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Road Trip + Conservation


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Discover Australia

A backpacker favourite.

Australia is an island continent and the world's sixth largest country with over 23 million people. It is, quite simply, vast – with different climates and landscapes from top to bottom, east to west – so be prepared to pack your woollies, bikinis and skis.

Australia's first inhabitants were of course the Aboriginal people who migrated here over 50,000 years ago, living peacefully before Captain Cook arrived in 1770 to rock their world and put Australia well and truly on the world map. It has never lost it's appeal and pulls travellers down to the other side of world, time and time again to discover it's magic.

Being 'down under' and so very big, Australia needs time and an adventurous spirit to get the best out it, so the gap year is perfect time of life as the Gapper has both on their side. Working your way around Oz is a great way to tackle the travel itinerary and we can help with our 'work assistance package' to get you organised. Coupled with an East coast road trip and conservation projects in Cape Tribulation - frankly what else do you need?

Venture to Oz for our unique 'East Coast Road Trip' from Sydney to Cape Tribulation which combines all the great sights from Frazer Island to Noosa with 2 weeks of wildlife conservation in Cairns for an action-packed adventure.

Program Itinerary

This unique 7 week road trip is a great tour of the East coast - combining everything (and more) that you have heard of and dreamt of seeing with wildlife conservation. A super helpful job assistance package is also available if you are planning to stay on and work in Oz.

The following is a sample itinerary.



Welcome to Australia

Nothing quite prepares you for your first glimpse of Sydney harbour and the famous Opera House in all its glistening glory on the waters edge, the word 'magnificent' springs to mind.

Sydney is the perfect gateway into the remarkable country - to find your feet, get over your jet lag and learn the local lingo - trust us, it is so close, yet so different.


You will be based in a funky hostel right in the centre of town. Expect 4 to 6 volunteers per room.


Meals are not included. You will eat out in a cafe or restaurant. Loads to choose from covering all budgets.

Wk 1

Bondi to Blue Mountains Settle in and Explore

From Bondi to the Blue Mountains

Your first week will be spent getting to know your team while exploring the best of Sydney and the surrounding mountains. Highlights will include:

The Harbour
You'll explore Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the Botanic Gardens on a guided walking tour. After which you will be treated to a Sydney Harbour Cruise to check out Darling Harbour, Fort Dennison and Watson’s Bay. Camera at the ready.

The famous Bondi to Coogee beach walk
We all know Bondi Beach and we promise it won't disappoint. You must have a swim in the famous Iceberg pool before heading out on the Bondi to Coogee beach walk. Starting off at Bondi, you’ll stroll over six beaches, multiple coves and rock pools, whilst gazing over Sydney’s most spectacular views of the Tasman Sea. Heaven.

Blue Mountains
Literally on the outskirts of this city are the Blue Mountains where you will be able to see your kangaroo and Koala, spectacular scenery, an abundance of Aboriginal history and the chance to ride the steepest railway in the world.


East Coast Road Trip

Let the Road Trip Begin

Having seen all the sites of Sydney and the surrounding mountains it's time to head off up the East coast all the way to Cape Tribulation. An amazing journey will unfold as you cross vast distances and different climates, reaching the rainforest at the very top.

You will be travelling as a team on 'hop on, hop off buses'. You will meet other fellow travellers and have independent flexibility to explore in each place.


Lively hostels at each location. Most hostels have WiFi access, shared bathrooms, laundry facilities and communal areas. You’ll be in single sex, dorm style rooms sharing between 4-6 people.


Meals are not included. You will eat out at a café or restaurant - loads to choose from, covering all budgets.

Wks 2 - 3

Sydney to Brisbane Travelling and Exploring

All the way to Brisbane

Byron Bay
First stop is the popular backpacker hang-out of Byron Bay, offering gorgeous beaches and some of the greatest surf breaks in the world. During your stay, you will have the chance to take a surf lesson, mountain bike to the lighthouse and sample the world famous “Bay Kebabs”.

The Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is a region famed for its long sandy beaches and elaborate system of inland canals and waterways. This spot is just too good to miss, so you’ll stop here long enough to appreciate a tough choice of epic beaches such as the Burleigh Heads, Surfer’s Paradise or Coolangatta.

