Australia, New Zealand, Fiji #hayes #travel

#student travel australia


    Spot red kangaroos and thorny devils as you explore the rugged Australian outback.
    Become a part of the crew as you sail among the tropical Whitsunday Islands.
    Participate in a traditional haka dance and learn about its significance to the Maori people of New Zealand.
    Observe sea turtles and giant clams up close as you scuba or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.
    Ski the light powder snow of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
  • Participate in a traditional Fijian kava kava ceremony with our local hosts.


Adventure Down Under

This high school summer travel program to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji combines outdoor adventure — snorkeling, sailing, skiing, and camping under the stars in the outback — with cultural exploration — living in rural New Zealand and lending a hand on a sheep farm, strolling the streets of cosmopolitan Sydney, hearing myths told by Aboriginal guides, as guests in a Maori village, and joining a Fijian ceremonial meal. In the course of just five weeks you can meet a wallaby, swim in turquoise water off a deserted South Pacific beach, take the wheel of your sailboat as you cruise along the Great Barrier Reef, visit the Sydney Opera House, milk a cow, learn to the rules of rugby with Kiwi friends, and lay down fresh tracks in Southern Hemisphere powder.

Local Experts

With over 30 years of experience running programs ‘Down Under’, we rely on the on-the-ground knowledge of Putney’s longtime contacts, who insure that you travel as an insider. From Aboriginal guides in the outback, experts in the natural and cultural history of the region, to our native Kiwi hosts, who introduce us to life on a sheep farm as well as the ski fields of the Southern Alps, to our hosts in a small Fijian village, Putney’s contacts grant us unique exposure to the places we visit.

I can honestly classify this program as the most pivotal month of my life. I am coming away from this trip with a host of wonderful experiences that have taught me to be a more understanding, capable, and independent person.

— Elizabeth C. Brentwood High School, Brentwood, TN

Homestay Experience

Midway through the program, spend five days living with a Kiwi host family in the South Island’s sheep and dairy farming region.  This is an unusual and fascinating opportunity to participate in life in rural New Zealand while getting to know a local family. Help out with household and farm chores like cooking and sheep-shearing, and join the family on an outing to a rugby game, to spectacular geological sites such as the Moeraki Boulders, or to a traditional Maori hangi. a cultural performance and feast.

Final Adventure

After extended stays in Australia and New Zealand, we enjoy five days visiting the island paradise of Fiji, staying at a rustic eco-lodge. It is an ideal place to relax, defrost from the Southern Hemisphere winter, and reflect on the adventures we have experienced together as a group.


Accommodations range from small family-run inns to campsites in the Australian bush, and berths on a sailing yacht to refuges high in snow country. We form cooking and cleaning crews for the skiing and bush portions of the itinerary. We eat most other meals at restaurants, as picnic lunches, or in the homes of our Kiwi, Aussie, and Fijian friends.

Physical Challenge Level

Our programs are active. Days are filled with movement — snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, walking the streets of Sydney, or snowboarding on Mt. Cook are all activities you might participate in during this program. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

What to Expect

This is a physically active program. You should be enthusiastic about outdoor exploration and varied daily activities. Experience in skiing is not required. Beginners can take lessons and enjoy the range of terrain available. If you are scuba-registered, you will have an opportunity to take multiple dives in Australia and Fiji. You must be willing to contribute to the daily chores that are part of living cooperatively both with the group and in your homestay.

At Putney we take pride in our reputation for careful, thorough planning and attention to detail. The descriptions of our high school summer travel programs are based on our experiences in previous summers and our plans for this summer. It is inevitable that some things described here will not happen exactly as presented. To get the most out of the Putney experience, participants need to be flexible in responding to unforeseen situations, and creative in taking advantage of unexpected opportunities. We expect Putney participants to share responsibility for the success of their experience. Rules that provide a safe and structured environment, set curfews, and prohibit the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco are in place and enforced. We expect you to behave in a mature and productive way at all times.

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