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.

Nearing Picton.

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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