Over Christmas I spent my holidays on Topdecks 7 day Southern Explorer tour of New Zealand. Over the next few weeks I will outline my trip for you and take you on my journey day by day.
This was my second topdeck tour and I was experimenting for a trip to Europe. To be honest it was a good trip, I just don’t like how they are run and the mentality of the tour groups.
I am not a drinker or party animal so it was really hard to adjust to that.
The other thing was our 7 days was the last 7 days of the Grand Kiwi tour. So the majority of the participants already had 5 days or so to get to know each other.
The first night there I stayed in Jailhouse Hostel which used to be a real jail but the inmates kept breaking out so they moved the jail. The hostel was clean and nice but wouldn’t have wanted to be there any longer.
The first night we only had a few hours in town and where we were staying was very deserted (this could have been because it was Boxing Day). We didn’t explore much.
|Christchurch – Remembrance Bridge|
We had a nice dinner at a bar down the road called the Peddle Pusher. To us it looked expensive but after going to Queenstown it wasn’t. It was a trendy bar and the food prices ranged from $10 to $35.
|Christchurch – Heritage Hotel|
The last 2 nights I stayed at the Rendezvous which was nice and modern. Rooms were an average size and it was quiet.
I thought Christchurch lovely with its old buildings and revival of after the earthquake. It had modern and old half demolished buildings in the one street.
|Christchurch – Gap Filler|
This drive was a long one. We drove through Arthurs Pass to Hotika for lunch where we shopped for jade and got excited at the Tasman Sea.
We then made our way to Fox Glacier and stayed at the Fox Glacier Pod Hostel and Inn. This was extremely small. They had only 2 women’s showers and toilets and 2 men’s. We were a big group so weren’t very impressed. The beds were comfy and we had an awesome feed from them.
The next morning I did the optional extra of a Terminal Face Guided Walk which was pretty good.
|Queenstown – Lake Wakatipu|
This was a whole afternoon on the bus. We stayed at Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park, which was a bit out of town but lovely. In talking to other people around town we were lucky to be up there.
A part from being an adrenalin filled town it is also a big party town. The day atmosphere was amazing but after 10;30 pm it went down the drain for me.
I participated in a few activities but also enjoyed roaming the streets.
A very small village. A stop over for Milford Sound. We did a cruise of Milford and saw all the mountains around it. We were there for New Years Eve.
|Eglington Valley – Fiordland|
The Village Inn was nice. A bit out of town but as it was New Year’s Eve it was perfect.
Very remote. It was a stopover for the drive back to Christchurch. Saw more mountains and lakes.
We stayed at Lake Ohau Lodge which was not very clean. They did have a lot of common space and awesome views of Lake Ohau.
The most surprising thing about New Zealand was there weren’t many fish and chip shops or seafood restaurants in most of the towns we went to. I always thought New Zealand would be heaps green but the grass is a yellowy green colour.
I was amazed at how they have train track everywhere. Even through round abouts. Everywhere you go everywhere you look are mountains. It was funny driving around and seeing the Tasman Sea on your right and snowy mountains on your left not to mention the rainforest in between.
New Zealand was amazing. The people were friendly. I didn’t find them laid back or slow. The country side was a miniature of Canada but the activities were in a larger scale because of the mix of mountains and ocean.
|Sunset of Lake Te Anau|
I loved it. Can’t wait to do the North Island.