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LIFE : Australia - Extreme Nature

Two weeks in Australia to better understand the planet's biodiversity by observing its plants, wildlife, and minerals. Further Details

LIFE : Australia - Extreme Nature

Two weeks in Australia to better understand the planet's biodiversity by observing its plants, wildlife, and minerals. Further Details

Understand the evolution of life on planets
An out-of-time adventure to the island-continent of Australia

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Niveau physique

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XTREME EVOLUTION AUSTRALIA is a science Science La science est désormais l’affaire de tous. Découvrez la science d’une manière ludique et active. Nous vous proposons d’en découvrir plus sur nos expéditions à la voile, découverte du plancton. camp in English for English-speakers and learners on the topic of planetary biodiversity. During this expedition, you will be able to observe wonders of nature, and realise fascinating scientific experiments.

The best Australia has to offer !

Kakadu National Park
Red Center
An expedition of two weeks to Kakadu, with two options for more (see details below)

The stay

From the origins of life to its evolution : understand the dynamics of biodiversity on the planet by observing the various types of geology, fauna and flora on Earth. Study their evolution over time and reaction to climate change... This is what you will discover during this scientific expedition from Australia’s desert to its tropical jungle.

This adventure will take place on a magnificient place, and it’s with the help of a drone and computer that you will study and model extraordinary places that are known to host awareness campaigns or scientific research Scientific Research Participate in scientific research research programs. Help advance research on oceans to help us understand them better. Do this on our nature courses on dolphins and whales. . You will learn how to use measuring probes for temperature or humidity, how to use drones to take aerial pictures, but also how to manually record measurements on the field.
With this palette of skills, you will be able to get an overall picture of evolution through time and space, to see the world differently !


The research project

During this Action camp, you will be involved in the Research program PERCEPTION of the NGO Objectif Sciences International. The goal of PERCEPTION is to study the fine balance of ecosystems from the point of view of both the fauna and humans living in said ecosystems – in this case : the relationship between geology, climatology, and fauna-flora interactions, specifically through the impact of climate change on the rocks, soil, and thus of the planet as a whole. Or should it be of the planets, plural ? Indeed, the model that will be drawn from what happens on Earth will allow us to study scenarii of what might have happened or will happen on Mars, should humanity ever attempt terraforming.

You will play a role in the project that consists of defining experimental scenarii aiming at publishing possible outcomes regarding the reaction of the planet’s biodiversity to the mass extinction crisis it is currently going through. The task will include trying to predict, from a scientific standpoint, the kind of thriving diversity that could be borne of this crisis, such as was the case for the previous four mass extinctions.

Australia is a great place to visit and study in that regard, as numerous so-called « invasive species » were introduced the the island and will influence the evolution of its biodiversity, while at the same time Australian species had already evolved in a manner quite different from what was seen elsewhere in the world. Which begs the question of what will happen. What kind of « positive » or « negative » mixes will these interactions produce in the future ?
You will be able to communicate your propositionsin the form of articles, photo or video reports, as a science journalist.

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Concepts Learned during the Camp

Drone aerial photography - Ecosystems - Evolution biology - Sensors and probes - Chemical composition - Water cycle - Population dynamics - Ornithology - Botany - Entomology - Mammalogy - Herpetology - Mycology - Natural habitats - Biological community - Ecosystem balance - Abiogenesis - Mass exctinction, biotic crisis - Massive biodiversity ermegence - Alien species - Chaos and Randomness - Flora access to water

Equipment Used

Drones - Digital cameras - Topographic maps - Net (kick-net/dip net) - Binoculars - Field magnifying glass - Binocular magnifyer - Pocket microscope - Spotting scope - Telescope - GPS - Identification keys - Camera trap - Field notebook - Sweep net - Sampling vials - Geologic maps - Computers - Measuring tools

The location

Some parts of Australia are best to visit in July or August, ie. during the dry season : the Red center (to avoid heat waves) and the area North of the Tropic of Capricon are amongst those.

The places you will visit during this expedition and its two options are each more attractive than the other.

The Kakadu National Park is designated World Hertiage by UNESCO

The park is an archeological and ethnological reserve unique in the world because the land the park is on has been inhabited continuously for 40,000 years. From the remains left by hunters and fishermen of the Neolithic age to Aboriginal Australian living on those lands in the 20th century, the park offers a rich history of techniques and behaviours illustrated by paintings and pictograms. It is the best exemple of ecosystems, from the intertidal zones to plateaux and including alluvial plains and lowlands, all habitats of a large number of species of fauna and flora that are either rare or endemic to Australia.

