Days 43 and 44: Kaikoura to Picton and Wellington to Greytown via Paraparaumu
Day 43 of our Spaceships adventure had arrived (yes more retrospective writing!). We awoke in Kaikoura and headed for Picton. On the way we stopped to see the lovely baby seals at the waterfall. This used to be something of a well-kept secret, but was fairly busy so word must have crept out! Admittedly I did blog about it back in October when we visited but am certain the visitors hadn’t all read my blog!! It was even better this time around though because due to it being winter this is the best time to see the most baby seals and we saw loads! They were all playing in the waterfall and it was wonderful to watch them.
The lighting here made it notoriously difficult to photograph them (as it was last time) so we mainly videoed them and just watched. Definitely a wonderful stop off on the way to Picton. On arriving in Picton we received a message from the Interislander ferry company to inform us they had cancelled the ferry we were due to get tomorrow morning. So on hearing this news we decided rather than staying in Picton until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest that we would get the evening ferry over to Wellington. We booked on to the 6.30pm departure, which would arrive about 9.40pm. There was such heavy rain while we hung around Picton in the afternoon but luckily the crossing wasn’t too rough. We queued up in Draco our spaceship quite a bit before our final check in time of 5.30pm as given to us by Interislander. We also got 10% off the cost of our ferry due to the Top 10 card we had (and luckily we hadn’t burnt it after our awful experience at a Top 10 holiday park back in April!). The crossing is still pretty pricey though at $228 for our vehicle – way more than flying – but quite a unique adventure. It was fine parking our spaceship on the ferry as it was really organised and we weren’t too crammed in – one of the many advantages of hiring a spaceship over a bigger campervan!
The Interislander’s scale rated the sea conditions at ‘Moderate’. Being a travel sicky person I don’t usually travel on boats too well (plus we suffered incredibly on our 5 hour ferry to Great Barrier island back in October), so I wasn’t taken any chances so took two strong travel sickness tablets (Drammamine). I think they really helped, as it did rock a fair bit during the crossing, but they took the edge off – plus I felt quite out of it due to their strong drowsy-causing ingredients so don’t remember too much of it!
We sadly waved goodbye to South island and said hello to North island on arrival in Wellington. Apologies for the lack of photos in this post by the way – we didn’t really take any (for a change!).
The next morning we awoke and headed up the Kapiti coast to Paraparaumu beach. We had a brief stop here to look across to Kapiti island and then decided to drive to a place called Greytown (rather than stay in Paraparaumu) so we would be closer to Cape Palliser which we could do the following day. The road up was actually incredibly windy!! We didn’t expect such crazy roads in North island, but it twisted and turned so much as it climbed up and down the mountains. On arrival in Greytown despite being on a strict budget we treated ourselves to some well deserved and very cheap but yummy takeaway chips.
Having been to North island before we know it is different to South island – the weather is warmer and in our view the scenery is not as spectacular, but we are excited and looking forward to all of our north island adventures ahead, starting with Cape Palliser tomorrow. 🙂