Work & Play World Discovery

Up to 12 months from £4,029 (was £4,129)

Hanging out with new friends in New Zealand

Work, play, and travel the world

Work, play, and travel the world

Elephant saying hello
Tallest skyscraper in the world in Dubai, UAE
Great Barrier Reef

Trip Highlights

  • Work as a volunteer and help care for elephants in a small local community in Sri Lanka
  • Discover the magic of Bangkok by canal, tour the temples and Grand Palace, then fly down to the southern isles for some incredible beach partying in Thailand
  • Spend up to a year getting paid to work and travel around amazing Australia
  • Learn to surf, spend some time on Fraser Island, and travel the entire east coast of Australia having some incredible adventures along the way
  • Explore New Zealand with a flexible hop-on hop-off bus pass that will take you to the best bits on both north and south islands
  • Tailor your trip to shake up the order of countries you visit and add extra trips to make this a once-in-a-lifetime adventure

Trip Summary

Combine travel and work on an action-packed adventure through the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Australasia with some practical extras, like travel passes and job support included for all-round peace of mind, and a gap year like no other! Kick off your journey with some independent travel in Dubai before jetting over to Sri Lanka to spend time volunteering in a small community and helping care for the resident elephants on a rewarding project. From there you’ll spend some time relaxing on some of the world's most beautiful beaches and partying under the stars in Thailand, before heading south and spending up to a year taking on paid work in Australia. You'll have a handy Australian travel pass thrown in, as well as a fun learn to surf trip and a three-day tour of Fraser Island. In case that's not enough travelling in one trip, don't panic – you've still got a whole country to tour, in the form of New Zealand. This is about as epic as it gets!

Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!

Trip Info


Your first stop off will be in Dubai, where you'll have time to yourself to discover the best bits of this fascinating place at your own pace. We can help you arrange accommodation, but the rest is up to you...


Fly from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in time to arrive in time for the first day of your itinerary.


Spend two to six weeks carrying out important conservation work whilst caring for elephants and helping in the local community near Colombo in Sri Lanka.

You’ll be working daily with Asian elephants, helping to feed, monitor, and bathe them while learning about the impact these animals have on the lives of their handlers and the importance of educating future generations to ensure elephant welfare and protection.

You’ll also have the opportunity to visit and help pass on language and other life skills to underprivileged children in schools and centres in the local community, learn how to cook traditional Sri Lankan food, go to Sinhala classes, and get to go out and explore the vibrant towns and villages in your own time.


Fly from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) to arrive in time for the first day of your itinerary.


Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok

Meet the rest of your group on a fun night out in Khao San Road.

Day 2: Bangkok

Go on  a canal boat tour and visit Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and the majestic Grand Palace.

Day 3: Kanchanaburi

Spend the day with the elephants at a brilliant project in Kanchanaburi.

Day 4-5: Railay Beach

Fly to Krabi and transfer to Railay by boat for two days in beachy paradise.  

Day 6-7: Koh Phi Phi

Chill on Koh Phi Phi, go on a boat tour, snorkel, and visit Maya Bay.

Day 8-9: Koh Pha Ngan

Experience a moon party and enjoy a Thai massage on the beach.

Day 10: Departure

Make your own way back to Bangkok for the next leg of your journey.

Speak to one of our travel advisors about extending your Thailand trip to our 15-day option if you'd also like to visit Koh Samui, Ang Thong Marine Park, and Koh Tao.

*This itinerary begins from 1st April 2018. If travelling before 1st April, you'll travel to Railay Beach on day 3 and spend an extra day and night on Koh Pha Ngan.


Fly from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) to Sydney International Airport (SYD) to arrive in time for the first day of your itinerary.


Start your working holiday down under with an action-packed Aussie adventure in Sydney and Port Stephens.

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney

Meet the team and get settled in at the hostel.

Day 2: Orientation & jet boating

Get a city orientation then go jet boating in Sydney Harbour.

Day 3: Bondi Beach

Visit Bondi Beach and go on a coastal walk to Coogee.

Day 4: Sydney Harbour

Get help and advice from the team and go on a Sydney Harbour cruise.

Day 5: Port Stephens surfing

Take a surf lesson and enjoy a beach BBQ in the evening.  

Day 6: Sand boarding & dolphin watching

Feed wild kangaroos, go sand boarding, and cruise beside dolphins.

Day 7: Setting up home

Back in Sydney, the team will help you make accommodation arrangements.

Day 8: Working in Oz seminar

Work seminar, jobs board sign-up, and a group meal at a revolving restaurant.

Day 9: Onwards and upwards

Move on to your house share or other accommodation.


Sydney to Barrington Tops

Head to Barrington Tops and stop at Hunter Valley for a wine tasting session.

