My first trip to the South Island began this morning with a crossing on the Bluebridge Ferry. The ferry left at 8:00 AM with check-in at 7:15. Julian was kind enough to drop me off, so that I didn’t have to walk, uber or do the bus with my luggage, which was so helpful. Ferry check-in was very straight forward and easy, and before I knew it we were boarding the boat.
The ferry crossing between the North and South Island can be quite “spewy” in the words of my Kiwi friend Rachel, and I was concerned that would be the case this morning, however, I wanted to cross the strait by ferry at least once, so here I went.
Fortunately for me, it was a GORGEOUS day for a boat ride, and I didn’t even need to worry about any motion sickness.
This was indeed the gorgeous crossing it had been hyped up to be. You start the crossing by viewing the beauty that is Wellington as you exit the harbor, then you head to the South Island to the little port town of Picton (which isn’t really south of Wellington, btw), deep within the coves and islands of Queen Charlotte Sound.
Once you cross the open water, you are rewarded with views of cliffs, rocks, mussel and salmon farms, and just stunning unaltered water views. It was fantastic.
Once I arrived in Picton, I caught the shuttle to the ferry terminal, then retrieved my bags and checked into the hostel. It was in a good location, was clean, and would definitely work for a few nights – sadly – the “spa” was out of order, but I think I will survive.
I had pre-booked a wine tasting in Blenheim for the afternoon with NaClachen wine tours, http://www.naclachan.co.nz/ and it was indeed lovely. We visited several wineries, and I appreciated the regional variety in the Marlborough region wines. I am finding that each wine region in NZ has a distinctive style – and I am relishing trying them all.
After the wine tour, they dropped me back at the hostel, and I wandered around the very small town of Picton, enjoyed a waterfront dinner and sunset, and headed back to the hostel to chill and plan my day for tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I am taking a Mail Cruise (where they literally deliver the mail to the residents in the coves) but have some time before that, so I believe I will take a little journey to Bob’s Bay (about a 30 minute tramp along the Picton harbor entrance.