We pack at 6 a.m. Luckily most of our clothes have dried over night, so the ironing worked! It’s less than 100 miles to Wellington but includes a good few bends and a mountain to pass. W make good time. It’s a surprise to find a traffic jam! And traffic lights! We’ve not seen these for a while. (And we are from London!)
The ferry terminal to South Island feels like an airport, bag chech-in, tannoy announcements, waiting lounge. And the ferry is huge! Not only do the board cars and lorries, but coaches and wagons from trains! So we passengers are restrained to two decks.
It’s a comfortable journey but I am still feeling fragile from my boiling! At one point I see a seal swimming alongside the ferry.
As we approach the South Island we weave our way through Marlborough Sound and get our first impression of lush forested hills, aqua blue clear water and bright sun.
Picton doesn’t look that large but we spend no time discovering it. We pick up the next car, a silver Corolla and head West to Havelock. The road is advertised on our map as windy and it is! After Rai Valley we begin to wonder when the next township will appear. Hira is just a handful of dwellings, blink and you miss it!
But Nelson is enormous! One of the largest, most happening places we have seen in NZ. It feels more lively than Wellington and reminds me of suburban Melbourne!
At last, after 11 hours we arrive in Motueka. It has a good length of restaurants and two supermarkets, which is good because we have no food!
The White Elephant is a ‘flash packers’ and we have a lovely bed and ensuite in a garden chalet, sharing the kitchen and fridge. I’m so tired, that I just fall into bed as soon as we have eaten.