Twin Falls, also designated UNESCO World Heritage, and only accessible during the dry season when the expedition takes place

They are located near the Gondwana RainForest, named after the large, unique supercontinent that existed before the tectonic plaques separation. The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia are comprised of eight separate forests covering a total area of 3,665 square kilometres. They are listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

It is there that you can find the best location of the region to go kayaking safely, and you will have the opportunity to experience this fabulous adventure.

The Uluru inselberg, Kings Canyon, and the Devils Marbles, also World Heritage, and included in the Australian Red Center option along with the Kakadu program

Iconic picture of the island, Ayers Rock – or Uluru, its Aboriginal designation –, is this gigantic red rock, uniquely recogniseable and towering over the desert, more than 300 kilometres from Alice Springs. It is one of the world’s largest inselberg. The landmark’s magic is its bright and ever-changing colours, depending on the hour of the day and the sun’s brightness. The multicoloured mountain changes its hue from orange-ish ocre to deep, dark pink to a brownish red in a short amount of time – a breath-taking spectacle.

Anangu Aboriginals manage the UNESCO site, in collaboration with governmental agents of the National Park of Ulura-Kata Tjuta, where will begin your road-trip in the middle of the desert (see below « day to day schedule »).

The Kings Canyon, Devils Marbles, but also the rivers from Harts Range (which are extremely interesting from a geological standpoint) and the thermal springs of Mataranka Thermal Pools, will be a special moment of close communion with Nature.

Yes, one more site listed as World Heritage ! The second one-week option is the famous city of Sidney !

Its Opera House, listed World Heritage, its harbour, its beaches, its cuisine, but also its incredible landscape within arm’s reach, will delight you.

If the weather allows, you will be able to learn the basics of surfing at Bondi Beach, the most famous beach for surfing. The Blue Mountains will make you even fonder of nature, as the various artistic and cultural attractions will make you fonder of Sydney.

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Day to day proceedings

We will live at the pace of the sun, nature and animals. When camping, we will wake up at the first birdsongs and rays of light. After breakfast, we will start the day with a group meeting to brief the group on the day’s program.

During the hottest hours of the day, we will take time for a well-deserved nap or look out for biodiversity... in rivers and streams ! This quieter moment will also allow us to debrief on what we did in the morning, and plan and adapt the scientific research activities to be done in the morrow.

The end of the day will be dedicated to making progress on the science journalism reports (video, portfolio, article, radio broadcast...) you will have undertaken, or will be free time, for you to go about whatever you wish to.

We will regroup for the evening to share some quality time together, and enjoy stories, songs, and other entertainment activities to relax. If the weather allows, and if you are not too tired, we may even take the time to look up at the stars, planets and nebulae with the telescope.

We will be able to communicate with authorities constantly throughout the expedition in case of emergency, should the need arise.
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During the Kakadu National Park expedition, we will be camping in equipped campsites.
In Sydney, the group will sleep in Youth hostels.
During the Red Center expedition, we will also be camping, either in campsites or in the heart of nature.

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Day to Day Schedule

- Option 1 : Sydney, one week before the Kakadu expedition
- Main expedition : Kakadu National Park
- Option 2 : Red Center, one week after the Kakadu expedition

OPTION 1 : SYDNEY ONE WEEK before Kakadu

To discover Australia
In Youth hostels

The incredible Sydney Opera House, by foot or ferry, unique experience by itself

The Wildlife Center to observe all the animals of Australia !

The Sydney Aquarium

Australian harbours of Sydney’s centre, and its various coves

The City of Sydney (Circular Quay, the Rocks, Darling Harbour, and so on)

Sydney Sky Tower !!

The famous Blue Mountains

Surf at Bondi Beach (optional and if the weather allows, the cost ranging from 75 to 100€ is in addition to the participation fee for the expedtition, you will be given the exact amount required to participate before departure)

MAIN EXPEDITION : TWO WEEKS in the incredible Kakadu National Park

Experience the exceptionnal atmosphere of the UNESCO Kakadu National Park

Discover the work of the rangers

Improvement of scientific protocols

Projects, migration within the Park

Advancement of the project

Completion of data collection

Report to the Kakadu Park Science committee

For the true explorers
Wild camping

Road trip through the Australian desert

Flight from Darwin to Uluru (UNESCO), then return trip to Darwin with stops of scientific interest

Night under the stars of the fascinating Southern hemisphere celestial dome

Sunrise with Red Rock

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (UNESCO)

Archaeoastronomy : constellations and legends from the Aboriginal culture

Home Stay with Aboriginal people

Crafting of your own aboriginal boomerang

Local, medicinal plants

During nocturnal breaks, the best spots of the Australian desert for the ultimate experience

Kings Canyon, and bathing in the waterholes

Geological peculiarities of Harts Range’s rivers

Devil’s Marbles

Hot springs of Matarank Thermal Pools, bathing in naturally hot water

Return to Darwin for your flight back home, end of an unforgettable trip
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Take with you


Necessary personal documents

  • Passport valid for at least 12 months at the date of entry in Australia
  • Electronic visa for Asutralia (ETA Tourist visa)
  • Authorisation to leave the country for minors, if applicable depending on the legislation of your country of residence
  • Photocopy of all important documents (passport, tickets, etc.). Note that you will have to show a printed copy of your return ticket when entering Australia.
  • Health & Information form on your personal account duely completed.