Barrington Tops to Spot X Surf Camp

Go mountain biking before travelling to surf camp. Visit a koala hospital on the way.

Spot X Surf Camp to River Retreat

Chill or surf before travelling to the River Retreat and go on a canoeing trip.

River Retreat to Byron Bay

Spend two nights in Byron with a free day to surf, party, or go kayaking.

Byron Bay to Noosa or Rainbow Beach

Stay in Noosa or head to Rainbow beach to watch the sunset at Carlo Sand Blow.

Noosa/Rainbow Beach to Emu Park

Watch dolphins at Tin Can Bay. Later, we'll travel to Emus Beach Resort.

Emu Park to Airlie Beach

Spend the day at Emus Beach Resort, catch an overnight train to Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island

Walk around Magnetic Island with your tour guide, then relax by the pool.

Magnetic Island to Tully

Stay in a historic pub or camp in Tully Gorge National Park. 

Tully to Cairns

Take a look around Cairns before partying in the evening.


Day 1: Travel to the Surf Camp

Arrive at surf camp, chill out around the camp fire in the evening.

Day 2-4: Learn to Surf!

Learn to surf with professional instructors teaching you over two sessions each day.

Day 5: Transfer to Byron Bay

Head to Byron Bay after your last surf lesson.


Day 1: Hervey Bay to Fraser Island

Visit Wanggoolba Creek, Lake McKenzie, and Basin Lake.

Day 2: Explore Fraser Island

Drive along Seventy Five Mile Beach, relax in the Champagne Pools, and climb Indian Head.

Day 3: Return to Hervey Bay

Take a dip in Lake Wabby, walk over Hammerstone Sandblow, and swim in Lake Birrabeen.


Fly from Sydney International Airport (SYD) to Auckland International Airport (AKL) to arrive in time for the first day of your itinerary.


Auckland to Mercury Bay (Whitianga)

Visit Mt Eden, the Coromandel Peninsula, and Cathedral Cove.

Mercury Bay (Whitianga) to Rotorua

Stop at the Karangahake Scenic Reserve, go zorbing, and experience a Maori hangi (feast).

Rotorua to Waitomo

Visit Te Puia, then head to the Waitomo caves, and the Ruakuri reserve.

Waitomo to Taupo

Head for Lake Taupo and try out a range of exciting activities.

Taupo (extra day)

Spend some free time in Taupo.

Taupo to River Valley

Visit Tongariro National Park before travelling to River Valley.

River Valley to Wellington

Go white water rafting or horse riding before heading to Wellington.  

Wellington to Picton to Nelson

Travel across the Cook Strait, then on to the golden beaches of Nelson.

Nelson to Westport

Visit the Nelson Lakes National Park en-route to Westport.

Westport to Lake Mahinapua

Cruise down picturesque Highway 6 and enjoy a fancy dress party tonight in Mahinapua.

Lake Mahinapua to Franz Josef

Visit the Bushman’s Centre before heading through Franz Josef Glacier Village.

Franz Josef (Extra Day)

Hike on the Franz Josef Glacier: one of the top three activities to try in New Zealand.

Franz Josef to Wanaka

Drive the last stretch of Highway 6 to Mount Aspiring National Park.

Wanaka to Queenstown

Explore New Zealand's adventure capital, Queenstown, with the rest of the group.

Queenstown (Extra Day)

Make the most of the beautiful lake and surroundings and try out different activities.

Queenstown to Lake Tekapo

Head through the Lindis Pass, into ‘Lord of the Rings’ territory and to Lake Pukaki.

Lake Tekapo to Christchurch

Head to the ‘garden city’, aka Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island.

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Get to Kaikoura by midday for dolphin swimming and whale watching.

Kaikoura to Wellington (via Picton)

Head back to the North Island by ferry.

Wellington to Taupo

Pass through Taihape, head to the Central Plateau, then on to Taupo.

Taupo to Auckland (via Rotorua)

Head north to Rotorua, making our way to Matamata (aka Hobbiton), then on to Auckland.

Please note: this bus pass is open-dated. We will issue you with the pass, but you'll need to select your start date and the length of your itinerary. Dates may vary as bus timetables change at certain times of the year. Once your booking is confirmed you will be given full instructions on how to book your seats on the buses.

Our Work & Play World Discovery package is a combined trip made up of five different Real Gap Experience trips (all detailed below). All of our Round the World Travel packages can be altered to suit you, so if you want to swap out one of the trips for another, or shake up the order in which you travel to each country, you can! Just speak to one of our travel advisors to find out more about your options.

