Posts Tagged ‘Interislander’

Heading South

It’s early on a beautiful spring morning in October and we are finally on our way to the South Island. After many weeks of great company and exciting winter fishing in Turangi, we are looking forward to being in the south. The trip to Wellington to catch the ferry is always a most enjoyable one and this time is no exception.

The impressive, snow capped peaks just south of Turangi are looking down on us while we cross the moonlike landscape east of the volcanoes on the infamous desert road. Just weeks ago the exposed road took its toll again when a truck crashed on black ice early one morning. Soon after leaving the central plateau, the Rangitikai River appears on our left and makes us dream of monster trout in a pristine environment of awesome beauty. A little later, after many weeks without the sea, we enjoy magnificent views of the Kapiti coastline on our way to the ferry in Wellington. 3 ½ hours after leaving Turangi we arrive at the Interislander terminal in the outskirts of Wellington.  

A couple of Alpacas, on their way from Waiheke Island to a show in Christchurch, are a welcome distraction to the usually boring wait in the queue till everyone can board the ship.  Our worry of getting seasick proofs to be unnecessary and all passengers on the ferry seem to enjoy the smooth ride across the notoriously rough waters of Cook Strait. What a difference to our last trip, when faces turned green and everyone was trying to sit at least close to a sick bag because of the heavy sea.

Entering the Marlborough Sounds is quite spectacular and everyone wants to be outside and catch a glimpse of bush clad mountains, a maze of bays and fiords and lonely houses in the most beautiful spots. To us, arriving in Picton feels always a bit like coming home. The small town is suddenly busy with all the disembarking vehicles, with weary travelers looking for a place to sleep and with cheery holidaymakers on their way further south. An hour later and everything is back to normal, the streets are quiet again and the friendly locals enjoy their peaceful paradise until the next ferry arrives.

We spend two days in Picton and then travel west to the Nelson/Golden Bay area; years ago we fell in love with its relaxed atmosphere and the mild and sunny climate. And we can’t wait any longer to see our friends over there again. The scenic route from Picton to Nelson along Queen Charlotte Drive is well worth the effort and we get rewarded with great views of the sounds and an abundance of flowers of every kind.