We got up and got going quickly to get on the 9:00 ferry to the south
island. There was a long line of cars when we arrived at the
terminal, but the line moved fairly quickly and we were soon driving on
to the ship. The ferry is actually pretty nice inside and has
quite a bit of stuff including a movie theater and a children's play
area. The whole trip takes about 3 hours and luckily we had good
weather so it was a smooth ride. You can buy your tickets ahead
of time at their website.
We had actually booked ours through the rental car company as they gave
us a free ferry ticket for the vehicle when we did it that way.
The ferry ride had very good views along most of the way and seemed
much more like a sightseeing cruise than a ferry to get from point A to
B. You can tell it was quite windy, but other than that the
weather was perfect.
Windy shots from the deck of the ferry.
After about two hours, we started turning south to reach Picton. We
were surrounded with beautiful views on both sides of the ferry as we
weaved our way through the channel between the islands.
We also saw some sheep making the journey with us.
Sheep taking a ride on the ferry.
We got off the ship pretty quickly in Picton and it was now time for
lunch. We had read about a bakery in the Lonely Planet guide, so
we decided to try it for lunch. The bakery is called the Picton
Village Bakkerij and it was wonderful. The owners are Dutch and
everyone really liked what they had. They had absolutely
wonderful meat pies with all kinds of flavors and they were remarkably
affordable given their proximity to the ferry terminal. The
bakery is highly recommend by our family.
After lunch, we took the Queen Charlotte Drive to start our journey to
Motueka where we had our reservations. The road is absolutely
stunning, but it is also extremely narrow and winding. Do NOT
expect to make good time driving on that road. It is possibly the
windiest road I've ever been on. The good news was that is gave
us great views of the surrounding countryside. We stopped at one
place that had a short trail to get out and take some pictures.
Queen Charlotte Drive.
We continued on with the drive, made our way through Nelson and arrived
at Motueka a few hours after we left Picton. We were stayed
at a backpacker's lodge on the outskirts of Motueka in the middle of an apple orchard. We had
two nights booked at the Eden's
Edge Backpacker Lodge.
We were a little nervous as to what we would find because we had never
stayed at a Backpacker Lodge before. The place was really nice
and the owner were very pleasant and helpful. We had private
rooms with bathrooms and they were clean and comfortable, but the walls
were a little thing. Still, for $86NZ for us and $76NZ for my
parents they were a great value. We had struggled to find
something affordable because Motueka is a pretty popular destination
and it was a weekend. We were very glad we ended up staying here.
We headed in to town for supper and Tyler and I had fish and chips and
Erin got some Indian food. We ate them at a park bench in
town. My parents ended up going back to town for a full meal at a
restaurant after they dropped us off at the room. We relaxed and
enjoyed a nice sunset before heading off to bed.
Continue to Day 6
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