The hip capital of Queensland, buzzing with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. A great place for a party.

Wk 4

Brisbane to Cairns Travelling and Exploring

The Best of Queensland

Leaving Brisbane behind, you’ll continue deeper into Queensland, stopping off at:

Noosa Beach
A beautiful beach town and Noosa National Park - a luscious, green peninsula made up of crystalline beaches, tropical rainforests and a perfect place to spot koalas.

Fraser Island
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world with rain forests, mangroves, sand dunes and over 100 freshwater lakes. It is also one of the few places in the world where you find dingoes in their natural habitat. Here you will take a 3 day tour so you can experience everything the island has to offer.

Airlie Beach & Whitsundays Sailing
Airlie Beach is a super social and lively place with restaurants, clubs and bars to party well into the night, plus a beautiful swimming lagoon set in the parkland overlooking the islands. It’s also the access point for your overnight sailing adventure around the amazing Whitsunday islands. During your time you’ll also have a BBQ on Whitehaven beach, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island is your chance to experience a truly paradise lifestyle. The hostel is located right on the beach, where you can chill out in the sun by day and groove to the tunes by night. Spend your days as you choose; whether you want to relax on the beach, or try something more adventurous like diving, your options are endless.

Known as the gateway to both Australia’s tropical north and the Great Barrier Reef, it’s a hip place to stay with a vibrant nightlife. Here you’ll visit the cascading waterfalls at Atherton Tablelands, Crawford’s Lookout and Josephine Falls before swimming in Lake Eacham.

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling
The largest barrier reef in the world. We have organised a day trip here to take you sailing to two unique destinations on the Great Barrier Reef, to see the best coral and marine life in the world.

Wks 5 - 6

Northern Queensland Conservation Projects

Koala's to Wombats

For the next two weeks, it’s time to give something back to this incredible environment. We work with a number of different conservation partners in Northern Queensland, both government-supported and local NGOs who will welcome your help on the following projects:

Community Conservation: Caring for nature together

This program focuses on giving local communities a helping hand to protect their own patches of nature, especially around the coast, and wetlands which are important reservoirs for nature.

Living Heritage: remembering and conserving our past for a better future

The Living Heritage project celebrates indigenous and non-indigenous heritage by providing assistance to communities who wish to preserve, strengthen and conserve various aspects of important traditions and places.

Disaster Recovery: Building resilient communities

The disaster recovery program supports communities with rapid response teams of volunteers, providing essential assistance in the days and weeks following major disasters and extreme weather events. Fires, floods, earthquakes, cyclones, oil spills, and marine mammal strandings – all require compassionate yet practical responses, and the recovery program provides exactly that.

The exact project you’ll volunteer on will depend on when you go, weather conditions, seasonal differences and conservation priorities at the time.


Depends on the exact project but expect to stay in a mix of volunteer houses, caravans or tents (provided).


3 meals a day included.

Wk 7

Cape Tribulation Adventure Activities

Reef Meets Forest

Your final week of this great road trip will take you to the very Northern region of Australia, an incredible eco paradise where the reef meets the rainforest in stunning fashion. It's hot, steamy but utterly stunning and the place for adventure - you name it, you can do it. Here is just a few of the things going on:

Horse riding along the beach.
Zip lining across the rainforest canopy.
4WD tours and hiking through the rainforest.
Ocean safaris.
Sea kayaking.
Swimming holes.

Final Night in Cairns
You'll head back to Cairns for your final night, before heading home or beyond.



Optional Job Assistance

Job Assistance Package

If you’re planning to stay on in Australia, then why not add on our Job Assistance package, which includes:

12 month membership to the leading job search database
You will receive priority access to thousands of job offers all over Australia. Your leader will explain how to find work, receive email alerts on new jobs as they become available and apply using an online CV.

CV review and interview service
An impressive CV and a confident interview performance are essential for finding work in Australia. Your leader will provide CV advice and interview techniques to help you clinch the jobs you want.

RSA course
The Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course is essential if you’re looking to work in the hospitality industry in Australia. It’s an online course so you can do it in your own time.

Program Details & Costs

We have three departures for Australia throughout the year in January, March and October where you can go for either 4 or 7 weeks. The most popular is the all singing and dancing 7 week option where you can “do it all” but of course you can go for less time to accommodate your needs. Just get in touch.

