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South Island Road Trip * day twelve * Kaikoura, Picton and Wellington (part two)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

We left "baby seal paradise" and drove through the beautiful town of Blenheim - renowned as New Zealand's wine hub. We arrived in Picton well past lunchtime and decided to drive along the coast to find a picnic destination. Queen Charlotte Drive was a worthwhile diversion. Steep cliffs, with magnificent views of several boat filled Bay's (Shakespeare, Beck, Governors and Ngakuta).

We stopped for lunch at the Governors Bay Scenic Reserve and then took a ten minute hike down to the water. There were hundreds of jellyfish glittering on the beach. The kids spent thirty minutes rescuing them from a dry and sandy death and then erected the bare bones of a hut (that would perhaps be completed by another curious child). 

After "lunch" we headed back into the quaint town of Picton. Last year for Christmas we spent a week at an isolated house on Erie Bay. It was a great experience - but getting there was an exhausting process. A process that ended up included a six hour "layover" in the ferry terminal town of Picton. We loved it (despite our semi-conscious state). So when we were making plans for our South Island road trip, we arranged to be there quite a bit ahead of our scheduled departure back to Wellington.

The ferry ride in and out of Picton Harbor is idyllic. Both the Bluebridge and Interislander make the trek through the Marlborough Sound. The Queen Charlotte Track (in the Marlborough Sound region) is a popular destination for people who like to "tramp". It is actually not listed among New Zealand's "Great Walks" - which tells you a little bit about how beautiful New Zealand is.

The Picton wharf was very quiet on the afternoon we arrived. It was a perfect place to utilize the skateboard, balance bike and scooters that we brought.

The enormous pirate ship playground nearly saved our exhausted lives when we were there at Christmas time.
It was great to have another visit.

We put a to-go order in at a local restaurant and the kids had fun running to the top of the harbor bridge while we waited.

Right before we left, someone spotted AND caught an enormous starfish. Perfect way to wrap up the day.

We picked up food, ate dinner on the ferry and put the kids to bed for a few hours. We drove off the boat in Wellington at 11:30 pm and checked into the youth hostel right across the street. We had everyone tucked into our dorm room bunk beds by midnight.

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