Our Group Study Exchange experience will be March 22 through April 22, 2011. The time difference between Brisbane/Queensland is significant. Brisbane/Queensland is 14 hours ahead of Indianapolis.
Our basic itinerary is described below. Please note, the dates listed below are tentative.
When we arrive in Brisbane on March 24, we take a short flight to Longreach. We will tour Longreach from March 24-March 27.
On March 27, we will depart Longreach to visit Emerald. Emerald is named after “Emerald Downs Hill,” a lush emerald green hill located north of town. Emerald is the gateway to the Sapphire Gemfields, the largest and one of the richest sapphire fields in the southern hemisphere.
On March 28, we will travel to Moranbah. Moranbah is a thriving mining town with a population of 8,000. Peak Range National Park is located to the west of the town.
On March 30 we will arrive in Mackay. Mackay is located on the Pioneer River and is nicknamed the sugar capital of Australia because the region produces more than a third of Australia’s cane sugar.
On April 3, we will travel to Rockhampton. Rockhampton is known as the beef capital of Australia. The region offers access to subtropical rainforests and beaches. The climate is tropical and the region experiences, on average, 292 sunny days a year.
On April 7 we will arrive in Biloela. Biloela’s biggest attraction is THE SILO. Approximately 90 feet high, the SILO is not filled with grain, rather with an array of displays about the region’s primary industries: cotton, cattle, ostriches, and grain.
On April 8, we will travel from Biloela to Monto to have lunch with members of the Monto Rotary Club. Monto is the gateway to the Cania Gorge National Park.
After lunch we will travel to Bundaberg. Our team will visit the Bundaberg region from April 8 to April 13. Bundaberg is the gateway to one of the wonders of the world – the Great Barrier Reef – and is famous for its local icons: the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, Bundaberg Barrell and Mon Repos Turtle Rookery.
On April 13, our team will arrive in Gladstone. Gladstone is the doorstep of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
On April 15, we will travel to the Rotary District Conference to be held in Yeppoon. On April 17, our team will give a presentation to the entire conference. Each year, Yeppoon’s Coo-ee Beach hosts a coo-ee’ing competition. This event includes Australian activities such as gum leaf blowing, husband calling, bottle top flicking and a myriad of other equally unusual activities.
On the evening of April 17, we will depart Yeppoon for Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. We will explore these areas from April 17 to April 21. Hervey Bay is called the “jewel” in Queensland’s crown. It is referred to as the Whale Watch Capital of the World.
Fraser Island is the only place in the world where rainforests grow in sand dunes at elevations over 600 feet. The area is a place of exceptional beauty, offering long uninterrupted white beaches and over 100 freshwater lakes.
Our farewell dinner will be held on April 21 on Fraser Island. We will depart Brisbane on April 22 for Indianapolis.