Canberra Grammar School: Malaysia & Borneo Adventure 2019

Canberra Grammar School: Malaysia & Borneo Adventure 2019

Trip Highlights

  • Learn about the the unique cultural, historical, bio diversity and local indigenous communities of Malaysia
  • Sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Kotta Kinabalu and Sandakan
  • Relive the nostalgic romance by riding on the British North Borneo steamtrain
  • Witness orangutans and wildlife in their natural habitat
  • 2 days of service at the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre & Borneo Sunbear Conservation Centre
  • Enjoy a cruise on the Kinabatangan River
  • A day of snorkeling among beautiful coral reefs
  • And much more

Trip Summary

This unique, custom designed itinerary features many fascinating aspects of Malaysia and Borneo; from the modern multi-cultural melting pot of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, to the well preserved colonial town of Malacca and the jungles of Sabah. During our time in Kuala Lumpur we visit the mighty Petronas Towers and learn about Malaysian cuisine by participating in a 'hands on' cooking class using ingredients we purchased from the markets.

We travel by private vehicle to the trading town of Malacca where we learn of Malaysia's colonial past and admire the Portuguese and Dutch architecture. Leaving the mainland behind, we fly to Sabah, the ideal base to explore indigenous culture as well as jungles and forests and an array of wildlife endemic to this region. We enjoy a day of snorkeling at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, just a short distance from Kota Kinabalu where we will find beautiful coral reefs, without the crowds. We fly to Sandakan where we turn our attention to participating in conservation focused service, spending a day at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and another day at the Borneo Sunbear Conversation Centre, where we work alongside the carers to support their important conservation work to improve the plight of the Malayan sun bear and the orang-utans. We take morning and late afternoon cruises on the Kinabatagan River, in search of wildlife and bird-life along Sabah’s longest river, look out for orang-utans, proboscis monkeys, langur monkeys, macaques, gibbons, crocodiles, bearded jungle pigs, hornbills, pygmy elephants as well as a plethora of over 220 bird species. This is such a wonderful learning experience, jam-packed with adventure, cultural immersion, conservation service and fun.


The Canberra Grammar School Malaysia and Borneo Adventure is graded as Introductory. Introductory graded trips involve walking and sightseeing for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. Being prepared for the heat and humidity will make your experience more comfortable and enjoyable.


After many months preparing and planning for your Malaysia and Borneo Adventure the departure day has finally arrived. Please arrive at Canberra airport at least 3 hours prior to departure. Depart Canberra on a Singapore Airlines flight at 23:15, arriving in Singapore at 05:15 on 13 April.

Meals:  Nil

We arrive into Singapore at 05:15, and then depart again just a few hours later at 07:10, arriving into Kuala Lumpur at 08:05. On arrival in Kuala Lumpur we are met at the airport by our guide and transferred to Furama Hotel . We spend the morning at the hotel relaxing after the long flight. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant. This afternoon we take a short tour of the city, visiting the Petronas Twin Towers. These towers were the world’s tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004 and are a remarkable landmark of Kuala Lumpur. We enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, followed by an early night. Accommodation: Furama Hotel Bukit Bintang

Meals:  L,D

Today we learn the secrets and methods of one of the worlds most varied cuisines, participating in a 'hands on' Malay cooking class. We start with a visit to a busy wet market to learn about the variety of fruits, spices and vegetables on offer. Malaysian cuisine is a unique fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Baba-Nonya flavors, drawing upon the country’s rich history as an historical crossroads for explorers and traders from around the globe. The hands-on classes are taught by expert Malaysian instructors who will provide explanations of the ingredients and cooking methods. Students will individually prepare at their own cooking station 3 dishes: 1) Roti canai ( Indian culture) 2) Nasi lemak (Malay culture) 3) Char Kuey Teow (Chinese culture) Then sit back and enjoy the beautiful food you have all prepared for lunch. After lunch we are collected by the coach to take a tour of a local mosque. After an opportunity to relax back at the hotel, dinner will be had at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Furama Hotel Bukit Bintang

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast we are collected from the hotel by air conditioned coach and driven 2 hours to the historical city of Malacca. Upon arriving in Malacca town, we stop at a local restaurant for refreshments before heading out to explore some of the sites. After a well earned lunch we then visit the Nyonya Baba Museum which showcases the local history of ethnic Chinese-Malays called Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan in Malacca. Check into hotel around 3.30pm and the afternoon is free to relax as a group. In the evening we explore the night markets and enjoy the town with our guide. Dinner will be at your own expense this evening from the night markets (purchased very economically). Malacca sightseeing highlights :- > Famosa > Christ Church Melaka > Jonker Street > Nyonya Baba Museum & Local Culture > Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Fountain > Clock Tower > Dutch / British Graveyard > St Francis Xavier’s Statue > St Paul Church > Portuguese Settlements Accommodation: The Puri Hotel

Meals:  B,L

Following breakfast at the hotel we transfer to Malacca River for a cruise. After the cruise we continue sightseeing in the historical city. Lunch will be at a local restaurant and dinner will be at a restaurant nearby the Jonker Street Night Markets. Melaka sightseeing highlights :- • Melaka River Cruise • Sultanate Museum • St John Hill • Street of Malacca • Malacca Tree (where the name of the historical city come from) • Street of Harmony Accommodation: The Puri Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we transfer to Kuala Lumpur Airport for the flight to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival in Kota Kinabalu we transfer to the hotel and head out on a walk along the harbour front and nearby markets. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Jesselton Hotel 17APR MH2610 KUL BKI 09:15 11:55 (flights subject to change)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we take a ride on the North Borneo Railway and relive the nostalgic romance of British North Borneo of the 1900’s. Chugging along the tracks from Tanjung Aru, through Kinarut before arriving in the Rice Bowl of Sabah, Papar. Along the way we will soak in the green vistas of sprawling paddy fields, traditional stilt homes and watch buffaloes ambling in the distance. On board, we are treated to a rare delight: A Tiffin-style breakfast and lunch, comprising of Asian and Continental dishes. The train features five fully refurbished colonial-style passenger train carriages that can accommodate a total of 180 passengers. The North Borneo Railway is built and operated to the highest of international standards and is fully compliant with modern safety standards. In the afternoon we will have an opportunity to visit the bustling harbour front markets which sell everything from live eels to household goods. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation: Jesselton Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

