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south pacific beach with palm trees

Arksen Explorers Rally Powered by Pelorus

South Seas Rally

Paradise awaits on this, the longest of the Arksen Explorers Rally series. More than just picture-perfect, white sand beaches and gently swaying palm trees, the South Seas Rally will take its participants truly off the beaten track. You will meet remote tribes, encounter some of the most spectacular wildlife and contribute to some worthy conservation and philanthropic projects.

Passages: Research and Conservation

Passages and awaiting weather windows for crossings will not be time wasted whilst on the Arksen Explorers Rally. There will be the chance to join research in the following areas:

  • Microplastics and the effect on the ocean and ecosystems
  • Ghost nets – smaller vessels will search and geotag ghost nets and the larger vessels will assist in collection. Research will then be undertaken to understand where the nets were released and how they can be prevented in the future
  • Studies in ocean currents and oceanography
  • Quantitative ocean science
  • Weather pattern studies
  • Lost containers – geotagging and tracking
  • Ocean alkalinity enhancement projects in the deep ocean
  • Research to assist in the development of ocean based negative emission technologies
  • Ocean current mapping
Turtle under the water in the Philippines
PANAMA

 Experiences:

  • Exclusive big game fishing
  • A marine safari in the diverse ecosystem
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • Surfing some of the secret beaches of the Pacific Coast of Panama
  • Isolated beach survival training with ex-army instructors
  • Private tour of a coffee plantation
  • Jungle adventure including zip lining and path finding
  • Waterfall hiking and climbing

Conservation:

  • Join efforts in tagging giant manta rays
  • Head ashore and into one of the wildest places in Central America where you will assist in setting up camera traps for the elusive wildlife and birdlife on the islands
  • Join beach clean ups and help educate local children on plastic awareness
  • Visit remote tribes and join their way of life, visiting a local school to deliver aid and supplies
  • Take part in the replanting of coral reefs
Stream in a Forest in Panama Puerto Egas Beach in Galapagos
A Small Island in Panama galapagos islands
GALAPAGOS

Experiences:

  • Surf with sealions
  • Snorkel with penguins
  • Explore by kitesurf and paddleboard
  • Dive two of the best sites in the world – Darwin and Wolf
  • Hike in Prince Philip’s footsteps to the world’s largest colony of red-footed boobies
  • Hike the volcanic peaks and study the lava formations
  • Spend time with giant tortoise and iguanas, learning the history of their evolution and habitat
  • Hand feed the marine iguanas
  • Snorkel and swim with cormorants
  • Walk through the world’s only tropical colony of albatross in Punta Suarez

Conservation:

  • Mobula and manta rays are largely mysterious to the scientific community and there is an option to take part in a project to identify individuals and track them on their worldwide migrations
  • Assist with relocation of iguanas and giant tortoises (dependant on one vessel having helicopter access)
  • Protect early life stages of endangered scalloped hammerhead and blacktip sharks in the Galapagos Marine Reserve
  • Join conservation efforts and (date dependent) stay for the evening to assist the baby turtles in hatching and reaching the water
  • Work alongside geologists in their research into the ocean island volcanos and magma composition
  • Test the water quality and antibiotic resistance at beaches
HAWAII

Experiences:

  • Fky over one of Kauai’s most impressive volcanoes for the chance to sight lava flowing from the crater
  • Hike to Waipoo’s Falls, an 800ft cascading waterfall, and through the impressive Waimea Canyon
  • Abseil and white water raft through thickly forested peaks and tunnels to the ocean
  • Join the Ho’a torchlight celebration with the resident Lanai Ohana to truly understand traditional Hawaiian beliefs
  • Test your skills with a private Lanai shooting lesson, arriving fresh from a horseback trek
  • Set out on an adrenaline-fuelled Polaris UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) off-road tour and fly along rugged, off the-beaten-path trails
  • Enjoy surfing lessons at the home of the sport, culminating in a visit to one of the best known ‘Big Wave’ beaches

Conservation:

  • Meet researchers from the University of Hawaii and assist with projects including ferromanganese-encrusted seamount communities, deep-sea corals and fisheries, hydrothermal vents, subduction zones, back-arc geology, and the geologic history of seamounts on the Pacific plate
  • Join research teams and work side by side with volunteers as they collect ocean plastic and haul it to research and recycling centres
  • Meet the masterminds behind the Ghost Net Initiative and learn the skills needed for the ocean passage, tagging and collecting of ghost nets
  • Strategic habitat restoration and predator control to improve and increase critical habitat for forest birds
FRENCH POLYNESIA

