Around the World in 80 Days
NEW YORK & EASTERN CANADA | WESTERN CANADA | WEST COAST USA | HAWAII | NEW ZEALAND | AUSTRALIA | MAURITIUS | SOUTH AFRICA
Things have come on quite a bit in the world of travel since Jules Verne sent Phileas Fogg off on his fictional journey around the world in 80 days. But the urge to see new places and explore new cultures is stronger now than ever, and on this special tribute to the legendary Phileas we take you on a magical journey to explore amazing cities, see simply stunning scenery, laze on incredible beaches and experience the most jaw dropping natural wonders. We’ve replaced steam ships and hot air balloons with jet planes and added a car or two, but we’ve kept the trains – some of the best in the world.
Covering 25 locations in 6 countries across 3 continents the tour takes in New York and eastern Canada before heading to the Rockies and on to America’s western highlights. Crossing the Pacific, Hawaii is the next stop before visiting New Zealand’s North and South Islands where three iconic rail journeys are included. Then its north to Cairns to explore the Great Barrier Reef before stops in Melbourne and Sydney. There’s time for a break by the sea as clients head to Mauritius for a week before enjoying Cape Town and a self-drive tour along the Garden Route. A couple of nights in Johannesburg and a three night all-inclusive Safari Lodge stay make the perfect end to the holiday.
Day 1: Fly to New York
Fly from London to New York this morning. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel for a 4 night stay.
Hotel for 4 nights: Omni Berkshire Place
Day 2-4: New York
The Big Apple is high on everyone’s must do list, and when you start to explore you’ll understand why. Your included 48 hour hop-on, hop-off sightseeing pass will allow you to get around the major sights with ease. America’s most vibrant and exciting city has a reputation the world over; the shopping and theatre epicentre of the USA, the Big Apple has much more to offer the visitor. The hustle and bustle of Midtown and the theatre district around Times Square contrasts with the laid-back lifestyle of Greenwich Village, the glamour of the upper West Side with the chic and cool SoHo. Take a yellow cab or ride the subway and see iconic sights like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Central Park
Day 5: New York to Montréal
Make your way to Penn Station for the morning train to Montréal. Relax and watch the scenery pass by as you journey through stunning countryside of New York state and the lush wine regions of the Hudson Valley arriving in Montréal in the early evening for a 3 night stay.
Hotel for 3 nights: Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth
Day 6-7: Montréal
The island city of Montréal was once a tiny village in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, now it is the second largest French speaking city in the world. With French inspired elegance and a lively café and nightlife culture, it has a “joie-de-vivre” you’ll find nowhere else. Ride in a horse drawn carriage over the cobbled streets in old Montréal, visit museums and galleries, and shop in the 18 mile network of connected shopping outlets. Visit the Notre Dame Basilica, explore the charming Latin Quarter, see the Olympic Complex and McGill University and take in panoramic views from the top of Mount Royal across this stunning city.
Day 8: Montréal – Toronto
Time to leave eclectic Montréal today as you take the train south along the St Lawrence to Toronto. On arrival make your way to your hotel for a 4 night stay.
Vibrant, exciting, multi-cultural and full of contrasts; Toronto is a melting pot, exciting and full of fun. With more restaurants and cafés per head than anywhere else in Canada, an exciting theatre and night scene and superb shopping, there’s plenty to keep you going after you’ve explored the sights, the museums and galleries and taken a ride on the lake and up the CN Tower for incredible views. And Niagara Falls is only a short drive away, visit on an included day trip.
Hotel for 4 nights: Sheraton Toronto Centre
Day 9-10: Explore Toronto
Two free days to explore the city. With exciting attractions, live performance, major league sports and a festival for nearly everything, you’ll never run out of things to do in Toronto. Toronto offers colourful neighbourhoods, world class shopping, fine cuisine and multiple recreational activities. Explore the waterfront area, where you will find colourful shops, galleries, outdoor theatres, restaurants and bars and the downtown core with its many galleries and shopping districts. The CN Tower is a “must see” for all visitors, travel to the observation deck in one of six glass fronted high-speed elevators for spectacular views of the city, the suburbs, the lake and its shoreline.
