The South Island of New Zealand -winter 2015/16 travel blog

InterIsland Ferry

Happy New Year in America - Hope you all had a safe and fun ringing in of the new year. We are spending our second night in Picton. This charming gateway to Queen Charlotte Sound is the town that serves InterIsland Ferry (a company running ferry service between Picton in the South Island and Wellington in the North Island). Another company - Bluebridge- also runs a ferry to Wellington. The approx time is 3.5 hrs. Today it was rainy (Spitty) and very low clouds/fog (Soupy) so the photo taken from the top of a viewing ridge on a large hill outside of town shows the ferry coming in to Picton. Interisland has three ferries that come in here -- one serves 1650 passengers and 600 cars, the other two serve around 550 passengers and 200+ cars. It cost almost $200.00 US for the three of us to take the ferry to Wellington to continue our trip, now focusing a bit on the North Island.

We first encountered Picton last year when we did the 14 day cruise around New Zealand and we were so impressed with the topography and beauty of the area. Lots of reminders of scenes from Alaska's inside passage in summer. As with many areas of NZ, there is purposeful planning and follow through to create walking paths in towns and surrounding areas. Right now Picton is very crowded with vacationing Kiwi's. It will be a lot more crowded on Tuesday when a cruise ship comes in and deposits 3,000 more people in to the small shopping streets of this quaint town. One of the sources says the town is 3,000 in population but it sure seems a lot larger that that to us so we wonder if that is the difference between seasonal workers, area population vs. city population, etc. We were glad to have our rain pants, rain jackets and waterproof hiking shoes today as it rained on and off all day. Nice day and cool temperatures. Driving 2 hours out and about -- Steps 17, 569. Yesterday we drove here from Westport - 5 hours of driving. Steps 12,727. Picked up Seth in Blenheim.

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