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Previous Day: Day 34 – Nelson

Day 35 – Nelson to Carterton (via the ferry)

We had to get to the ferry by 12:10 pm (for the 1:10 pm ferry), and tried to get away by 9:00 am. I had reckoned without Art…. In most relationships, it’s the woman that’s always running late. In ours…..Art seems to have a knack of always wanting something that I have just managed to pack in the bottom of a bag that is ready to load in the car.

So we eventually got away at 9:30. But of course we had to get away from the ever-growing swarm of killer ducks (who by this time had been joined by Mrs Chicken). A stale hamburger roll came in useful for diversionary tactics - we left them fighting over the crumbs and wheel-spun away down the road.

We needed petrol. ‘Don’t Worry’, Art said, ‘We’re bound to see some on the way out of Nelson…..’ Famous last words. The route we took didn’t pass a single one….. ‘Never mind, we’ve got enough petrol to get to Havelock’. Well we did, thank goodness, but the gauge was into the red….

After a coffee stop, the GPS told us that we should arrive at the ferry in Picton at 12:00. This was cutting it a bit fine – but there was an hours leeway before the ferry actually went, so probably not a major. There are 2 routes – a fast but longer one, and a slower, more picturesque and shorter one along Queen Charlotte Sound Drive. The GPS said the time would be about the same, so we headed for the picturesque route. And well worth it, it was…..

We had enough petrol to reach Picton

Picton to Wellington Ferry

The boat we’re in (Kaitaki) is bigger than the one we took over, and seems to have more facilities. There’s a large bar, and a ‘sun deck’ at the back that is very pleasant to sit in. What is a bit concerning is that the boat used to be the ‘Spirit of Cherbourg’ out of Portsmouth – let’s hope it isn’t the same model as the ‘Spirit of Free Enterprise’, that went down at Zeebrugger in the 1980's.

As per usual there was a good smattering of camper vans.

Leaving South island

We arrived on time, but were on of the last to leave the ferry, at about 5:00 pm. As we wanted to get out of Wellington before stopping for the night, we motored on towards the Wairarapa and Masterton.

Getting out of Wellington

The more I see of Wellington, the more I don't want to live there. We left during Rush Hour, and there id only one major road out - the one that runs through the Hutt Valley. After Upper Hutt, you drive through a spectacular gorge between the Tararua and Rimutaka Forest Parks for 40 km to get to the next habitation - Featherstone.

So if that fault line does ever go ping, I think there is a good chance that at least one of the routes out will be impassable, and the remainder will be in absolute chaos. Wellingtonians - read that Civil Defence website thoroughly, and get your emergency kit and plan ready.

This is an important website for all New Zealanders - Be Prepared! Civil Defence


Our Holiday Parks book had a place marked in Carterton, so we decided to stop here for the night. On the way in, we saw some posters for 'Balloons over Wairarapa' - and the opening ceremony was 7:15 am the next morning, in Clareville, the next village along. What were the chances of us getting up to see them??

Carterton Holiday Park

This was one of our better finds….. We had a basic cabin for $40, and rented bed linen and towels for an extra $5 (we could have used our sleeping bags, but I was getting fed up of either struggling like a caterpillar in a cocoon, or never being able to keep all parts of my body under the unzipped bag). Our cabin was called 'The Waldorf'. There is a great kitchen, and a comfortable and practical dining and lounge area, with barbecue and outdoor areas too.

find out more at Carterton Holiday Park

Next Day: Day 36 - Carterton to Ongarue

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terris_travelogue/south_island/day_35.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/10 20:17 by art
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