Day 11: Niagara Falls
Today you’ll visit one of the natural wonders of the world on a full day tour from Toronto through the Niagara Peninsula to Niagara Falls. Enjoy a panoramic view of the Falls during a buffet at a restaurant overlooking the Falls and a ride aboard the Hornblower cruise to the base of the Horseshoe Falls (Imax Theatre or ‘Journey Behind the Falls’ is substituted mid-October to mid-May). Travel along the Niagara Gorge. Stop at the observation deck of the whirlpool and rapids, the Floral Clock and drive through historic Niagara-on-the-Lake before returning to Toronto.
Day 12: Toronto – Banff
Your journey west continues today as you make your way to the airport for you flight to Calgary, famous for the summer Stampede when cowboys from around the world arrive in town to try and win a fortune at the Rodeo. On arrival take an included transfer to the delightful alpine town of Banff for a 3 night stay. You can see the foothills of the Rockies, snow-capped and glistening, as you leave Calgary and as you enter Canada’s very first national park you’ll come across Banff, an all year round resort town set at the side of the Bow River and surrounded on all sides by the magnificent splendour of the Rocky Mountains. Visit the museums and galleries, Cave and Basin National Historic Site or stroll along Banff Avenue; enjoy the shopping, the restaurants and bars, and in winter, the après ski.
Hotel for 3 nights: Banff Caribou Lodge
Day 13: Banff
Nestled high in the Canadian Rockies, Banff is a town that makes you feel at home and exhilarated with wonder all at the same time. This is a town that truly celebrates its heritage, lives and breathes mountain culture and never takes its backyard for granted. The town of Banff is a spirited place, alive with adventure and wonder. In all directions you’re surrounded by strikingly beautiful and rugged mountains that seem to burst straight out of the ground. You might even see a herd of deer wandering down the main street. The locals are warm, open and genuinely connected to the inspiring environment in which they live. Explore on your own and discover the many sights and highlights of the town, as well as the picturesque scenery of nearby Bow River. Maybe you’ll take a heli-flightseeing tour for awe-inspiring aerial views of the Canadian Rockies.
Day 14: Sleigh Ride
Spend more time exploring Banff today then enjoy a fairy tale horse drawn sleigh ride. Relax as you become captured by the breathtaking views and crisp winter air of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Your horse drawn sleigh ride will take you through the Bow River Valley, showing you the remote areas around Banff, western style. Then enjoy a fireside warmup with hot apple cider and marshmallows.
Day 15: Banff - Jasper
A day of scenic delights today as you travel the famous Icefields Parkway along the spine of the Rockies. Considered by some to be one of the most scenic drives in the world you’ll pass by frozen lakes and waterfalls backed with towering snow-capped peaks as you journey to Jasper for a 3 night stay in this mountain village.
Hotel for 3 nights: Sawridge Inn
Day 16-17: Jasper
Two days to relax and explore in this magical winter paradise. Perhaps you’ll spot wildlife at the roadside or take a trip to see the wonders of Maligne Canyon from the ground up! The canyon has withstood 10,000 years of erosion and has created a 50m gorge where you can view the frozen canyon floor and its ice-clad limestone walls.
Day 18: Jasper - Vancouver
Board one of Canada’s most famous trains today, VIA Rail’s The Canadian, for a Journey of scenic delights as you travel to Vancouver. Experience the beauty of the Rockies from an angle only possible by train, enjoy the best of Canadian ingredients crafted by expert chefs into delightful meals, and let the noise of the rails rock you gently to sleep. Meals on board are included sleeping accommodation are included.
Day 19: Vancouver
Arrive in Vancouver after a delicious breakfast onboard and make your way to your hotel for a 3 night stay. Boasting a glorious waterfront setting Vancouver is consistently voted best place to live in Canada, and once you’ve visited you’ll understand why. Maybe it’s the youth and friendliness of the place, or the vast array of shopping, from chic on Robson Street to the latest brands in designer malls. Perhaps it’s the artist’s scene, from the funky hotspot of Granville Island to the vast array of museums. Maybe it’s the natural charm of 1000-acre Stanley Park or the surrounding peaks of the Coastal Mountains, or in summer the whale watching in the Pacific Ocean. Decide for yourself.
