One of the few reservations I made before we left on our trip was for a car. It costs A LOT to put a car on a ferry and take it from one island to the other, so the rental companies provide two cars - one for each island. As I really didn't know how long things would take, we arbitrarily set December 15 as our transfer day since it was about the half way point of our trip. We had to get the car to the Picton ferry terminal on December 15, cross to the North Island, then pick up car number 2.
Our original plan was to take December 14 and go to a place called Nelson, but by the time we got to Picton I was ready to wave a white flag. I needed a "day off" from our vacation! So we did important things like SLEEP IN and laundry! Then we just kicked around Picton. Nelson will have to wait for another trip.
It's a pleasant place. It's main raison d'être is that it is home of the ferry terminal from which ferries sail to the North Island.
Inter-island ferries to and from Wellington arrive and depart here by way of the Marlborough Sounds. Most of the sheltered part of the route is through Tory Channel, south of Arapawa Island.
Walk on the Picton Foreshore and enjoy the gardens and the children at play. Look up Queen Charlotte Sound and imagine what the great Captain James Cook saw in the 1770's when he returned again and again to Ship Cove to careen his boats.
An Inter-islander Ferry - we eventually got on one of them (the next day).
The pix doesn't show too much, but it's the remains of the Edwin Fox, the ninth oldest ship in the world (or what's left of it!). It has an interesting history.
Near the ferry - this is the "working" side of the bay. The boats here are a little worse for the wear. It's easy to see that they have put in their time at sea.
This is the "recreational" side of the bay. The marina here is quite extensive and displays many very nice yachts. Most of these are well cared for - the chrome is shiny, the paint is new - they don't have that world weary look of the "working" boats across the bay. Many of them can be chartered for fishing or just cruising around.
Mary on the pedestrian bridge between the "working" side and the "recreational" side - no discrimination here!
This is the Echo - it's dry docked, deserted, and for sale - want to buy an old boat that has been used as a restaurant? More seriously, the Echo has an interesting history - check it out!
Starfish. We didn't see too much other than seaweed in the water - not like what we're used to on the BC to Oregon coast where we routinely spot urchins, anemones, little fish, crabs, etc. Apparently this is due to New Zealand being an isolated island. However, we did spot this guy and few of his/her colleagues.
Joe thinks this is a gull chick. We spotted it on the sidewalk near a small garden. It looked lost. We don't know where it came from or where it went. No parent obviously nearby. This is almost life size - he was very tiny. Hope his Mom found him.
It was nice to have a "day off." The guys seem to have endless energy, but I just ran out of steam.