More Trip Info

Whats Included

Sri Lanka Elephant & Community Volunteers - 2 weeks

  • Project experience as described
  • Airport transfers in Sri Lanka
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner - Monday to Friday
  • Accommodation throughout your programme
  • Detailed orientation
  • On site project coordinator

Thailand Island Hopping - 10 days

  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • All accommodation
  • Transport to each destination on the itinerary
  • An experienced tour guide
  • Long tail river boat tour of Bangkok
  • Tuk-tuk ride in Bangkok
  • Hidden Bangkok bar crawl
  • Flight from Bangkok to Krabi
  • Boat trip at Railay Beach
  • Island boat trip in Koh Phi Phi
  • Snorkelling and Maya Bay visit
  • Beachside drinks and dinner on Koh Phangan
  • Traditional Thai massage and trip to the Secret Beach in Koh Phangan
  • Full day excursion to Ang Thong Marine Park (15-day option only)
  • Sunset drinks on the beach on Koh Tao (15-day option only)
  • Full day island boat trip excursion including snorkelling in Koh Ngan Yuan (15-day option only)
  • Koh Tao pub crawl (15-day option only)

Paid Work in Australia - Up to 12 months

  • Personal meet and greet at Sydney Airport with transfer on arrival
  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • Welcome meeting
  • The support of a friendly and helpful group leader
  • Full orientation session
  • Help and advice for preparing to live and work in Australia from our personal work and travel experts
  • Assistance from our expert jobs team to perfect your CV and line up interviews for you
  • Australian bank account set up, tax file number, Medicare card, and SIM card
  • 12 months online Oz Jobs access
  • 12 months job support and advice from local team
  • Free Wifi
  • BBQ on days 3 and 5, and lunch on day 6
  • Full city orientation in Sydney
  • Jet boating in Sydney Harbour
  • Private Sydney Harbour cruise
  • Transfers between all site visits included in the itinerary
  • Bondi Beach to Coogee coastal walk and snorkelling
  • Surfing lesson near Port Stephens
  • Sand boarding at Port Stephens
  • Dolphin boat trip at Port Stephens
  • Farewell dinner at revolving restaurant in Sydney
  • Help with onward travel

East Coast Learn to Surf - 5 days

  • 4 nights dorm accommodation at the Surf Camp
  • Transport from Sydney to Spot X
  • Transport from Spot X to Byron Bay
  • 5 Surf Lessons & 2 Afternoon Expression Sessions
  • Use of Wetsuits and Surf Boards during lessons
  • All meals included whilst at Spot X Surf Camp

Discover Fraser Island - 3 days

  • Accommodation
  • Knowledgeable guide
  • 3 days pf guided 4WD bus tour
  • 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches,2 dinners
  • Return ferry to and from Hervey Bay
  • National Park fees

Kiwi Experience Bus Pass - Up to 12 months

  • Bus pass valid for 12 months
  • Extensive tour information provided by bus staff
  • Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
  • Secrets of Bungy, Queenstown
  • Karangahake Gorge
  • Ruakuri Walk
  • Taranaki Falls
  • Nelson Lakes National Park
  • Cape Foulwind
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
  • Lake Matheson

All Trips

  • 24/7 emergency support

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals, drinks and snacks (unless otherwise stated)
  • Local transport
  • Optional activities/excursions

More Whats Included

Accommodation & Meals


Your travel in Dubai is completely independent, so you can select accommodation of your own choosing, or ask us for help booking a room.

Sri Lanka

You'll be staying in a shared volunteer house during your time in Sri Lanka, and will share a dorm-style room with up to seven other volunteers (not all necessarily taking part in the same project as you). You'll have shared bathroom and living areas as well as use of a washing machine and Wifi.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included from Monday to Friday, and will consist of both local and western-style meals.


You'll stay in a variety of different types of accommodation in Thailand, the majority of which will be based on two to four people in the group (of the same sex) sharing a room. All the accommodation is air-conditioned and has western-style bathroom facilities.

Most meals aren't included on this leg of the trip, but you'll find a large selection of restaurants and bars offering a wide range of delicious Thai food during your stay.


Paid Work programme

You'll spend your first eight nights at our brilliant hostel in the heart of Sydney. You'll share a dorm with up to nine others and have access to various shared areas, Wifi, and your own locker. The hostel is located next to The Scary Canary – a lively backpacker's watering hole. You'll also spend a night in a typical bush bungalow in Port Stephens. After your first nine days, you'll have help finding accommodation of your own, whether that's a shared house or signing up for a bit longer at the hostel.

On days three and five you'll get to enjoy beach barbecues. On day six you'll receive an included lunch, and on day eight you'll get to share a group meal at Australia's highest revolving restaurant.

East Coast Bus Pass

Your tour guide or driver will reserve accommodation along the route for you at our trusted hostels and guesthouses, unless you decide to book accommodation independently. The cost of which will need to be paid locally.

