Wellington to Picton by ferry. Arriving South Island.
After 8 wonderful months in New Zealand North Island it was finally a time to visit the other half of this amazing country.
We crossed the Cook Strait with a ferry like most people do. That gave us opportunity to take our car with us. The Cook Strait ferries go between the North Island city of Wellington and the South Island town of Picton.
There are two companies providing the ferrie rides between the islands :Interislander and Bluebridge.
We choose Bluebridge because it was a bit cheaper. Interislander have bigger ships and they go a bit faster. Bluebridge Ferries leave from right in the center of the city of Wellington while the Interislander leaves from further down.
The journey takes about 3 hours. Usually the tickets are cheaper during the night but the journey is well worth the extra dollars so make sure that one of your crossings is done by day for a breathtaking views.
We also chose to spend some time in a cinema room and watched a free movie while taking the ferry ride. There are a cafe (the prices weren't too high) and lounge on board, as well as private cabins if you need one (for extra cost).
Picton is a small but important town at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. The town is a important link for New Zealand's transport network, connecting the South Island road and rail network with ferries that cross Cook Strait. The harbour is flanked by two headlands, Wedge Point and the Snout, and comprises two inlets, Picton Harbour proper and Shakespeare Bay.
For us, the first impression of the island was - very calm, scenic and green. Most travelers say it is much more beautiful then North Island and nature is way beyond breathtaking. Will see... so far so good.
Picton has grown into a beautiful waterside holiday town with some of New Zealand’s highest quality marina facilities, boutique shops and accommodation options.
We wanted to see the Picton from a higher point, so we hiked the Tirohanga Track up to the Hilltop View. It’s a pretty steep track but well worth it for the views of Picton, Waikawa and Queen Charlotte Sound. If you have more time, you can make this a loop by continuing along the track after the Hilltop View down to the streets of Picton. This is what we did, and Aldis accidentally fell into a water stream (just another funny thing to remember). This took us a bit more than 2 hours to complete the whole loop.