Options and costs

Jan, March & Oct programs start on:

Whats included?

Dates Don't Suit?

Don't worry - we can work around this, just get in touch and we'll chat through options more suited to you.


Flights: £1100 (approx. depending on time of year and availability)

Spending money: £150 per week approx

Road Trip

You will travel from Sydney, all the way to Cape Tribulation, taking in all the different sights as you go.

Social Life

Guaranteed. You will be part of a tight team of like minded volunteers, who will be on your journey from start to finish.


Includes 2 weeks of conservation where you can contribute and make a difference.


From sailing, to a Frazer Island safari, to snorkeling in the great barrier reef, great adventures included.

Road Trip

Throughout the road trip from Sydney to Cairns you will have free time interwoven into any fixed plans so you can explore to your hearts content and make the most of the backpacker favourites available in each place.

Backpacker favourites:

  • Sydney Aquarium
  • Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • skydiving and hand-gliding
  • kayaking with dolphins
  • river cruises
  • visit the koala sanctuary
  • Australia Zoo

Conservation Projects

During these 2 weeks you will be expected to work for about 6-8 hours per day, Monday to Friday. Weekends and evenings free to explore.

We work with a number of different conservation partners in Northern Queensland, both government-supported and local NGOs who will welcome your help on their projects which solely exist with the aid of donations and volunteer labour. Every team will work in a different place as the projects are seasonal and ever evolving.

Mount Whitfield Conservation Park

Most recently the teams have been helping the Mount Whitfield Conservation Park just outside Cairns where they have been working on track maintenance and with the saltwater creek tree planting. This park is a vital resource for the area which continues to find sustainable ways for tourists to appreciate the natural wonders of the tropical north.

Leaper's Highlights

Farming and Teaching in the Karina Community Aela Morris

This morning, breakfast was at 12:30. That's what happens when you leave teenagers to fend for themselves for food. Only joking! This morning, we decided to forego the cold hostel breakfast to make our own breakfast of eggs, toast, sausage, and bacon, which was a nice break from the more traditional Peruvian food that we have been eating during our time on the Karina project. We’ve now completed a week and a half of the project, and it's been a big learning experience. On the farm where we have been staying, they produce almost all of the food that they eat including potatoes and quinoa, which we have been helping to harvest, as it is currently Fall in Peru. Our other jobs on the farm have included taking the sheep up into the hills to graze and moving the livestock to their pens at night.

We also got the opportunity to do some teaching this week. I taught English to 12 and 13 year olds. The teaching has been a bit of a challenge as the school has no English curriculum or certified English teachers, but hopefully what we have been teaching them (basic conversation, parts of the body, and numbers) has been useful. I have also been able to practice my Spanish a lot, as well as learning some words in Aymara, which is an indigenous language spoken by many people there.

At night, we spend our time playing soccer and basketball with Will, our host family’s son. Soccer really is a universal language. You start kicking a ball around and suddenly a dozen people who speak all different languages are all doing the same thing together. And then we all run home because its stormed basically every night this week. Believe me, you have not heard thunder this loud in all your life. All in all, this week has been very physically challenging, but at the same time very rewarding. We have about 4 more days left in Karina and then it's on to Cusco.

Week 1 - Exploring, Surfing and Watching Sunsets Hamish Catto

Melbourne. LA. San Jose. Santa Teresa. After 48hrs of travelling I finally arrived at Jakera to be greeted by the thick Scottish accent of Chris, who runs this jungle paradise. Next comes the introduction to my group, which played out not too dissimilar to that scene in The Sound of Music. First the three Dutchmen Gab, Max and Kaspar; then Lorenzo (who I’m assured is a brilliant musician) from Torino; and finally Ben, my fellow Brit. Beforehand I had been worried about whether I would get along with the people in my group but that fear soon subsided when the comforting call of “So, would you like a beer?” rang through my ears. The group was now whole, and felt like it.