There are some unique overnight stays on route that we would highly recommend. They include:

  • Barrington Tops - A night in a private lodge set on the edge of Barrington's national park with river views and its own hot tub, dinner and breakfast included: 60AUD/£35pp.
  • Spot X - A night in beautiful beachside accommodation at Spot X Surf Camp, dinner and breakfast included: 60AUD/£35pp. 
  • River Retreat - A night beside the river in a wilderness cabin or swag under the stars, including dinner and breakfast: 50AUD/£30.   
  • Great Keppel Treasure Island - Go on a tour of Great Keppel Island, take part in a fun treasure hunt, go on a Bluff Point turtle walk, and enjoy and evening meal before bedding down for the night: 99AUD/£58.
  • Tully Rainforest - Enjoy a night's camping in Tully Gorge National Park and get to cool off in a beautiful swimming hole, enjoy a barbecue dinner and stories around the campfire as well as a hike through the forest to learn about the indigenous plants and animal species: 120AUD/£70.

Food isn't included in the East Coast Bus Pass.

East Coast Learn to Surf

You'll stay in dorm accommodation at the surf camp with access to shared areas including a movie room and entertainment area.

You'll be provided with three meals a day at the surf camp (days 2-4), with lunch on day 1, and breakfast and lunch on day 5 also included.

Discover Fraser Island

You'll spend two very comfortable nights at a wilderness lodge on Fraser Island on a multi-share basis, although single and double rooms are available at an additional cost.

Food won't be included during this leg of the trip.

New Zealand

Accommodation isn't included as part of your Kiwi Experience Bus Pass, but your driver/guide will be able to suggest the best places to stay at great backpacker rates.

Food won't be included during this leg of the trip.

More Accommodation & Meals


Round the World flights from: £1275

This Round the World route will take you to Dubai - Colombo - Bangkok - Sydney - Auckland. Flights are not included as part of this trip, but we have a brilliant flights team on hand, dedicated to getting you the best deal of the day.

To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.

It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your online account or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.

Get Flights Quote

Our Frequent Airlines

More Flights Info

Eligibility & FAQ's

The minimum age for this trip is 18-years-old. To be eligible for an Australian Working Holiday Visa, you must be aged between 18-30.


British passport holders can obtain a visitor's visa, valid for 30 days, on arrival to the United Arab Emirates.

Sri Lanka

You will need a tourist visa to enter Sri Lanka. You can apply for a 30-day tourist visa (ETA) online.


British passport holders arriving by air can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa. 


All visitors to Australia (except New Zealand residents) will require a visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter: these must be obtained before departing. If you're planning on taking paid work whilst in Australia you'll need a Working Holiday Visa. Both types of visa can be applied for online.

New Zealand

British passport holders can enter New Zealand without a visa, staying as a visitor for up to six months. 

I'm Planning To Travel On My Own, Will I Be Okay?

Of course! Most of our travellers go on our trips alone, so you’ll meet plenty of others in the same situation, and likely be firm friends by the end of your first day. In most instances, you'll have an experienced tour guide with you, and you'll always have our 24-hour emergency support if you need any assistance during your travels.

Do I Have To Have Travel Insurance?

Yes – no two ways about it! You'll need to make sure you have sufficient cover for the activities you're planning on taking part in during your trip as well as general travel concerns. One of our travel advisors will be more than happy to help set up travel insurance for you – our policies have been specifically designed for gap year travellers, and are among some of the most competitive on the market. Give us a call for more information.

Should I Take A Backpack Or A Suitcase?

We recommend you use a soft bag or frameless backpack, plus a small bag for excursions. You should check luggage limitations and restrictions with each airline you fly with prior to packing.

What's The Average Age Range Of People On These Trips?

It's difficult to put an average age on so many different trips and you're likely to meet travellers of all ages. You might have a mix of people your own age or some much older or younger than you. Generally, you'll find a huge age range of people on bus passes and flexible hop-on hop-off trips, but travellers between the ages of 18-30 on the other trips.

Can I Extend My Working Holiday Visa In Australia?

If you find you’re not ready to move on within 12 months, you can apply for an extension on your Working Holiday Visa for up to 24 months, but you’ll need to spend 88 days (3 months) carrying out specified work in a regional area of Australia, which is most easily achieved through farm/horticultural work or fruit picking. Do bear in mind that you'll need to let us know of any changes you make to your travel itinerary. Speak to us for more information.

Do I Have To Do All Of The Stops And Activities On The Travel Pass Routes?

Not if you don’t want to! These trips are all about flexibility, so if there’s anywhere you don’t really fancy going to or an activity you’d rather skip, that’s fine – just book onto the bits you do want to do.

Do I Have To Do This Trip In The Order Listed?

Nope, it's completely up to you how you do this tour – you could do it in reverse, mix up the order, add other trips, or take out trips you're not as interested in, you can tailor it to your every travel need.

More Eligibility & FAQ's

Dates & Prices

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