Crossing to the South Island

Trip Start Mar 06, 2013
1
9
30
Trip End Apr 04, 2013


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Where I stayed
Boutique Motel, Stoke, Nelson
Nelson, NZ
What I did
Interislander Ferry
The Anchor Restaurant, Port of Nelson

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today's big event was our crossing between Wellington on the North Island of New Zealand to Picton on the South Island. We had scheduled ourselves for the first ferry so we were up at 5:45 to make sure we were there in good time for returning the car and getting to the ferry before 7:30.

Getting there and finding the car drop off was surprisingly easy. We spent a few minutes wandering around the dock taking pictures. Amazingly, the Queen Mary 2 was just arriving in the harbor at Wellington. Let's see if she follows us to Nelson. 

 We had chosen the posh option on the ferry where free food, and more importantly free wireless internet, would be included. We crossed in style--me fiendishly working on the blog the whole way. For the last 2 days we've had very limited access to the internets so we had a lot of catching up to do. Mobile connections being what they are, we still had a terrible time trying to get photos or video to upload. More has been posted at the end of the day today for Monday's & Tuesday's entries.

It was another stunningly clear and sunny day for our crossing. Picton Harbor was charming and we had a great view as we started up the Queen Charlotte Drive. This road is a very narrow 2-lane track that winds up and down the cliffs of the fjord that forms Queen Charlotte Sound. Because the views are so stunning even tour buses drive along it. A full size tour bus is still quite a surprise when you come around a corner on a road this narrow and winding.

An hour and a half later we arrived in Nelson where we met Martin and Maurice, our contacts at the Nelson Aero Club from which we are renting the Cessna 172 (ZK-ETU) for the Air Safari. Martin was very friendly and we are looking forward to doing a few patterns with him tomorrow in order to have our checkout for ZK-ETU. The plane is freshly waxed and has a new prop in honor of participation in the Safari.

We are in a little studio hotel room for the next two nights in Stoke/Nelson which turns out to be a very pretty little town, full of gardens. We had a nice light dinner at the Anchor Restaurant and Bar.Great fresh seafood chowder and the smoked salmon was excellent.
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Comments

George on

Always nice when you can get a Ferry ride which doesn't have most people 'giving their lunch back'.
One of the roughest stretches of water in the world it can be a fairly unpleasant experience.

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