

Day 10 – Uluru Sunrise and Base tour

Rise early this morning and travel to the Uluru sunrise viewing area to see the Red Centre set alight by the first rays of sun. Commence a base tour of Uluru. View Aboriginal rock paintings and learn about the flora, fauna and Aboriginal history.

Day 11 Fly back to Sydney.  The trip ends at the airport.

* subject to change at any time

Cost: $US 4,975 per person

(Includes all Australian transportation – vans, and flights, accommodation, many meals, entrances, tours, guides.  Does NOT included airfares to/from Sydney, Australia.  Shared rooms).

Perfect for people from around the world…..
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(Here are some ideas on how you can fund your trip)



Discover Australia – Geology and landforms. July 2021