Dec 132010

South Island Ferry

Probably by the time you read this we’ll both be on the ferry, or will have crossed over the South Island (Ruth – keep reading there’s an explanation below) for our ‘wee’ road trip.  I say ‘wee’ but really it’s until either until :

  • The money runs out
  • We stumble across some opportunity in the South
  • We have to meet some restriction that Immigration puts on us.

So tomorrow we’ll be looking back from the same position as the ferry above, to where the photo above was taken from and back to the city we’ve pretty much kinda grown in love with for just now.  It’s a strange feeling leaving somewhere when we’re not ready to leave it yet, but we’re still hugely looking forward to the trip – it may just take us a few extra days for it to hit us.

For this reason we won’t be moving far on the other side.  It’ll take about 3 hours to get across, despite it not being very far as as the crow flies (on a clear day you can see the South Island well from where the shot above was taken).  After that we’re only going to drive about 20-30 mins to a quiet basic camping spot to chill out for a couple of days to make a plan.

After that we’ll be heading around the Marlborough Sounds for some exploring and maybe a couple of days mountain biking over some of the Queen Charlotte Track.  After that we may head into the Sounds in the van and explore the more remote bays and areas for several days.  From there we hope to head to a remote few camps on the way to French Pass which is further to the West, but still in the general ‘sounds’ area.  Its a relatively small area, but full of passes, channels out to the sea and stunning beaches.  All this area is well known for fishing, boating and diving.

If you want to see some of the ferry crossing, check out this footage from YouTube, although I doubt we’re going to get a crossing quite like this – it could be quite wild if the wind doesn’t die down.


We have 5 weeks until my mum and stepdad come out to visit which is great.  We’ll probably spend most of this time in the far North of the South Island – at a push we’ll head down the West coast for some coastal climbing, then up to Arthur’s Pass to do the same and some walking before heading to Christchurch.

In the 3 weeks they are here we’ll do a whistle stop tour of the classic sights, then hopefully still be able to afford to backtrack to similar spots but at our own pace for walking, climbing and biking.

The van’s fully loaded and we’ve just to throw the bikes on.  Despite this we’ve managed to keep the main cabin clear so far which is good – how long that will last is another thing altogether!

Anyway, if the blog goes quiet we’re still ok – we just won’t be on the internet so much.  To family and friends….we are only going to the South Island, not the end of the world…we’ll still have phone reception but maybe not always….so don’t worry if you can’t get a hold of us for a few days.

We haven’t managed to submit our docs to Immigration before we leave as they have been held up due to the weather in the UK, which is very, very, very frustrating!

That’s about all – but Ruth – keep reading……

New Zealand is not Australia…’s several hours flight away to the East.  We are in one of the first countries to see a new day….it’s kinda right underneath Ireland.  New Zealand has got 2 islands….for the last few months we’ve been at the South of the top one (normally known as the North Island).  It’s a 30 minute flight, or 3hr ferry trip to the South which we can sometimes see from the beach round the corner.  We’ve both been here before.  (sorry, I’m being cheeky ;-> )

Anyway, Merry Xmas everyone that we don’t speak to beforehand!  It’s been one heck of a year so far!

 Posted by at 11:04 am

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