Experiences:

  • French Polynesia is one of the best places in the world to dive, unique encounters are frequent with wild dolphins, manta rays, hammerhead and grey sharks, marlins and even humpback whales
  • Explore the islands on safari tours to archaeological sites, and if in the Tuamotus, encounter the large sacred blue-eyed eels at FaieVillage
  • Join local champions in outrigger canoes, learn how the ancient Polynesian paddled between islands for war and trade and learn to manoeuvre as a team
  • Take an exciting four wheel drive or quad bike tour of the larger island’s lush, mountainous interior. The tracks and paths that wind their way up the peaks can only be traversed in appropriate vehicles with experienced drivers, as they are amazingly steep and very narrow
  • Freefall over one of the world’s most beautiful islands on a tandem skydive
  • Take to the waves with all year round surf opportunities in French Polynesia
  • Head ashore to hike along old pathways and explore the remnants of ancient villages and maraes, which were ceremonial religious sites

Conservation:

  • Join pioneering coral reef conservation efforts and help the team, adopting your own coral to monitor and watch flourish after replanting
  • On the more remote atolls there are opportunities to lend aid to shark conservation groups. There are numerous programs that can be joined with all five archipelagos acting as dedicated shark sanctuaries, over 4.7 million square kilometres in total
  • Join renowned scientists to collect data interpreting whale song, with the ultimate goal of gaining a greater understanding of cetacean click communication
  • Conduct surveys on the atolls, collecting data on sea turtle tracks, tagging turtles and observation of migration routes to Fiji
  • Take part in the restoration of ancient Topuna sites, revealing architectural structures that have been lost to time and the jungles
  • Work with invasive species specialists to rid the islands of serious pests that are destroying the natural fauna of the islands
  • Monitor and protect important breeding grounds of green sea turtles and nesting seabirds
PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Experiences:

  • Meet remote tribes and experience their rituals and traditions. With 312 different tribes in the region, there are ample opportunities
  • Explore by submarine or dive in locations so remote, new wrecks and dive spots are still being discovered
  • Hike up spectacular volcanic mountains, where the waters are stained red from the rocks and perform a sacrifice
  • Heli into the forest covered mountain ranges, where hot water shoots directly from the sides and swim in warm crater lakes
  • Go spearfishing in traditional outrigger canoes or head out in the tender to remote fishing spots for marlin
  • Visit Neolithic sites of obsidian mining with anthropologists

Conservation:

  • Measure sulphur dioxide levels in the waters surrounding the volcano for long term research projects
  • Take part in plastic education workshops with local schools and lead clean up initiatives
  • Help to set up clean energy programs for remote villages, bringing them power in a responsible way
  • Join community conservation and help protect the endangered sawfish. Papua New Guinea is one of the last two strongholds for this species
  • Establish community-driven fishery management plans that safeguard local food security and protect coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves
  • Set up buoy observation systems and seafloor observatories
SOLOMON ISLANDS

Experiences:

  • Explore the volcanic islands, croc-infested mangroves, huge lagoons, tropical islets and emerald forests that are scattered with WWII relics
  • Learn to play unique instruments with a bamboo band
  • Experience unrivalled diving – from WWII wrecks found deep beneath the surface to an abundance of sea life that gives the Solomon’s their world-class reputation
  • Snorkel over the world’s only underwater volcano
  • Hike up uninhabited volcanos and explore rivers and waterfalls before returning by heli or outrigger canoe
  • Learn about the history of cannibalism and headhunting in the jungles and islands
  • Dive previously undiscovered wrecks and sites

Conservation:

  • Accompany the conservation rangers as they patrol around the islands and monitor resource use by local harvesters
  • Take part in the turtle conservation program in the islands, assisting at the hatching on the beaches and tagging adults
  • Collect plastics for the new cookers – part of the Plastic Free Solomon Islands initiative – and learn how this remote location is dealing with waste washed ashore from across the ocean
  • Visit a local children’s hospital and deliver aid
  • Take part in anti-logging and reforestation of volcanic mountains
  • Set up underwater camera traps for the elusive dugong before helping to replant the vital seagrass needed for this endangered pelagic
  • Tag and monitor manta rays, gaining insight into their migration and courtship habits
VANUATU