The Snorkel Safari day trip Gaya Island at a PADI 5 STAR CDC Dive Centre is perfectly located within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, just 5-10 minutes from Kota Kinabalu City. There are beautiful coral reefs without the crowds providing swimmers and snorkelers an ideal location for enjoying the tropical underwater world in a safe, comfortable environment. Qualified snorkel guides will assess the conditions on the day and choose the best islands and location to suit the environment and your comfort level in the water. After your orientation session you will be spending the day jumping from the boat onto sites otherwise not accessible. If jumping into the water is rather daunting, don’t worry you can use our boat ladder for easy access or you can snorkel the shallow bays if you are nervous about deep water. Between each session of approximately 45 minutes you will return to our paradise PADI 5 Star Dive & Adventure Centre nestled in a secluded bay on Gaya Island where you will enjoy refreshments and a freshly cooked lunch. Accommodation: Jesselton Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast, we take a flight from Kota Kinabalu city to Sandakan. Upon arrival we visit the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC), founded in Sabah, Malaysia in 2008. The purpose of the BSBCC, is a two-stage effort to provide for the care, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and captive sun bears, as well as address the lack of knowledge and awareness of this little-known bear both in Malaysia and internationally. The Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), found only in south-east Asia, is the world’s smallest bear species. Volunteers will be working with our groups of rescued bears. The enclosures are very natural and have large rocky outcrops, native fauna, climbing frames and platforms, pools and other enrichment’s. It is a safe and happy home to bears that have been rescued from a range of different situations including poachers, the black market, the bile farm industry and businesses using them for entertainment and trades which often leave behind very young orphaned cubs. In the late afternoon, we will return to our accommodation. Accommodation: Sepilok Nature Resort 20APR MH2042 BKI SDK 07:05 07:45 (flights subject to change)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we drive to Sepilok Forest Reserve, upon arrival we assemble at the restaurant walkway to Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre (approx. 5 mins walk). The sanctuary is surrounded by virgin tropical lowland Dipterocarp forest. A short nature walk through the lowland forest will lead you to a viewing platform where you will be able to witness the wild Orang Utans swing from branch to branch for their morning feedings. You can also view a short documentary about the orphaned orang utans that were brought in for rehabilitation until they are ready to be return to the wild. Meet with the ranger team for service briefing. Service may involves cleaning cages and feeding, some daily maintenance work such and learn how to conduct facility maintenance checkups. Accommodation: Sepilok Nature Resort

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we overland transfer to Kinabatangan River (2 hours), en route visiting the Gomantong Caves which are world famous for the incredibly valuable bird nests of thousands of cave swiftlets that live in the limestone cave system. This edible bird nest, crafted by the birds from their saliva, are the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. It has been used in Chinese cooking for centuries, most commonly as Bird’s Nest Soup. We proceed to Bilit Adventure Lodge for check in and lunch. This afternoon we take a 2 hour afternoon river cruise - to search for the wildlife and bird-life along Sabah’s longest river Kinabatangan, look out for orangutans, proboscis monkeys, langur monkeys, macaques, gibbons, crocodiles, bearded jungle pigs, hornbills, a variety of birds, pygmy elephants and more. Accommodation: Bilit Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

We wake early for an early morning boat cruise at 6am, after that, return back to resort for breakfast. Mid morning we begin work on the tree planting project to give back to nature, and then return to the lodge for lunch. A tea break is served at around 3.30pm, before joining a 2 hour afternoon cruise along Kinabatangan River in search for more wildlife. We return to the lodge for dinner, followed by lessons in traditional dance. Accommodation: Bilit Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Following breakfast we drive to Sandakan and to the airport to board the Malaysia Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur departing at 14:25 and arriving into Kuala Lumpur at 17:10. At 18:40 we depart Kuala Lumpur and arrive in Singapore at 19:50. We overnight at a airport hotel. Accommodation: Airport Hotel (TBC)

Meals:  B

This morning we depart Singapore on the 10:30 flight to Canberra. We arrive into Canberra at 22:20. Upon arrival into Canberra all services conclude yet the memories, lessons and friendships made will last a lifetime.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Singapore Airlines economy class flights from Canberra to Kuala Lumpur via Singapore and Sandakan to Canberra via Kuala Lumpur and Singapore
  • One-way Malaysian Airlines economy class flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan
  • 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 02 dinners (based on Asian Buffet Style or Set Menu with Soft Drinks)
  • Expert guide (English speaking) throughout from day 1 to day 14 plus additional expert local guides for specialist commentary
  • All land transfers required within the program in private air conditioned minivans
  • Entrance fees to sites and activities as listed in itinerary
  • 12 nights accommodation (twin share) in hotels, bungalow and resort
  • Pre Departure Information kit and evening meeting to help you prepare and pack.

What's Not Included

  • Meals and beverages not indicated in the program
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, email etc
  • Camera and video entrance fees
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory


Duration:14 Days
Starting Point:Canberra
Activities:Adventure Touring
Service Learning
Wildlife Safari
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5341