Hotel for 3 nights: Sheraton Wall Centre
Day 20-21: Vancouver
Two days for you to explore this wonderful city at your own pace, and to make sure you don’t miss the highlights we included a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour. A young, friendly city with countless natural charms in close proximity, Vancouver has been voted the world’s third most liveable city and most liveable in Canada. Shop on chic Robson Street or explore the funky Granville Island with its market and artists enclave; visit the city’s vast array of museums; walk or cycle around the 1000-acre Stanley Park or visit quaint and atmospheric Gastown. Dining is a delight and a dilemma, there’s so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from and there’s a night scene for most tastes too.
Day 22-23: Las Vegas
Make your way to the airport today for your flight to Sin City, Las Vegas and your 3 night stay on the famous Las Vegas strip. Fabulous Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, sits in the middle of the desert and offers non-stop fun to all who seek it. Luxurious hotels dominate the famous Las Vegas Strip offering 24 hour action in enormous casinos, nightclubs to make any city envious and shows that would grace any Broadway stage. By day there’s resort style swimming pools, the nearby Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon, easily reached by road or air; by night, when the Strip springs to life with colour and glitz, you’ll understand why it’s called “Sin City”.
Hotel for 3 nights: Treasure Island Hotel
Day 24: Grand Canyon
No visit to Las Vegas would be complete without seeing one of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon, and this morning you’ll do it in style. Experience an exhilarating helicopter tour as you fly over Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and Fortification Hill along with many other breathtaking views. Keep an eye open for wildlife along the way. Descend and land 3,500 feet into the Grand Canyon in Hualapai Indian Territory. Champagne, beverages and a light snack will be served some 300 feet above the mighty Colorado River in one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Fly back through the Grand Canyon, view the red rock formations of the Bowl of Fire and conclude your adventure with an exciting flight over Downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip as you arrive back in Las Vegas early afternoon.
Day 25: Las Vegas - San Francisco
Make your way to Las Vegas airport this morning for your flight to over the high Sierras to San Francisco; take an included transfer to your hotel close to union Square for a 3 night stay. The “City by the Bay” is characterised by its hills and cable cars and is home to the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, bustling Fisherman’s Wharf and the stylish Union Square. Colourful and sophisticated, it is home to the infamous Alcatraz Island, which once housed the likes of Al Capone and is now a historic monument; a vibrant Chinatown and thriving little Italy. There’s fantastic shopping around Union Square and the ride on a cable car up the steep hills from Fisherman’s Wharf is something not to be missed. There’s funky neighbourhoods, exclusive Nob Hill and hippy Haight-Ashbury all waiting to be explored.
Hotel for 3 nights: Parc 55 San Francisco
Day 26-27: San Francisco
To give you your bearings we include a half day city sightseeing tour that will acquaint you with the highlights, then you’re free to explore this eclectic city on your own. Your guided journey will highlight famous landmarks and familiarise you with this culturally diverse city. Scheduled stops include Vista Point at the Golden Gate Bridge, the panoramic view of the city from atop Twin Peaks and other photo opportunities recommended by your driver-guide. Highlights include Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Civic Centre, Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park/Bridge and Mission Dolores.
Day 28: San Francisco - Los Angeles
It’s back on the rails today as you head south to Los Angeles aboard Amtrak’s iconic Coast Starlight service. Break free of congested airports and freeways to get up-close-and-personal with America’s spectacular West Coast, hugging rocky coastlines, and enjoying amazing views as you head to the City of Angels for a 2 night stay.
