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Reisverslag On our way to the South Island
14 januari 2014
On our way to the South Island
The weather is gorgeous when we wake up for our cross over. The Picton Interislander Ferry wharf is about half an hour drive away from our campground but we leave well in advance which is a good idea because we find out that, even in New Zealand with only 4 and a half million people in a country the size of Great Britain (as we have been told), you can get stuck in a traffic jam!
But we are well on time and even have to wait for an hour to board. One of the Interislander ships is taken off the fleet for reparation so this one is fully booked with loads of campervans, cars, trucks and of course passengers.
On board of this big ferry there is a café/restaurant, a lounge, a tourist officeand even a movie theater and even an artist who has a show for the children!
We leave the port of Wellington shortly after 9 and then we experience a most breathtaking trip and understand why captain Cook, after he discovered this strait, returned five times!
The strait is named after him; it separates the North and the South Island. It is not named after Abel Tasman, who was there about two hundred years before. He didn’t recognize it as a strait but mistook it for a lagoon.
We head west and after about an hour of sailing Michelle, who’s standing outside and doesn’t want to miss a second (while Willem is quietly reading the newspaper inside ;-) ) discovers a few dolphins near the ship and far away the white tops of the Southern Alps on the South Island can be seen.
About an hour later we seem to be crashing straight into the coast of the South Island, no entry can be seen. But then the captain skillfully manoeuvres the ship into an opening hardly seen, between two of of the many “arms” of this shore.
It’s impossible to describe the beauty of this place and it only gets better; after a final turn to port (which is left :-) for yhe non-sailers….) we sail into the Queen Charlotte Sound, apparently one of the top attractions in New Zealand. Breathtaking!
Picton, the little harbour on the South Island is a lively little town and invites strongly to have a coffee but we go on as we would like to arrive in Nelson in time for a celebration drink an dinner. We follow the Queen Charlotte Drive, the lazy version ;-) of the Queen Charlotte Track which is a very popular hiking trail which takes a few days.
It’s impossible not to stop from time to time to admire nature and take pictures.
The wind is getting stronger and stronger and we realize how lucky we have been on the boat this morning!
The weather forecast for Friday the 17th, the day that we will be whale watching is awful: storm, rain and 13 degrees. So, Michelle tries to move that event a day forward, in which she succeeds.
This means that we will not be able to see the Abel Tasman National Park which should be very beautiful also but well, can’t have it all.
In Nelson we don’t find a nice little restaurant but in the neighbourhood of the camping site there is a café with restaurant where we drink on twenty happy years more and have a quite nice curry.
Foto's bij verslag (23)
19 januari 2014 10:39 | Door: Willem jan en poem
Waanzinnige verhalen en...of je er een beetje bij zijn!!
HAPPY 20 years voor jullie twee en een dikke smakkerd van ons er aan vast!!!
19 januari 2014 11:36 | Door: Sissie
Hoop dat het weer inmiddels iets opgeklaard is en dat de sandflies van de westkust jullie een beetje met rust zullen laten :-)
Benieuwd naar jullie verdere belevenissen op het Zuider eiland......destijds viel mijn mond bij elke bocht nog iets meer open :-) Zo van....mooier kan het toch niet meer worden? En dan toch weer.....!
Geniet maar heerlijk verder, dank voor alle leuke foto's!
19 januari 2014 11:44 | Door: Karin
Gefeliciteerd met jullie porseleinen huwelijksverjaardag! Grtz, Geert en Karin