Company : Topdeck Travel
Duration: 1 week to 1 week
Approx Costs: 750 to 1000 £ Pound (UK)
Loop the South Island of New Zealand with Topdeck - 7 Days, Christchurch to Fox Glacier to Lake Ohau to Christchurch
Thrills and spills one day, relaxing and snapping pic after pic the next. This trip will be a rollercoaster of adrenaline and unbelievable scenery. What will be your favourite memory? The blue ice of Fox Glacier, the reflection of the mountains at Lake Wanaka, bungy jumping out over Queenstown or maybe just sipping pinot with your bus buddies in Arrowtown? Best find out.
Day 1: Christchurch to Fox Glacier
Roll across the pastoral patchwork quilt that forms the Canterbury Plains and watch green melt into snow-topped peaks. Hang out in Hokitika for whitebait fritters and pounamu (jade) shopping, then take your best photography shot of NZ's two tallest mountain peaks reflected in Lake Matheson for the #picoftheday. Excited? You should be.
Day 2: Fox Glacier to Queenstown
Today's your chance to walk on water. Well, frozen glacial water to be precise. Scale a mountain in minutes to get amongst ethereal ice caves and formations. With barely enough time to let your heart rate slow, we journey back through the mountains past Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Feel your pulse start to quicken as we roll into Queenstown.
Day 3: Queenstown
Here's some basic math: Queenstown has over 220 activities. You have two days. No rush. This lakeside city has adrenaline on tap and will match any adventure you had in mind and then throw a Fergburger (amazing Queenstown burger place) in there for good measure. Get your fix with a bungy jump, a canyon swing, Shotover Jet boat ride, horse riding, zipling, skydiving - the options are endless. If you're bored here, there's something wrong. Need some time out? Head to the Kiwi Birdlife Park, or kick back with a local pinot.
Day 4: Queenstown
Free day, take two. Jump off more stuff or chill out and let your pulse drop. Your call.
Day 5: Queenstown (Milford Sound)
By now you might be becoming a little desensitised to the otherworldly beauty of NZ but when you see the fjords for the first time, it’s okay to enter a total Instagram meltdown! Carved by glaciers during the ice age, the Milford Sound comes complete with seals, dolphins and thundering waterfalls. Steeped in Maori myth, this is a history and geology lesson rolled into one, minus the homework.
Day 6: Queenstown to Ohau
Back in the heyday of Arrowtown, everyone was here for the gold. Recharge your batteries with venison burgers and a central Otago pinot noir in Arrowtown then zigzag across the five bridges that span the ever-changing Arrow River. Test your nerves on the suspension bridge then chill out by the crystal clear river waters while you catch your breath. Cue relaxation and a chance to practice your stone-skimming skills in Lake Ohau.
Day 7: Lake Ohau to Christchurch
Lap up Lake Pukaki under the shadow of Mt Cook. It's about as Kiwi as 'fush and chups' (fish and chips with a local accent). Then shift into sheep country, where these furry things outnumber humans 12:1. It makes sense that today includes the Church of the Good Shepherd, a monument to the faithful sheep dog. Then back to into the city of Churches as our trip winds to a close. Thrills and spills one day, relaxing and snapping pic after pic the next. This trip will be a rollercoaster of adrenaline and unbelievable scenery. What will be your favourite memory? The blue ice of Fox Glacier, the reflection of the mountains at Lake Wanaka, bungy jumping out over Queenstown or maybe just sipping pinot with your bus buddies in Arrowtown? Best find out.
I have done 5 trips with Topdeck and this was one of my favourites ones. When travelling alone it can be quite daunting knowing where to stay and what route to take but Topdeck make every easy. I met people from all over the world on this tour and saw some amazing places.
Where do I begin? My fiancé and I booked a Topdeck as it seemed like an affordable way to see New Zealand and meet some new friends. We were a little worried about being the oldest ones in the tour group and being left behind. After some time, we reassured ourselves, if this was to happen at least we would still have each other and booked the trip anyway. Topdeck was nothing like this at all. At each stop people of all ages and nationalities hopped onto the bus, instantly welcomed into our "Topdeck family."
We made friends almost instantly and know some of these friends, will be with us for life! Everyone on our bus looked out for one another and goodbyes were very tearful. Our tour guide Shantel Petty (Shanny) was warm, friendly, funny and informative. Our bus driver Scotty was a safe driver, hilarious and looked out for us. The two of them worked so well together to ensure everyone was included and we were all enjoying ourselves. The Drive days could be really long but with games or a little bit of history, they were made so much nicer. In the early mornings, if people wanted to sleep, Shanny and Scotty would be mindful to let us rest for a bit before telling us about the days itinerary.
It was so nice to be able to see things we wouldn't have been able to see if we were to travel independently, whilst sharing it with such a beautiful bunch of like minded souls. The experiences/sight seeing opportunities you are provided with on Topdeck Travel, are like no other. They really do create an itinerary that suits everyone and allows you to become immersed in the beauty and culture of each place you visit.
We can't wait to do another Topdeck - we are thinking Europe next! Whether you are travelling as a group, solo or with a friend/partner, I highly recommend Topdeck Travel. it was one of the greatest things we have ever done! Thank you Shanny and Scott - you guys rock!