March 28, 2015
Day 4 started late after some well deserved sleep. Our hotel room was cosy, and by that I mean it was tiny small.
We checked out of the hotel and drove around Wellington’s CBD for about an hour looking for somewhere interesting to eat lunch. Some Google searching saw us driving east to Lower Hutt where we found a nice little Yum Cha restaurant.
After lunch we went to the nearby shopping center to have a look around and buy some supplies.
In a rush we headed back to Wellington about 1pm to wait at the ferry terminal for the Interislander ferry to arrive.
Some info about this ferry. These things are HUGE. They fit a hundred or more vehicles in the lower deck (including large trucks) and everyone moves to the top deck. The inside is set out with lounges and tables to suit any traveler. There’s a food court, a convenience store, a small cinema and a bar so it caters to everyone. The trip can take over 4 hours in bad weather so it’s lucky to have these luxuries.
The wait for the ferry was long. We sat in the car for over an hour in the rain waiting for it to arrive and unload before we could move.
Finally the ferry arrived and we drove on. We set up shop on a couch near the window and Crystal went to work on my laptop while I walked around the ship.
There is a small area you can go outside to smoke if you wish. I spent a lot of time out here in the rain and cold looking at the views we passed.
It seems there is a lot of times you can see land and only a small amount of time you feel like you’re in the middle of the ocean.
Leaving the North Island takes about an hour before you can’t see it anymore.
Surprisingly there is mobile signal with Vodafone the whole way across between North and South Islands so I managed to stay online the whole time. Most of the time I was just checking our location on Google Maps to see how long until we reached land again.
After a few hours I finally saw land as we come in through Queen Charlotte Sound into Marlborough Sound before landing at Picton.
The views in this part of the sail were amazing.
It is VERY hard here to take photos cause there’s just so many great things to capture and not enough time to get it all.
I tried to do a time lapse video but after 5 minutes my arm was getting sore holding the camera. Here it is anyway.
After we disembarked in Picton we went in search of somewhere to stay. We found cheap accomodation at the Picton Top 10 Caravan Park which besides having camping sites and caravan has fully fit out cabins for hire which is basically a hotel room standing by itself. This room was probably the nicest after Rydges Rotorua and was only about $100 for the night. The bathroom was spacious and the water was hot.
I discovered the hard way that after dark, not much is open in Picton. I did manage to find a Subway and grabbed a bite for dinner but not long after a hot shower we were both asleep.
Tomorrow we will drive south to explore the east coast of the South Island before arriving in Christchurch.