Hotel for 2 nights: Millennium Biltmore
Day 29: Los Angeles
An essential stop on any west coast itinerary, the “City of Angels” offers something for everyone. From the theme parks of Disneyland® and Universal Studios Hollywood® to the movie sights and glamour of Hollywood and the nightlife of Sunset Strip. Go celebrity spotting and boutique shopping in Beverly Hills or soak up the sun on the beaches of Santa Monica and Long Beach. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find it in Los Angeles.
Day 30: Los Angeles - Hawaii
Make your way to the airport today for your flight to a tropical paradise – Hawaii. On arrival an included transfer will take you to your hotel right by the azure blue sea on Waikiki’s fabulous beach and check in for a 6 night stay. Sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands are the most westerly state in the USA, and nothing like their sister states. here’s you’ll find a group of islands crafted by volcanic activity covered in lush greenery and fringed by sandy beaches and crazy cliffs facing a sparkling sea under sunlit skies. You’ll find the locals laid back and friendly and fiercely proud of their South Pacific origins. The largest island, Oahu, is home to one of the most famous beach resorts in the world – Waikiki Beach.
Hotel for 5 nights: Hilton Hawaiian Village
Day 31-35: Hawaii
Five days to soak up a world of idyllic beaches, waterfalls, emerald rainforests and vibrant culture. Delicious food and a laid-back lifestyle will leave you longing for more. Hike up Diamond Head, a 300,000-year-old crater, for incredible views, visit historical Pearl Harbor or scuba dive and snorkel to see wrecks, reefs and marine life in Hanauma Bay. The "surfing capital of the world", North Shore, home to top surf tournaments, has waves regularly reaching over 30 feet. Don’t panic- Waikiki Beach offers a much calmer experience! Don't leave Honolulu without visiting the Polynesian Cultural Centre to experience Hawaii’s culture. An included full day island tour will make sure you don’t miss the highlights, even if you do spend the rest of your time lazing on the beach under a sun-kissed sky – and who would blame you!
Day 36: Hawaii - International date line
Time to move south again today as you head for the airport and your flight to Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island. You’ll cross the international date line on your journey – so you lose a whole day.
Day 37: Auckland
On arrival into Auckland a private transfer will take you to your downtown accommodation for a 2 night stay.
Hotel for 2 nights: The Stamford Plaza
Day 38: Auckland
The hundreds of sailing boats in Auckland harbour are an amazing sight and have gained New Zealand’s largest city the nickname “City of Sails”. But there’s much more to Auckland than its fantastic harbourfront; you’ll find shopping galore, restaurants that serve food to die for and a thriving night-scene too. Across the harbour is Waiheke Island, home to some of the best vineyards and wineries around and everywhere you’ll find happy people and a relaxed laid-back atmosphere; no wonder it’s one of the best places to live in the world. Today you are free to explore this incredible city on your own.
Day 39: Auckland – Wellington
Take to the rails again today as you board one of New Zealand’s iconic trains, the Northern Explorer, for the journey to the nation’s capital, Wellington. The first chapter of the Northern Explorer's epic journey is across the mighty Waikato Plains to Hamilton, famous for its gardens and the Hobbiton film set. The Northern Explorer then begins its journey into the rolling hills of King Country, stopping at Otorohanga late morning. In the early afternoon, the Northern Explorer begins its ascent onto the southern tip of the Central Plateau, where the often snow-capped volcano Ruapehu dominates the skyline. To reach this elevation, the train squeals around the tight curves of the historic Raurimu Spiral, designed in 1898 to make the 139-metre ascent onto the plateau possible without a lengthy diversion.
As you travel through National Park, the eastern skyline will feature the distinctive volcanic cone of Ngaurahoe, which starred as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movie. Further south, the massive peak of Ruapehu will loom on the horizon as the Northern Explorer skirts around the Tongariro National Park. At approximately 800m above sea level, travelling across the southern tip of the Central Plateau is surprisingly flat and straight, crossing a series of viaducts that bridge deep ravines carved by rivers forming on the slopes of Ruapehu. The greatest of these viaducts are the Makatote, Manganui-o-te-Ao and Hapuawhenua.
