Best of the West (NUAA)
Skyscrapers, sequoias and impossibly big skies await you in America’s West. This 15-day tour through the urban and natural wonders of California, Arizona and Nevada is perfect for travellers who want to inject a little downtown energy into their out-of-town escapes. In the cities, you’ll traverse the concrete jungle by day with an expert CEO and overnight in centrally located hotels. Elsewhere, you’ll get the chance to marvel at the grandeur of the Grand Canyon and bike in the Yosemite Valley before tucking into a barbecue dinner and camping under the stars. This is no dream; it’s the West like you’ve never seen it before.
Highlights: Stargazing in Los Angeles, marvelling at a Grand Canyon sunset, getting your kicks on Route 66, breaking a sweat in Death Valley, taking a chance in Las Vegas, camping under the stars, hiking in Yosemite, embracing the laidback spirit of California's coast.
Frontier Country (NUAW)
The last gunfighter hung up his spurs long ago, but the dust, duels and derring-do of the Old West still captivate 21st-century imaginations today. On this trip, you’ll journey back to a time when the only things a man needed to get by were a trusty horse and a steady six-shooter. From the gritty essence of Tombstone and Santa Fe to the wild back countries of New Mexico and Colorado, we reckon you’ll get the most authentic feel for life in the saddle this side of the Rio Grande.
Highlights: Reliving the Wild West in Tombstone, walking amongst the spectacular rock formations of the Garden of the Gods, counting stars at Lake Powell, being humbled by the beauty of Zion, trying your luck in Las Vegas, learning about Navajo culture in Monument Valley.
Galapagos on a Shoestring (SEGS)
This 9-day adventure is perfect for those who want to experience the incredible wildlife and scenery of the Galapagos Islands but prefer to sleep on shore—so your time on the water is limited to commuting between islands. Go ashore at the lesser-visited island of Isabela and spend your days with playful sea lions, giant manta rays and the Galapagos giant tortoise. With fewer inclusions but plenty of options, you can choose which activities are right for you and experience one of the natural wonders of the world on a budget.
Highlights: Witnessing whitetip sharks at 'Shark Alley', travelling by public speedboats around the Galapagos Islands, feeling like a local during a family homestay, camping in the highlands of Isabela Island with views towards the ocean, visiting Charles Darwin Research Station and the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre.
Remember the country they sing about in 'America the Beautiful'? The one with the spacious skies, gleaming alabaster cities and majestic purple mountains? It’s still out there. Come see it with us. Ideal for wildlife enthusiasts and outdoorsy folk who want to see the country by day and revel downtown by night, this trip takes you across the Great West, from the City of Big Shoulders through Yellowstone and Yosemite and past herds of grazing bison to the City by the Bay. In a word: Perfect.
Highlights: Camping along the Mississippi, hiking the Badlands, witnessing geysers at Yellowstone and presidents at Mt Rushmore, meeting the wildlife of Grand Teton National Park and in Jackson's Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
Canyon Country & Coasts (NUFV)
Speckled with national parks, bustling cities, natural treasures and must-see monuments, the Southwest—America’s great wide open—is a living postcard. On this trip, you’ll venture inland from the Pacific Coast of California to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, camping outdoors and reconnecting with a side of this great country most rarely see. Paired up with an attentive and knowledgeable CEO, this trip is perfect for nature-minded travellers eager to see the best of the Southwest in a short period of time.
Highlights: Strolling the streets of San Francisco, stargazing in Los Angeles, marvelling at cliff dwellings at Montezuma Castle, peering over the Grand Canyon, hiking the best of the West's national parks.
Melbourne to the Red Centre (OAMR)
If you really want to get Down Under and experience Australia’s highlights without feeling rushed, you’ll have to get off the big coaches. Explore Melbourne before hitting the Great Ocean Road and cutting through the outback to the Red Centre. Here you’ll experience the mysteries of Uluru and gain insight into Aboriginal culture. When it comes time to bed down, shake things up with a variety of unique accommodation—from safari tents to underground hostels and even a traditional sheep station.
Highlights: Marvelling at the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, bedding down at a traditional sheep station, learning about dreamtime stories from the Aborigines, catching the magnificent colours of Uluru at sunset, exploring the Red Centre with a local guide
Experience the treasures of Argentina and Brazil in this jam-packed trip. From tango in Buenos Aires to sun and surf in Rio, explore two of the continent’s most vibrant capitals. Marvel at the majesty of Iguassu Falls and let its power engulf you. Our CEOs will take you to the highlights on a shoestring and then let you loose so you can really do what you want. You’ll stick to public bus, which not only keeps costs down but gives you a chance to really meet the locals.
Highlights: Sipping caipirinhas on the beach, savouring the sophistication and cuisine of Buenos Aires, marvelling at Iguassu Falls, wandering around colonial Paraty, living it up in Rio.
You can get a sense of just how huge Australia is by looking at a map, but once you’re there, the vastness really hits home. For travellers long on ambition but short on time, this extensive and compact journey up the East Coast of Queensland is nothing short of ideal. Employing a diverse range of transport—yachts, trains, 4x4s and buses—you’ll visit Fraser Island and the Whitsundays, go snorkelling and even spend the night in a teepee and camp out under the stars in an authentic Australian 'swag.' Your time here may not last long, but your memories will last forever.
