Australia: Culture and Nature on the Queensland Coast

Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island

May 23 - June 11, 2012

Open to All Students Regardless of Major

Fulfills requirements for majors in Geography, Environmental Scinece, and Christ College

Limited Space Available!  Enroll Now! 

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 5:00-6:00 P.M in Kallay-Christopher Hall Room 112

See where we are going and learn more about costal Queensland and the course!

Course Brochure

Read the article on the course from the Campus Chronicle (campus intranet access only)

GEO 385/585, CC 300AX Field Study: Culture and Nature on the Queensland Coast
Connect with culture and nature as you travel along Australia’s Queensland Coast from cosmopolitan Brisbane to tropical Cairns. Over three weeks you’ll explore the biodiversity of Fraser Island via 4-wheel drive, sail the Whitsunday Islands, and experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. Throughout this adventure you will learn about people’s transformation of these natural landscapes through urban development, agriculture, water use, climate change, and tourism. You will be asked to critically reflect upon the tourist experience and learn first-hand about ecotourism practices. The course will challenge you to think more deeply about how we understand nature through culture.Koalas at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Brief Itinerary (see brochure for detailed itinerary)

Wednesday, May 23 - Chicago Departure.

Thursday, May 24 - En Route. Cross international date line.

Friday, May 25 - Brisbane Arrival.  Miramar Cruise to Lone Pine Koala Park. Evening group dinner at the Pancake Manor. Overnight at Metro Hotel Tower Mill.

Saturday, May 26 - Brisbane. Explore Brisbane with Professor Longan.Brisbane's Southbank District

Sunday, May 27 - Brisbane. Explore Brisbane with Professor Longan.

Monday, May 28 - Australia Zoo, Mooloolaba, Overnight at Mantra Mooloolaba Hotel.

Tuesday, May 29 - Sunshine Coast Enviornment and Development, overnight Hotel Mantra Hervey.

Wednesday, May 30 - Fraser Island 4-wheel drive tour, Lake McKenzie, Basin Lake and the rainforest.  Overnight at Wildernes Lodge.

Thursday, May 31 - Fraser Island. Seventy-Five Mile Beach,

Friday, June 1 - Fraser Island. Lake Wabby, Hammerstone Sandblow, Lake Birrabeen Lake Wabby on Fraser Island

Saturday, June 2 - Eungella. Platypus watching, overnight at Broken River Mountain Resort.

Sunday, June 3 - Morning platypus watching. Airlie Beach, Overnight at Comfort Inn Club Crocodile.

Monday, June 4 - Whitsunday Islands cruise on the Derwent Hunter for 3 days, 2 nights

Tuesday, June 5 - Cruise. Optional snorkeling equipment and opportunity to assist with crewing the tall ship.

Wednesday, June 6 - Cruise. Overnight at Comfort Inn Club Crocodile.Sailing on the Derwent Hunter in the Whitsunday Islands

Thursday, June 7 - Depart to Cairns with an en route stop at Sugar Cane Museum. Group dinner at Red Ochre Restaurant. Overnight 4 nights at Southern Cross Apartments.

Friday, June 8 - Cairns. Kuranda tour including Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, rail, Tjapukai Cultural Center, Evening presentation by Reef Teach

Saturday, June 9 - Cairns. Great Barrier Reef with Reef Teach.

Sunday, June 10 - Cairns. Cape TributationDaintree National Park. Daintree Rainforest

Monday, June 11 - Return to Chicago.

Itinerary is subject to change due to local scheduling.


About Your Leader

Professor Longan at Whitehaven BeachDr. Michael Longan, Ph.D. wanted to become a geographer so that he could teach courses like this. He has research interests in cultural, urban, and communication geography and regularly teaches a course exploring the intersection of culture and nature in landscape. He has also taught courses in environmental conservation, urban geography, rural geography, and communication geography.




Enrollment Instructions:

Contact Dr. Michael Longan:, phone 219.464.6874. 

Program cost and minimum number of participants:

$8,435 based on a minimum of 15 paying participants. Based on exchange rates and tariffs in effect as of above date; subject to change in the event that there is a fluctuation of more than 4%. STUDENTS MUST SIGN UP FOR AND PAY SUMMER SESSION TUITION FOR THE COURSE. A limited number of openings are available for VU Alumni, enrollment in the course is not required. 

Additional costs include:

Meals not included in the trip price (Estimated at $270-$355. Some accomodations may have kitchenettes available for preparing your own meals)
Travel Insurance (recommended)
Books for the course (reading list forthcoming)
Additional spending money for souvineers, snacks, etc.  

Payment schedule:

$775 deposit due with enrollment by December 9, 2011; balance due March 14, 2012 upon receipt of invoice.

See brochure (pdf) for a full Statement of Conditions

Map of the trip route along the Queensland Coast