After the first failed attempt, we managed to get ourselves up in time to catch the bus to the ferry port in Wellington. We left at 7.30am and caught the 9am ferry over to Picton on the South Island. The journey takes three hours and overall was OK, although I wish I had picked up some seasickness tablets beforehand! No matter how big the vessel is, if it’s on the sea I’m bound to feel unwell. I spent the time preoccupying myself with Harry Potter on my laptop and looking out at the beautiful views as we headed into the South Island. Thankfully the awful weather that we experienced in River Valley and Wellington had not carried over to the South Island, and we arrived to blue skies and an even bluer sea.
Our final destination for the day was Kaiteriteri, a town right near the Abel Tasman national park. This was another 5 or so hours away, however we made a couple of scenic stops enroute to break the journey up a little!
We decided to stay in a hostel called ‘Adventure Inn’, which is run by an ex-Kiwi Experience driver. At the moment he is still building the main hostel and so rents out rooms in his home to build up a reputation before the big opening. This place when it is finished though will be epic. There’s a full on cinema room, pool tables, picnic and BBQ areas, food vans – it really is a backpackers dream and I would love to see the finished result! It is also 750 metres away from the National Park entrance, which ticked all the boxes in my book!
Because we had missed the bus the previous day, we now only had one night here. To make the most of it we walking along the beach to watch the sunset, where I got attacked by sand flies and went out for a burger that was highly recommended by the owner of Adventure Inn.
We decided that we would check out the National Park the following morning before the bus left for the next destination and spent the evening watching a film in our very own private cinema (how many people can say they did that while backpacking?!)