Experiences:

  • Meet the people who perform the world- famous Nagol (land diving) in their villages
  • Explore the ancestral burial caves that once provided tribal refuge from warfare and cyclones
  • Abseil into the live volcano at Yassur, getting close to the lava in a one of a kind experience
  • Get incredibly close to grey whaler sharks, eagle rays, dolphins, turtles, barracuda and lionfish as you explore underwater wrecks
  • Enjoy sandboarding on the dunes and down the volcano
  • Go canyoning in the jungle and explore with survivalists
  • Hike through jungle or heli to remote sink holes to swim and explore
  • Canyon through caves, rivers and tribal villages to discover deep fresh water pools and WWII wrecks deep in the jungle

Conservation:

  • Take part in tagging critically endangered Hawksbill turtles before they are released into the wild
  • Assist in environmental marine projects – transporting grids to pre-selected project sites, positioning the grids on the ocean floor as well as transporting local supplies and materials from the mainland
  • Help reconstruct fisheries from the 1950’s, with a greater understanding of the communities needs, as well as how best to preserve species
  • Deliver and place volcanic thermal remote sensors
  • Tackle key barriers to dugong and seagrass conservation in Vanuatu, namely the lack of information on the distribution and status of dugongs and their habitats, and lack of awareness of their critically endangered status by going to local schools as well as replanting the seagrass beds
  • Visit remote island communities to help implement programs to better manage their resources

 

Snorkelling a Coral Reef in Vanuatu Snorkelling with Rays
A smoking volcano in Vanuatu Clownfish swimming next to a reef
GREAT BARRIER REEF

Experiences:

  • The Whitsundays, and the Great Barrier Reef provide probably the most pristine diving in the world with spectacular coral formations, hundreds of species of fish, turtles, manta rays and even visiting dolphins and whales
  • Play golf on Dent Island
  • Enjoy an isolated lunch on a tiny sandbank before jumping from the heli over the outer reef, to be met by divers already in the water to explore
  • Hand feed sea eagles on the aft deck and fish for Bluefin tuna
  • Take a private safari through the rainforest in 4×4’s, encountering the Kuku Yalanji indigenous tribe

Conservation:

  • Visit with scientists at island research stations, take part and learn about their conservation efforts
  • Dive the reef, collecting data over the 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands
  • Work alongside marine biologists
  • Participate in monitoring and coral watch surveys
  • Visit and volunteer at turtle rehabilitation centres
  • Assist and accelerate construction of renewable energy projects, lowering carbon emissions and helping the reef survive
  • Take action with beach and reef clean ups, collecting damaging waste and restoring beauty to this ecosystem
SYDNEY

Experiences:

  • Take a private guided tour behind the scenes at the Opera House followed by a Harbour Bridge climb to the summit to see the Arksen Explorers Rally vessels far below in the harbour
  • Surf at Bondi Beach or other lesser known breaks
  • Heli to the Blue Mountains to trek, abseil and canyon with a renowned explorer
  • Mountain bike through forested peaks and off-road back to the heli pick up point
  • Exclusive vineyard and foraging tours in Hunter Valley and beyond
  • Meet an Aboriginal medicine man who is growing and producing herbs and listen as he explains the properties and stories behind each
  • Cruise down the coast on superbikes to explore this stunning region on two wheels

Conservation:

  • Join the ‘Living Seawall’ project in Sydney, replacing the old with new biofriendly materials, designed to attract life and assist with cleaning the polluted waters
  • Volunteer time and support building the Sydney Marine Park. Designed to protect a huge area, it will also protect the weedy sea dragon and the blue gropers, currently at risk
  • Dive with the Underwater Research Group to work on programs such as the Grey Shark Program, gathering data for the North Harbour Aquatic Reserve and Regeneration Projects
  • Restore the bush in the National Parks, replanting and improving damaged areas
  • Help to rebuild the resting habitat of the critically endangered eastern curlew migratory shore bird that flies here from the Arctic Circle each year
  • Save the Neilsen Park She-Oak. This suburb is home to one of the rarest trees in Sydney, working in conjunction with governmental figures, help to reduce the number of threats this unique plant faces
  • Assist with habitat rehabilitation at Botany Bay National Park, a significant project created to restore the park to its original state, as surveyed by Captain Cook`s botanists, Banks and Solander