To ensure we keep to the ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ sort of theme, we drove from Nelson to Picton, to take the ferry over to Wellington. We’ve taken all sorts of transportation since we started this trip.
Takes a couple of hours to drive to Picton, which is really a picturesque looking place. Beautiful scenery along the way again.
We stopped for a quick bite to eat along the way, then arrived at the Picton terminal in good time. The only slightly irritating thing, is that you return your rental car at the terminal and pick up another on at Wellington. Fortunately we knew and had planned for it, but it’s still a pain to do it.
We took the Interislander ferry and, as someone who has checked in for I don’t know how many flights over the years, I gave to say, this process was a dream. At the check-in desk : “oh just give me your family name, no need for paperwork”. At the baggage check in (10 yards away): “How many bags can we check in ?” – “oh, as many as you like, it’s no issue”. It really was a quick process. We had to wait in the terminal a short while (clean and tidy) then boarded.
The scenery was absolutely spectacular. I have never cruised through the fjords of Norway or anything, but I have to assume it looks somewhat similar. I really enjoyed the journey (took about 3hrs and 10mins as I recall) and we relaxed in good comfy chairs, took a walk on deck several times, had a bite to eat, and watched the dolphins put on a bit of a show for us not long after we left Picton.
Lots of sailboats as we arrived closer to Wellington, and some nice scenery again from the water. On arrival in Wellington, I have to say that the process was speedy and efficient, with our luggage pretty much on the belt as we arrived, and the Avis car ready and waiting for us.
We then drove up to Taupo where we are staying at the Huka Lodge (oh nice !!) and that took about 4hrs 30mins driving. We did stop for lunch along the way of course, and got to our hotel around 715pm. They were sort of waiting for us which was nice.
Not the greatest dolphin photos I admit (I couldn’t get them to stand still and pose), but you sort of get the idea. There were scores of them, and they were jumping clean out of the water and chased the ferry for a while. It was a great sight, and certainly unique for me.
Had a nice dinner on arrival – this place is really high quality but not overwhelming at all. Then time for bed as we were both exhausted.
Hard to believe we have been in New Zealand 10 days already.