Highlights: Sleeping under the stars at a remote cattle station, zipping over dunes in a 4x4 on a remote sand island, learning about Aboriginal dreamtime stories, sailing from island to island through the Whitsundays
Yolo Java to Bali (AEKS)
Home to 136 million people, the Indonesian island of Java is the most densely populated region on Earth. But while the teeming rivers of humanity that flow through Jakarta’s streets at rush hour can feel overpowering, there’s still a surprising amount of room to stretch out and explore. Travelling with other young travellers eager to experience this unique place, you’ll make your way from big cities to the calming beaches of Bali, soaking up culture and excitement along the way. And as your expert CEOs will be only too happy to show you, there’s plenty more to taste here than just stellar coffee.
Highlights: Discovering Javanese culture, exploring thriving cities, trekking in the shadow of Mt Bromo, snapping photos of beautiful rice terraces, sipping coffee at plantations, relaxing on sandy beaches.
Think Australia’s out of your league since you’re short on time and cash? Nope! This quick and economical Sydney-to-Brisbane jaunt squeezes tons of excitement into a short time frame at a price that fits any budget. Fish with the locals, learn to surf and sip Australia’s viticultural bounty on the coast, then move inland to the outback to try your hand at gem mining and sheep shearing before overnighting in a teepee at a hippie commune. It’s Oz in a flash for a fraction of the cost.
Highlights: Tasting wine in the Hunter Valley, staying overnight at a sheep station and learning techniques from the locals, fossicking for gemstones, learning to surf in famous Byron Bay
Forego the typical coach tour and get off the beaten track from Adelaide to Alice Springs and explore some of the most remote areas on Earth. From Adelaide, hit the Flinders Ranges and cut through the outback to the Red Centre. Here you’ll meet some of the locals, experience the mysteries of Uluru and gain insight into regional Aboriginal and European history. Geared towards budget-conscious travellers looking to hit the outback’s highlights, this itinerary features lots of inclusions at a great price.
Highlights: Bedding down at a traditional sheep station, Living life underground in the historic mining town of Coober Pedy, Learning about dreamtime stories from the Aborigines, Enjoying the sunset over Uluru, Experiencing the Red Centre with an Aboriginal guide, Sleeping in a 'swag' under the stars of the outback sky
The Rock, Rail and Kakadu (OARK)
For rugged natural splendour, the Australian outback is where it’s at. This journey into the remote regions of northern and central Australia brings you face-to-face with the land and the intriguing characters and wildlife that call it home. Majestic Uluru, sprawling Kings Canyon and the out-there landscapes of Kakadu National Park await your hiking boots, while the crocodiles and the mysteries of Indigenous Australian culture—as told by the locals themselves—are primed to fascinate. Adventure doesn’t get much more adventurous than this.
Highlights: Witnessing the majesty of Uluru at sunset and sunrise, hiking the Red Centre, stargazing at the impressive southern sky, riding the route of Afghan cameleers on The Ghan Train, learning about Aboriginal dreamtime stories, travelling to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kakadu National Park
Bliss out on world-class beaches in exotic southern Thailand before cooling off in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. This 2-week tour will introduce you to three diverse nations—and three of the region’s most vibrant cities. Sample street food or hit Bangkok’s clubs with other travellers your own age—so you can be sure to get down with those that’ll keep up. With your hotel and transport arranged by our CEOs, you can concentrate on choosing your own adventure: pack your trip with everything you want and nothing you don't.
Highlights: Exploring the streets of bustling Bangkok, stopping by Penang's Chinese shop houses, glimpsing beautiful green vistas in the the Cameron Highlands, diving into multicultural Kuala Lumpur, visiting three diverse countries in two weeks.
New Zealand’s North Island thoroughly engages the body and the spirit, often at the same time. This 10-day trip promises loads of both. Up here, you’ll learn Maori culture (and try your hand at bone-carving) straight from the source while bunking in villages in the bush and pick up some sustainable living tips on a conservation farm. Elsewhere, you’ll sea kayak in a secluded harbour, get a surfing lesson from an expert and camp out in a retro-style caravan. There’s much more, but we’ve gotta leave some surprises, right?
Highlights: Snorkelling in the beautiful Bay of Islands, surfing world famous waves, kayaking remote coves to discover hidden beaches, learning about the Maori culture in a village homestay, conquering New Zealand's top-rated 1-day trek, dancing the night away in Wellington.
Sin, Surf & Sierras (NUVA)
For the traveller who wants it all, this desert-to-coast journey delivers in spades. Throw caution to the wind in Sin City, Las Vegas, then cleanse those chakras with pristine national park hiking. You’ll drive the legendary Pacific Coast Highway for views that are postcard-perfect and finish in Los Angeles for a final burst of movie star glamour. A private touring van and participation camping offer affordability and flexibility while letting you get to know your fellow travellers and making this a road trip to remember.
Highlights: Hiking in Yosemite National Park, driving along California's beautiful coastline, revelling in the glitz of Las Vegas, breaking a sweat in Death Valley, stargazing in Los Angeles.
The echoes of psychedelia and grunge—the counter-cultural soundtracks to two successive generations—still reverberate across the Pacific Northwest. But if you think this part of America is all cramped clubs and coffee shops, think again. Designed for those as equally comfortable in an urban setting as they are with the outdoors, this trip provides ample opportunity to explore the natural wonders—redwoods, volcanoes and boundless wilderness—for those on a tight schedule. Bookended by hotel stays in San Fran and Seattle, you’ll get a taste of the nightlife, too.
Highlights: Driving along the Pacific coastline, gazing up at giant sequoias, playing in sand dunes, hiking in national parks, strolling in San Francisco, discovering the wonder of Mt St Helens, sipping coffee in Seattle.