It was the middle of the three, the 34m tall Manganui-o-te-Ao Viaduct, that was completed last in 1908 and finally connected Auckland to Wellington by train. An obelisk on the western bank just north of the viaduct marks the spot where the opening ceremony took place. Vast expanses of tussock and snow-grasses dominate the south-eastern edge of the Central Plateau. This high plain is called the Rangipo Desert, and although it is not officially a desert, it is as inhospitable and barren as any place on earth. South of Taihape, the Northern Explorer journey follows the distinctive papa cliffs of the Rangitikei River. Here, the soft sandstone has been easily carved by the river, resulting in a narrow gorge with several sharp horseshoe bends. As the train passes through, it negotiates the river and its tributaries via five towering viaducts.
The final stretch of this scenic journey sees you clinging to rugged cliffs of the Kapiti Coast before easing into the twinkling harbourside capital city, Wellington. Your arrival is perfectly timed with the descent of early evening when the city's boutique bars and worldly restaurants come to life. On arrival make your way to your hotel for a 3 night stay.
Hotel for 3 nights: Rydes Wellington
Day 40-41: Wellington
New Zealand’s sophisticated capital sits between rolling hills and a stunning coastline and harbourfront facing the Cook Strait. Friendly and compact, with a relaxed café culture and some wonderful cuisine – four restaurants have won “Best Restaurant” awards in five years, it is easily explored on foot. Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand, houses the nation’s treasures and deserves some time on any itinerary and the cable car ride from Lambton Quay is worth the effort. And an hour’s drive out of the city will take you to the Wairarapa and Martinborough famous for its Pinot Noir, whilst film buffs will relish the opportunity to visit the Weta Workshop.
To ensure you make the most of your time, a half day tour is included and you’ll visit all the must-see sights and attractions, as well as venturing out for a leisurely cruise around the rugged Southern coastline. Highlights include city, harbour and hill views from some of the city’s most spectacular vantage points, as well as visiting many of Wellington’s most famous sights, landmarks and icons. See the famous Beehive and Parliament Buildings, Old Saint Paul’s Cathedral, (the finest example of Revival Gothic architecture in the Southern Hemisphere), exquisite Lady Norwood Rose Gardens, the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere and various buildings exemplifying classic early Wellington architecture. Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Wellington City, hills and harbour from the summit of Mount Victoria, and drive around the rugged and pure scenic bays of Wellington Harbour.
Day 42: Wellington – Kaikoura
Crossing Cook Strait you will experience one of New Zealand’s finest journeys. In just over three hours you will cruise around the lower North Island coastline and experience the peaceful Marlborough Sounds, a truly breathtaking entrance to the South Island. Arriving in Picton you’ll take the second of New Zealand’s iconic rail journeys, the Coastal Pacific. Travelling south to Kaikoura the journey is a scenic feast with the mountain ranges on one side and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. Arrive in the seaside town of Kaikoura late afternoon for an overnight stay.
Hotel: The White Morph Inn
Day 43: Kaikoura - Christchurch
Picturesque Kaikoura’s location is truly spectacular, caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In winter the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape. Kaikoura is the perfect place for marine life encounters, whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. Whale watching trips leave the town several times a day and the local seal colony is always entertaining. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops to explore. You’ve all day to explore the village, enjoy a seafood lunch or perhaps take a wildlife cruise before re-joining the Coastal Pacific for the journey to Christchurch, where you’ll stay for 3 nights.
Hotel: Chateau on the Park, a Doubletree by Hilton hotel
Day 44: Christchurch
Overlooking the picturesque Pegasus Bay, Christchurch is a quaint and eclectic city that promises to surprise and delight you and is renowned for its rich English heritage. Punt along the river Avon as it meanders through the heart of the city, visit Hagley Park or the botanical gardens, and be sure to see the Cardboard Cathedral, which rose from the devastation of the 2011 and 2012 earthquakes as a focal point for the congregation to continue to worship after the Christchurch Cathedral was badly damaged.
