Day Nine: Island hopping: Nelson-Picton-Wellington

Today was a travel day. It forced me to admit that I’ll need to post a box home (and soon!) when I had to squish everything into my suitcase, and my small carry-on bag was almost as heavy as my big suitcase. I’m debating the idea of mailing back 1/2 of my two-part suitcase now to get rid of it. I’ll have to do a serious evaluation of that in the morning –once I see what else I might be willing to jettison.

Today was one of several “travel” days which meant I spent an awful lot of time sitting down, either driving, or waiting, or on the ferry. Nelson to Picton was a bit under a two hour drive. It was pretty, and not much of the road was crazy curvy so it was a fun trip. At Picton we topped off the tank (a fill up runs about $120 NZD) for our small Ford rental car and turned it in at the ferry terminal before going into wait for the ferry. The Interislander ferries are HUGE and take cars and trucks in addition to people for the 3 hour crossing to Wellington.

Picton harbor

Picton harbor

Ferry Terminal, Picton

Ferry Terminal, Picton

That's our ferry at the end of the wharf.

That’s our ferry at the end of the wharf.

SSS (surprise seasonal serenade)

SSS! (surprise seasonal serenade)

A lady in a bright orange vest came over to talk to us about biosecurity and to see where we’d been and what activities we’d done / or were planning. New Zealanders take the spread of ANY diseases (animal / plant), pests, and non-native species VERY seriously and ask that boots / gear be cleaned to prevent further dispersing of them.

Check Clean Dry station

Check Clean Dry station

Check Clean Dry sign #1

Check clean dry #2

Picton Farewell sign

Once we got on the ferry (on the car level) we walked up seemingly endless stairs (remember what I said about my heavy carry-on bag?) to the passenger levels. The ferry has several cafes / lounges, a family area, a gift shop, and even, for an additional upgrade fee, an age 18+ posh lounge area with free wi-fi. (We didn’t bother, the rest of the ferry seating was pretty posh as it was!)

This is ON the ferry! We sat right by the windows at the front end.

This is ON the ferry! We sat right by the windows at the front end.

Nearing the end of south island land and heading to open water

Nearing the end of south island land and heading to open water

Arriving in Wellington (viewed through salt-sprayed window)

Arriving in Wellington (viewed through salt-sprayed window)

truck exiting ferry hull

truck exiting ferry hull

Welcome to Wellington

Once we were allowed off the ferry we headed over to collect our big bags (they were checked in Picton). We looked for a taxi and didn’t see any. As it ended up a local guy who runs a van service lured us into using him to get across town and to our new temporary home. He made a couple of other stops, but the van itself was a total kitchy crack-up, and his running commentary about historical buildings and sites as we were going through town was both entertaining and helpful! Apparently when the Beatles came to Wellington in 1964 our driver’s two older brothers were the ones that tried to climb the fire escape outside the hotel to go meet them!

 

Inside the shuttle van

Inside the shuttle van

Brooklyn?!

Brooklyn?!

Our new lodgings are not too far from a lot of the things we’ll want to see in the next few days. It’s a cute place, and here are a couple of shots:

new place hall

new room 2

new room

Tomorrow we get breakfast here, and then it’s time to explore Windy Wellington!

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Wellington, New Zealand

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Wellington, New Zealand -41.286460, 174.776236 Wellington, New Zealand (Directions)

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2 Responses to Day Nine: Island hopping: Nelson-Picton-Wellington

  1. Mary Pat says:

    I’m now moving right along-at day 10 next. but have to go to bed.. work -in morning, Monday. anxious now to be checking every day and get up to day 20 so I’m in sync.
    I would love to see New Zealand now..
    Thanks for the blogs..
    love, mp

  2. M.J. says:

    Well, a pal in Brooklyn (stateside) is (finally) catching up on – and thoroughly enjoying – your NZ travels and adventures. Thanks for keeping and sharing the travel blog.

    Keeping enjoying!
    ~ M.J.

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