Contents of your backpack

Beware that while the days are hot and can reach up to 39°C, nights remain fairly cool and often go as low as 4°C.
Do not bring clothing for 15 days, as you will be able to do laundry during the expedition. Bring only what is listed below, no more, no less.

Personal camping equipment with your name or initials on it, to put away in the backpack

  • 1 good -5°C sleeping bag (the floor mat will be provided)
  • 1 large hiking backpack (with hip and chest straps), 65 liters, to carry your whole packing list. Keep it around 15kg, and no more than 20kg to avoid excess weight taxes at the airport. Also keep in mind you will have to carry it !
  • 1 small hiking backpack (with hip and chest straps), 30-40 liters, to carry the day’s equipement
    (this will be your hand luggage on the plane) while the bulk of your pack remains at the camping or accommodation
  • Swiss army knife or similar multi-purpose knife, fork, spoon (make sure to store them in the hold luggage as they will not be allowed in the cabin)
  • 1 solid water canteen (1-1.5 liters), avoid camelbak and other soft containers that are easily pierced
  • Metal plate, bowl, and cup for cooking.
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • A few clothespins for laundry

    Clothing suitable for the expedition and with your name/initials on them :

  • 1 good pair of high-topped, hard-sole hiking shoes
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 pair of flip-flops or crocks (to rest the feet and use in the shower after a long day’s walk)
  • 1 or 2 reusable (plastic) bags (for dirty and/or wet clothes)
  • 6 pairs of socks (covering the ankle, no ankle socks)
  • 6 pieces of underwear (for women : cotton sports bras)
  • 1 light and quick to dry towel (eg. microfiber fleece towel)
  • 5 T-shirts (including 2 with long sleeves)
  • 1 warm pyjamas + ideally warm socks for the night
  • 1 light sweater (eg. fleece)
  • 1 warm cardigan or vest
  • 1 pair of waterproof trousers (test the waterproofness under the tap beforehand !)
  • 1 waterproof windcheater (also test the waterproofness beforehand)
  • 2 pairs of light, cotton trousers for hiking (no jeans, too long to dry)
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 item of swimwear
  • 1 hat covering the nape of the neck and the face (do not take caps, they do not protect the back of the neck)
  • 1 beany or similar for night activities when it’s cold
  • 1 pair of light gloves
  • 1 scarf or neckwarmer to protect against the cold and/or sandstorms

Toilet bag :

  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
  • Moisturising cream + lip balm
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Washcloth or biodegradable wipes
  • Marseille soap, Aleppo soap, or similar natural, biodegreadable and environment-friendly soaps, with its transportation case
  • Biodegradable, eco-friendly shampoo

    Do not bring perfumes, creams, deodorants and other overly scented cosmetics as they may attract insects.

    Small personal first-aid kit

  • Band-aids
  • Tweezers
  • Current medication if necessary. A copy of or the original prescription is mandatory.
  • Antidiarrhetic
  • Paracetamol
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Etc.

    Personal scientific journalism equipment

  • (Optionnal) 1 pencil case with pens and pencils of various colours, eraser, pencil sharpener, adhesive tape, small ruler
  • 1 hardback notebook (for use as a travel notebook)
  • (Optionnal) 1 pocket dictionnary between your native language and English

    If you possess them :

    During the expedition, we will rarely have access to internet and electricity. It is a good idea to bring spare batteries for your electronic devices (camera, etc.).

  • 1 tablet with video-editing software + waterproof zip-bag and a good cover
  • 1 digital camera able to take pictures and video (ideally with a decent lens) + memory cards + batteries and charger + spare batteries
  • USB stick for stocking pictures and videos
  • 1 magnifying glass + 1 compass
  • 1 pair of binoculars
  • 1 travel plug adapter
  • Board games (light and portable)

  • Pocket money We recommend you bring about 150$AU per week for your personal expenses.


  • Try to use products that are eco-friendly and biodegradable as possible !
  • Try to reduce waste ! Think of how and what your bring with you and the waste it will produce, as well as how to discard said waste.
  • Remember that you will have to carry your own bag ! Try your best to stay within 15kg.
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