Day 45: The TranzAlpine
Make your way to the station for a day out like no other. Take in the South Island’s stunning mountains and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s finest rail journey considered to be one of the world’s greatest train journeys. Cross the lush Canterbury Plains, climbing to the high pass guarded by towering, angular mountains. Settle back in warm comfort and enjoy the breathtaking views through panoramic windows or experience the sting of icy mountain air from the open viewing platform, warming your hands on a mug of steaming hot chocolate. Descend to the West Coast, perhaps New Zealand’s last frontier, and the coastal town of Greymouth. there’s time to stretch your legs before taking the train back to Christchurch.
Day 46: Christchurch - Cairns
You’ll be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Australia and the north Queensland town of Cairns. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel for a 4 night stay.
Hotel for 4 nights: The Pacific Hotel
Day 47-49: Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef
Queensland’s most northerly city, Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the vast wilderness of the Cape York Peninsula. It is a tropical city with tree-lined streets, excellent shopping and good restaurants and is surrounded by lush sub-tropical rainforests, and to the north and south, miles of white sandy beaches and turquoise oceans.
This is a region with lots to see and explore, not least of which is another of the world’s natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef and to ensure you don’t miss it, we include a day cruise. This is an exciting day as you enjoy the thrill of diving and snorkelling on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll explore three different and stunning reef locations in style aboard Silverswift sailing from Cairns. Enjoy unlimited snorkelling from the back of your boat as the master selects the best sites based on tides and weather. For those who wish to dive there’s the option to pay for up to three dives; novices can pay for up to 2 dives. This is an experience for those who relish the excitement of open water snorkelling and diving. A buffet lunch is included. (Cruise can be changed for a less open water experience)
The region is also home to some of the oldest rainforest in the world and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see Cape Tribulation and the Daintree rainforest, where the forest comes down to the white sandy beach, or the market town of Kuranda set above the rainforest and reached by cable car or train from Cairns.
Day 50: Cairns - Melbourne
Transfer to the airport and fly to cosmopolitan Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, where you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel for a 3 night stay. Bursting with history and culture, Melbourne was once Australia’s capital and still lays claim to be its cultural capital and most liveable city. With a 175 year history it’s a cultural melting pot, sophisticated, elegant and cosmopolitan; a centre of arts, culture, fashion and sport. Tree lined boulevards, spacious parks, an eclectic mix of boutiques in little alleyways and Victorian arcades; a remarkably European café culture and restaurant scene and on the banks of the Yarra River, the fabulous Southbank entertainment area. And less than two hours away you’ll find great “must see” attractions and world class vineyards.
Hotel for 3 nights: Savoy on Little Collins
Day 51-52: Melbourne
Two days to explore Melbourne, an included city tour will help you find your way around. You’ll see Captain Cook’s Cottage, Queen Victoria Market, Fitzroy Gardens and Albert Park. Stroll the Royal Botanic Gardens; see the Royal Exhibition Buildings and Federation Square. Visit the Shrine of Remembrance and see the Southbank waterfront precinct. See some of the city’s architecture including St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Princess and Regent Theatres. The rest of your time is free to explore magnificent Melbourne on your own or perhaps take a tour to Philip Island or the Yarra Valley.
Day 53: Melbourne - Sydney
A private transfer will take you to the airport for your flight to Sydney, where you’ll be met and transferred to your downtown hotel for a 4 night stay. A picturesque harbour setting, the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, unparalleled dining, nightlife and sightseeing combine to make Sydney a world class city in every sense. Head over the harbour to Manly or round to Bondi to hit the beaches; explore the Rocks area and Darling Harbour’s many attractions, relax in the parks or cruise on the harbour. the options are countless.
