Cook Strait Ferry Crossing

Morning came very early today! We were all up and moving at 0500 which is WAY too early for most of us. Dan is the early bird in this flock. But we had to do it in order to get to the ferry dock in time. We have a pretty tight schedule today so there’s no time to dilly dally.

We have coffee and tea and everyone slowly starts to get going. Of course we’ve got to load the car with all of our food and luggage so Dan takes the lead and starts hauling out the goods. After a quick walk through to be sure everything is left the way it’s supposed to be and to be sure we haven’t left anything behind, we are off to the races again.

The sun is barely peeking over the horizon as we head down the mountain toward town. We make a few wrong turns and for the first time since we’ve been on this trip Dan actually starts to go down the wrong side of the road. Ooops! Fortunately there were very few people out so he was able to correct his mistake without wrecking the car or terrifying any of the locals.

We arrive at the ferry dock where they line us up with the rest that are crossing today. We’ve got about an hour and a half to kill before boarding so we do the “American” thing. Since it’s pretty cool outside we walk across the street to McDonalds for a cup of coffee. The funny thing is that at McDonalds in this country they don’t just make drip coffee. They actually have baristas making coffee at a special counter. It’s pretty gourmet for this type of joint.

Our very limited view of downtown Wellington makes us wish we were going to be spending more time here. There’s lots of things to see here but time just won’t allow it. Before long we must head back to the car and get ready for boarding. Having never been on a car ferry before we’re not quite sure what to expect. Of course, Jilly had her trusty video going so rather than tell you about the ferry ride, we’ll show you. Click on the link at the bottom of this article to view the video. It’s pretty short but will show you the stunning beauty that is Marlborough Sound.

The ferry terminal in Wellington.
Jilly spread some of her daddy’s ashes here on the way out of the harbor.

The ferry ride and Marlborough sound certainly lived up to all the hype. While taking our car on the ferry wasn’t cheap, around $168 NZD/person roundtrip, it was definitely worth every penny. And, although the day was rather chilly and the beginning of the trip was windy with some pretty rough seas we enjoyed every second of it. From Picton we kept on trucking and about six hours later we arrived at Hokitika.

Check back to find out more about this artsy, seaside town.


Jilly & Dan


Author: Dan & Jilly

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