Wherever your next trip of a lifetime holiday is, make sure you add one of these extra-special travel experiences to your adventure. Because at Flight Centre, we know that it’s the Journey and the destination that count…
Travel The Ghan railway
An epic 1,851-mile coast-to-coast track takes you from tropical Darwin to verdant Adelaide, through the scorched earth of the Northern Territory and South Australia. The route was carved 150 years ago by Afghan migrants on camel back, but today the train offers more luxurious transit, with restaurants, bars and plush cabins. En route spot kangaroos, swim in watering holes or learn the art of horse-breaking. Spend sultry nights gazing out of your window at ethereal colourways of blue, red, green and pink, and skies so full of stars the earth looks lit up from above.
Cruise coast to coast in an RV
You’ll need three weeks for the ultimate in road trips, from Los Angeles to New York in an RV with Cruise America. Drive Route 66, stopping at roadside diners for indecently large portions of ribs, steaks and stacks of maple syrup-soaked pancakes. Roll through dusty towns where cowboys still rule the range, hear the clang of church bells in the Midwest, photograph cacti in the Arizona desert and let the bright lights of Manhattan beckon you forth as you near the East Coast.
Float on Kerala backwaters
Flamboyant Kettuvallam houseboats have been using these tranquil Kerala waterways to transport spices, tea and cashews since 3,000 BC. The pace of life is still slow, and the canals fringed with lush palms, but these days the boats are luxuriously decorated and come with a chef. You’ll pass sleepy port villages, be dazzled by ornate temples and feast on coconut and fish curry accompanied by a shot of sweet, fiery homemade liquor.
Island hop by speedboat
Skipping along the azure waters of the Bali Sea aboard a speedboat might feel like you’re on the set of a James Bond film. As the white sands of Gili Trawangan approach, a traditional cidomo horse and cart awaits to transport you onwards – there are no motorised vehicles on the three Gili Islands, so it’s a case of foot, pedal or horsepower. After time spent snorkelling and relaxing on the beach – coconut in hand – hop aboard a seaplane to Lombok, where you’ll trek through rice paddies and swaying reeds to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls.
Take a chopper to a live volcano
White Island off the coast of Rotorua is one of the only places in the world where you can land on an active volcano. And approaching the hissing behemoth from above is the best way to see it. After cruising over open water, you’ll circle the lunar landscape of Whakaari (its Maori name) before touching down, navigating blistering fumaroles – vibrant sulphur formations splattered across the lava-covered ground – and striding up the scarred hillside that encases the colossal steaming crater itself.
Fly in a seaplane over Halong Bay
Hop on a belching, spluttering motorbike and make your way from the frenetic streets of Hanoi, through terraced rice paddies and towards the sci-fi-like scenery of Halong Bay. Next, board a seaplane over the limestone formations rising from the turquoise water. The view is totally different from that offered by the wooden junk boats that pepper the waterways below. Lose yourself in vistas of dramatic caves, deep valleys and more than 2,000 islets carpeted in lush green. Finish up with steaming bowls of pho washed down with Saigon beer.
Soar sky-high in a hot-air balloon
On the banks of Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River, time stands still. Muscular oxen turn over the peaty earth with ploughs. Tumbling wooden monasteries and thatched homes on stilts cling to the riverbank. Golden pagodas peek out from overgrown teak trees, their spires winking in the amber glow of the sun. Cradled in a curve of the river is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bagan. Here you’ll take to the sky in a hot-air balloon and navigate a misty landscape of tall palms, and cotton and peanut fields dotted with more than 2,500 Buddhist temples and monuments.
Go white-water rafting in Patagonia
Buckle up as you surge through narrow passes, chutes, falls and rapids against a backdrop of towering mountains, lush canopies, granite gorges and the distant snow-capped peaks of the Chilean rainforest. This epic experience takes place on the glacially cold Futaleufú River. You’ll paddle for up to three hours a day, before relaxing in the comfort of a luxury tent each evening.
Safari through the Masai Mara
The wildebeest migration has good claim to be the greatest journey on earth. Stampeding over the red-hot dirt of the Masai Mara, 1.5 million wildebeest are joined by herds of zebra and gazelle and pursued by hungry predators. It’s easy to see why it’s such an impressive spectacle. This occurs throughout the year as the animals seek out fresh water and grazing, and our guides can take you to the best spots to see it. Hang on tight to the roll bars, hold your camera close and keep an eye out for lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and buffalo as well.
Ride the Rocky Mountaineer
The best ways to spot wildlife and take in Canada’s epic topography are by foot, car or rail. Enter the Rocky Mountaineer, a world-renowned luxurious train that whisks you through the majestic Rockies. Choose one of four scenic routes, each rich in history and natural wonders – or combine two or three for the ultimate experience. Gazing through the glass-domed roof, you feel as though you’re inside the canyons, waterfalls and mountains. Add exemplary service and dining, and you’re on to a winner.
You can add one of these fabulous experiences to your Journey or Escape itinerary – just talk to one of our Travel Experts today, on the phone or in person at any of our stores.