Hotel for 4 nights: The PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 54-56: Sydney
Three full days to explore one of Australia’s most exciting cities. The best way to get to know anywhere new is on a guided city tour, ensuring that you see the highlights and helping get your bearings. Your included City Tour will showcase the highlights, from the historic Rocks district to Darling Harbour, the Circular Quay and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the botanical gardens to the wonders of Bondi beach. Your included tour showcased the best of Sydney and over the next two days you can explore this scintillating city on your own; the problem is you’ll be spoiled for choice as to where to revisit. Will it be the Rocks and Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, the Aquarium or the quaint shopping arcades and designer boutiques? Perhaps you’ll take to the ferries and explore Manley or visit Taronga Zoo, or maybe you’ll head out to the Hunter Valley or Blue Mountains. Whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to sample some of the southern hemisphere’s best cuisine in Sydney’s varied eating places. Surry Hills hosts an eclectic mix of excellent restaurants that aren’t hard on the pocket either.
Day 57: Sydney – Johannesburg
Say goodbye to Australia today as you’re transferred to Sydney airport for your flight to the third and final continent of your grand tour – Africa, and an overnight stop in Johannesburg. Because of flight timings, you’ll stay close to the airport this evening.
Hotel: Protea by Marriott O.R. Tambo
Day 58: Johannesburg – Mauritius
Fly to the Indian Ocean paradise of Mauritius this morning where on arrival you’ll be met and transferred to your beachside resort for a 7 night all inclusive stay. A small island of tranquil shores fringed by crystal seas backed by mountains cloaked in vibrant shades of green Mauritius is hidden in the Indian ocean. Visitors come here for the picture-postcard coastline, but scratch below the surface and you’ll discover more than beaches and glorious sunny days. The island’s diverse history has created a remarkably varied culture; quite something for a country that is about the size of Cornwall. The descendants of European, African, Indian and Chinese immigrants make up most of the population and each group has made their own mark.
Hotel for 7 nights: Radisson Blue Poste Lafayette
Day 59-64: Mauritius
A week of relaxation at your all inclusive resort. Watch dolphins and turtles in the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean surrounding this holiday paradise. Relax on the pristine white beaches or snorkel over coral seascapes and, helped by a dramatic ocean drop-off, explore some memorable dive sites. Away from the coast hiking trails weave through the rainforest exposing stunning waterfalls and cooling lagoons. The rich tapestry of Indian, French, African and Chinese influences have made their way to the island, creating a nuanced culinary identity. The streets of Port Louis are flanked by colonial villas, while smaller villages host busy markets and cosy cafes where you’ll find some of the friendliest people around.
Day 65: Mauritius – Cape Town
You’ll be transferred to the airport today for your flight to Cape Town. On arrival collect your hire car and make your way to your waterfront hotel for a 3 night stay. Things have changed a lot since Sir Francis Drake arrived in the Cape of Good Hope in 1580. But Cape Town, set between the amazing backdrop of Table Mountain and fringed by the Atlantic Ocean, is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Hotel for 3 nights: Radisson Red V&A Waterfront
Day 66-67: Cape Town
Two days to explore South Africa’s oldest city. Cape Town’s downtown is a mix of cobbled streets, eclectic shops, street cafés, Victorian architecture and street markets all dominated by the peak of Table Mountain. You can easily spend a day wandering this compact and lively city centre, and the waterfront this is one of Cape Town’s premier attractions with many bars, restaurants and shops all located within a bustling working harbour. Perhaps visit Camps Bay for the beach and sundowners and be sure to take the revolving cableway to the top of Table Mountain for incredible views of the city below, the Atlantic Ocean and distant mountains. If you’re feeling energetic there are lots of mountain walks too.
Day 68: Cape Town - Montagu
Today is the start of your tour of the famous Garden Route. Stretching along the coast the Garden Route is one of the best-known journeys in the southern hemisphere. You’ll find secluded coves, quaint towns and rivers, lakes and forests. A range of charming accommodation provides an added reason to explore this captivating region. First stop today will be the beautiful winelands region, where the historic Dutch town of Stellenbosch provides the perfect location for a lunch stop. Have a look at the botanical gardens in Worcester then join Route 62 for one of the most scenic drives in Africa. Spend the night in charming Montagu, famous for its hot springs.
