Sign up for your own amazing global race

By James Shrimpton

Twenty-five two-person teams will compete to be named "world's greatest travellers" when the eighth Global Scavenger Hunt kicks off next April. Photo / Thinstock
Twenty-five two-person teams will compete to be named "world's greatest travellers" when the eighth Global Scavenger Hunt kicks off next April. Photo / Thinstock

Fans of The Amazing Race can now take part in their own global challenge, an annual international rally with the winners being crowned the "world's greatest travellers".

The Global Scavenger Hunt - now in its eighth year - will run from April 15 to May 5, 2012, with 25 two-person teams visiting at least 10 countries. The route will remain a secret until four hours before the start.

As in past hunts, each team will travel around 40,000km, starting in a US west coast city and heading west over oceans and continents to finish on the US east coast.

This year's event started out in Los Angeles and ended in New York City via South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Turkey, Spain, Morocco and Portugal.

The adventure is designed to test participants' overall travel IQ, including such things as overcoming language barriers, inter-cultural competence and logistic challenges, during three weeks of real-world creative problem-solving.

"It's also about getting travellers to trust strangers in strange lands and about actively participating in sight-doing scavenges, not just passive sight-seeing," the organisation's website says.

The champions are decided on points scored during the stopovers.

Defending their title next April will be two American lawyers.

The 2012 early-bird entry fee, available until December 16, is US$9900 (NZ$13,009) per person and US$10,900 per person thereafter.

The price takes care of all international airfares during the competition, first-class hotels, 40 per cent of meals and special-event gear.

No prize money is offered but the winning team receives free entry into the 2013 hunt, and special prizes are awarded along the way.

Then there's the title of "world's greatest travellers" - and bragging rights.

The event aims to raise money for international causes and natural disaster victims through its non-profit charity, the GreatEscape Foundation.


Some of the "sight-doing culture-oriented activities" Global Scavenger Hunt travellers have faced in the past:

* Attending a midnight Orthodox Easter Mass in a Tunisian cathedral.

* Singing Born to be Wild in a karaoke bar with at least three new friends in Seoul.

* Learning ancient meditation techniques from a yoga master in India.

* Learning how to make baklava in a Turkish bakery.

* Taking an elephant safari searching for Bengal Tigers in Rajasthan.

* Singing German drinking songs and various national anthems in a public drinking house.

* Getting themselves invited for dinner in the home of a rural Sri Lanka family.

* Donating time helping out at an orphanage in Cambodia or a Tibetan refugee camp in Nepal.

* Attending a session of Parliament in South Korea, India, Denmark or Japan.

* Becoming a street performer for an hour and setting up a donation hat to pay for your transport to the next town.

* Learning how to tango properly in Buenos Aires.

* For full details including details of how to apply, visit


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