Surf Week. Maykol, Chris’ son and our group leader, took us through what this would constitute; following breakfast we would have 2hrs of Spanish at Jakera under the sun-drenched forest canopy then after lunch we would have 2hrs of surf lessons on the pristine Playa Hermosa. Well, the description did not disappoint. After 5yrs of Spanish lessons I still struggle to make it past ‘Hola’, but our teacher Dani had us all actively attacking the language and having fun whilst doing it. The afternoon surfing was enjoyed by all, and as the week went on we saw everyone standing up (however some were more proficient than others…). This intro has left us all with an urge to continue the search for waves beyond the lessons.

On Wednesday our surfing afternoon was replaced by a ‘hike’. So whilst memories of bleak D of E drudgery flickered in my mind, we were all pleasantly surprised to find out that a Tico ‘hike’ actually consisted of a leisurely stroll down the beach to some rock pools. Furthermore, we were accompanied by some new little local friends whom would be the beneficiaries of our trip. Fair to say they loved the experience. So whilst they splashed about in the rock pool we all sat and appreciated the beauty of a fiery red Costa Rican sunset.

Getting to the Heart of the Rural Community in Mentu Ellie Walton

So it’s the first week of our south eastern adventure. First port of call: Kuching. After a long commute to the island from different parts of the world, we all came together in the city where we were able to get to know one another from the leap group.

On our way we stopped off at semengoh wildlife centre, where came face to face with Borneo’s most endangered yet treasured species: the orangutan.

Two hours and one extremely bumpy road later, we arrived at our home for the next ten days. We received nothing less than the warmest of welcomes from “Aunty” and her family. Malaysian culture treats every visitor as a guest by which they care for like they would a relative or close friend. From start to finish, we’ve felt right at home, despite the contrast in cultural context. Before we started the working week, Seth took us down to a local river which was also a destination of leisure and relaxation for locals.

The community project for the leapers this time around was to complete a concrete path to enable villagers to walk with ease and safety over the water drainage systems which we also helped to finish. Not bad for first timers!

To finish off a hard working week, we had a fulfilled weekend. We trekked to a local waterfall in the nearby jungle, had tucked into several BBQs. A personal highlight was the traditional dancing and music with some of the local villagers. Despite the struggle of keeping up with the villagers, it was really insightful and enjoyable to see more of Malaysian culture from a local perspective. This was invaluable, I can speak for all of us when I say it is something that we wouldn’t have been able to do had we not stayed with a local family right in the centre of such a rural community.

That’s it for now from your April 2018 Leapers

"​Amazing, emotional and I would do it all again "

Communication was very good before and during the trip, it was nice to know that the leap would reply quickly plus I felt very safe, the 24/7 security relaxed and settled me in. Stella matias and jimmy were amazing, they made my trip!

The programmes and schools we visited were life changing and made me appreciate what I have. The fact that we actually made a difference by raising money for an orphanage to build a well is so exciting and rewarding! And the relationships I made with the children and the other leapers I will never forget.

- Bethany

"​I highly recommend first time travellers to use the Leap"

The trip to Madagascar is incredible as you get to experience such a diverse, beautiful island. The locals are super friendly and life on camp is great as you start to feel like a family. As the leap is one of three volunteering schemes on the same camp it’s easy to make lots of friends. Scuba diving was the most amazing experience.

Teaching was very very rewarding and made it easier to make friends with the local community. As I was ill whilst out there I can honestly say that The Leap was definitely worth the price as I was cared for very well and had someone come to hospital with me and translate everything as well as being very kind and caring. Overall, Madagascar was an amazing trip and I will definitely go back.

- Lucy Newman

"Loved every minute"

- Allie

"Incredible experience"

I wanted to say a huge thank you to you and your team !

Ava returned yesterday via Peru and had such an incredible experience in Ecuador. It was all very well organised and the people were amazing .I am still to hear more.

- Amanda Howard

"An unforgettable experience"

I received so much support and positive energy from the team at The Leap; nothing was too much trouble, and contact was maintained by e-mail while I was in Nepal. I started to teach within a couple of days of my arrival, supporting a member of staff. However, within a couple of days I was asked if I wanted to teach on my own. My core subjects were English and maths, but I taught basic hygiene too since there is a lack of understanding amongst the children about germs, hand washing and personal care.

If you want to give your time, skills and energy to a welcoming community, please contact The Leap and opt for a project in Nepal. Like me, you will have an unforgettable experience.

- Keith Donald

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