Hotel: Victorian Hotel 1906
Day 69: Montagu – Oudtshoorn
Your journey along Route 62 today will be simply stunning with small villages and farming communities dotted along the way providing the perfect stop for a coffee, or in Calitzdorp, famous for its port wine, you may decide on something a little stronger! Continue to Oudtshoorn, perfectly placed for exploring the Little Karoo region. You’ll spend the next two nights just outside the town at your first game lodge.
Hotel for 2 nights: Buffelsdrift Game Lodge
Day 70: Oudtshoorn
You’ll be spoiled for choice today. Perhaps you’ll relax at the lodge, visit the impressive Cango Caves with their vast halls and limestone formations or explore nearby Oudtshoorn. Maybe you’ll visit an ostrich farm or winery; it’s your choice.
Day 71: Oudtshoorn– Knysna
Today you’ll drive through the spectacularly scenic Outeniqua Pass and along the scenic coastal section of the garden route, dotted with fine beaches and ancient forests of Yellowwood and other native trees on your way to Knysna. Where you’ll spend the next 2 nights.
Hotel for 2 nights: The Belvedere Manor
Day 72: Knysna
Famous for its oysters and lagoon, Knysna is a pretty town with plenty of shops and galleries to explore and the Featherbed Nature Reserve is a boat ride away across the saltwater lagoon. Close-by Knysna you’ll find the upmarket seaside town of Plettenberg Bay where you can relax on the beach, spot migrating whales (in season) from the Robberg Peninsula, or maybe visit the Tsitsikamma National Park.
Day 73: Knysna - Port Elizabeth
Leave Knysna today for Port Elizabeth. Set on Algoa Bay at the western end of the Sunshine Coast, it offers many good bathing beaches, great surf spots and excellent water sports. Marine life in the bay is also sensational, with plenty of dolphins and whales that can be spotted throughout the year. The city centre boasts numerous heritage buildings that are well worth a look.
Hotel: Protea by Marriott Port Elizabeth Marine
Day 74: Port Elizabeth - Johannesburg
Drop your hire car at the airport today and take your flight to Johannesburg. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel for a 2 night stay. Johannesburg is a vibrant city with historic roots and a diverse culture. You’ll find an eclectic array of dining and entertainment options, alongside the must-see sights of this exciting destination.
Hotel for 2 nights: Africa Pride Melrose Arch, Autograph Collection
Day 75: Johannesburg
This morning you’ll see the highlights of this pulsating city on an included city tour. Set off for Constitution Hill, home of South Africa's architectural marvel, the Constitutional Court and site of Johannesburg's Old Fort Prison (closed Sundays). Explore the inner city of Johannesburg learning about the gold rush and visit the Top of Africa, the 223m high Carlton Centre, with views as far as the capital city of Pretoria, before exploring the Maboneng Precinct, a wonderful example of urban regeneration on the east side of Johannesburg. Return to your hotel via the lush, upmarket suburb of Houghton. The afternoon and evening are free for you to explore more on your own.
Day 76: Johannesburg – Hoedspruit – Karongwe Game Reserve
You’ll be taken to the airport this morning for your flight to Hoedspruit and what for many will the ultimate highlight of this journey of exploration. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to the Karongwe Game Reserve for a 3 night stay at the Becks Safari Lodge. Becks Safari Lodge is a small, unashamedly exclusive, luxury safari lodge set in about 9,000 hectares of pristine African bush, in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve. Bordered by the towering Drakensberg escarpment on the west and set in game-rich, lush, riverine vegetation, it offers a variety of breathtaking views, diverse landscapes and some of the best big five game-viewing opportunities in Southern Africa.
Hotel for 3 nights: Becks Safari Lodge
Day 77-78: Safari Lodge
Two days to enjoy wildlife spotting and relaxation at this superb lodge, where game drives take place twice a day. Accommodation is in luxury tented villas and all meals, house drinks and game drives are included.
Day 79: Hoedspruit – Johannesburg – London
All good things come to an end and today is the day. you’ll be transferred to the airport in Hoedspruit for a flight to Johannesburg and an onward overnight flight to London Heathrow.
Day 80: London
Arrive into London Heathrow and make your way home with a head full of memories of your trip around the world.