Posted late due to lack of internet
Starting Point: Wellington, New Zealand
Ending Point: Picton, New Zealand
Kilometers traveled: 90 km, Plus 92 km by sea on the ferry
Today we said farewell to the North Island. We got up bright and early at 5 am. 5 am used to be our normal wake up time in our old life. But now we’re more like 7 am people, so it felt a bit early for us. We packed up the last of our stuff and headed on over to get in line to board the Interislander Ferry.
The Interislander Ferry travels between Wellington on the North Island and Picton on the South Island. It travels 92km and takes just over 3 hours to do it. It travels through Cook Strait and is billed as one of the most beautiful ferry cruises in the world.
We were on the Kaitaki, their largest ferry. She can hold 600 cars and just over 1600 people. Amazingly, they load all those cars and people onto her in just under an hour. Onboard she has several cafes, a bar, a playroom and game room, a movie theater, and many lounges and areas to sit and rest during the journey.
Weather in Wellington is always a bit iffy, and it started pouring rain as we were leaving Wellington Harbour and headed out into the strait. We settled in at a lovely window table, had a huge breakfast, and did a bit of research to figure out what we wanted to do once we hit the South Island.
But then the sun came out as we headed into the Marlborough Sounds, so we headed up to the sundeck and spent the last 90 minutes of the journey taking in the sites along the channel. Spectacular.
Once we landed in Picton, we jumped off and hit the road. We wanted to do a bit of hiking along the Queen Charlotte Sound, but it was pouring rain. So we turned back and headed on to our home for the night, the holiday park at Havelock. Havelock is the Green-Lipped Mussel Capital of the World, so of course we had to have mussels for dinner. Everything we had read said we had to go to the Mussel Inn, but when we got to Havelock, the locals all recommended The Slip Inn as being better, cheaper, and with much better views. So we headed over there for dinner. I had green-lipped mussels as big as my hand, cooked up in white wine, butter, and garlic. Super yummy! Kyle had a fantastic pork belly because he really doesn’t like mussels. The sun came out while we were eating and treated us to a double rainbow over the harbour. Really lovely!
Tomorrow we’ll head on to Nelson and plot our attack on Abel Tasman National Park. Cheers!