Tuesday 25th February – ferry to the South Island

Up at 5am in time to shower, pack and be ready for 6am breakfast – toast with nutella – I was stalked by Michelle for the nutella, there wasn’t much left, she didn’t want me to finish it!!

We left at 6.45 and had a 2 minute ride round the corner to the ferry port – Blue Ridge – we got to label our big bags and check them in.

We boarded not long before 8am and took over a side room so we could fill out paperwork and make our activity and food options for our trip, also excitingly there was WiFi!!! The choices, especially for Queenstown were many. In Franz Josef I’ve been brave and decided to go for it with a skydive. I guess if I’m going to do it I may as well have pretty spectacular scenery – the sea and a glacier or 2. So on 1st March I will be jumping (pushed) out of a plane at 16,000 feet!!!!! For Queenstown I’ve not picked anything, but think a mountain bike ride is on the cards.

This decision making took around 2 hours! Still left us time to walk around the ferry and see the views of Marlborough Sounds – did have a complaint – the south is much colder than the north (it’s all upsidedown here). Also it was misty and still no sheep, but did find a funnel blowing hot air to stand next to!

Soon enough we were off the boat and into bus to take us to the terminal where our bags appeared in no time and we had to wait for Shortie to bring our bus round – he’s called DubDub! We soon learnt that the North Island people (at least certain of them) had ‘their seat’ we made the mistake of sitting in someone’s seat, offered to move to the front (especially as we were on the wheel arch) and were told ‘good’ by someone as we moved….

Again we had a short drive into the town, Picton, where we had a toilet/ATM/lunch stop. We went to an awesome bakery, I got a chicken and Camembert pie and a mini-Afghan.

We then started driving towards Abel Tasman. As we were on the front seat next to Shortie no sleep is allowed, are in charge of the music and general chit chat-ness.

Never seem to drive far between loo stops and soon were at Pelarus camp site for a wee/ice cream break before continuing to Nelson – where my Sunflower Lodge friends Ana and Conal used to live and although we only passed through you can see why they did, beautiful coastline there. We stopped at the pack and save to buy lunch stuff for tomorrow- savoury and raison scone – seemed to be all about the scones today.

The final leg of the drive was to Marahau in Abel Tasman. After a mini tour from Shortie so we knew when to go to tomorrow. We got onto 2 water taxis and were towed by tractors to the water.

The ride was v bumpy but so much fun, our driver, Eric, would stop in the bays and tell us about the beaches. Then over some super bumpy waves before we arrived at our hostel – aquapackers – a hostel on a boat!!

I had the pleasure of sharing a double bed with the bf and the 5 other men in their dorm (the remaining 2 had lucked out and were sharing double rooms with their gf). Wasn’t a problem, think they were more bemused by it than me!

Turns put that the girl working there was from Hawera in Taranaki – such a small world!

We had a BBQ for dinner done by Chris the owner – sausages, steak and veg pie with rice with sultanas and coleslaw – yummy

After dinner we played shithead – we argued out the rules (everyone has their own version) and played with an amalgamation of everyone’s

Being on a boat with no light from the land, only a few other boats, the stars were pretty amazing, not dairy farm/Tongariro amazing, but getting there.

The climb to bed was fun, down a ladder and then kind of roll into bed trying not to bump your head as we were only a few inches from the roof!


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