The journey north, and finishing with a ferry

Some parts of this adventure have flown by, and I wonder where the time went, but other parts felt longer. Some of the InterCity journeys have been fine. The scenery of this gorgeous country can be captivating, and with a good driver, you can learn a lot about the places you pass by.

Having just made the journey from Dunedin to Invercargill a few days prior, the return was going to drag. It was the same route, just in reverse. And it was early. Like, 8am early.

For someone who’s not the biggest fan of mornings, and who hasn’t set an alarm in over two-months, that was a pain.

The following two journeys were even earlier!

Quick stops in Dunedin and Christchurch

Having spent a bit of time in Dunedin and Christchurch (the former on a previous trip to the South Island), I only needed to break up the journeys I was taking on my way up north. The bonus being I had a friend in each place, and I was looking forward to seeing both of them.

I spent two nights in Dunedin, and beyond seeing my friend, I spent time walking parts of the city I hadn’t seen yet – and going back to one place I had.

I walked to St Clair and reached the point which is probably the furthest from home I’ll ever be. I made it here back in July, but it was nicer in the summer! I followed the beach along and made it to the Sir Leonard Wright Lookout, which had great coastal views and scenes over parts of the city.

A sign in St Clair, Dunedin, showing distances to major cities around the world
A sign in St Clair, Dunedin, showing distances to major cities around the world

With Christchurch, it was a one-night stop and the half a day I had there was spent relaxing. It’s not the most exciting part of my trip but it allowed me to be full of energy by the time I got to Picton.

Basking in Picton’s sun

While I only had one night in Picton, I had just under 24-hours to make the most of it and it was glorious weather. I spent a little time at the Aquarium and joined one of their free tours to find out more about life in the waters of the country, including seeing this guy and his companion fight over some food.

I then decided to head to Victoria Domain, just across the marina, and walk to The Snout for a view into the Marlborough Sounds. What I did realise was just how long this would take. The round trip was just under 3-hours, with plenty of hills to climb before dropping down and another one appearing. That was fun.

There were some great views along the way, though, and I don’t regret doing it.

However, I might tell myself to be better prepared on a future walk. More water, more suitable clothing and more sun cream than I used (although I didn’t burn, but I was probably close to it). The maps made it look much shorter!

The ferry to Wellington through the Marlborough Sounds

To cap off my 59-day South Island adventure, I opted to take the Interislander ferry from Picton to Wellington. I’ve heard that this is a pretty good journey, and you can get a nice view of some of the Marlborough Sounds at the same time.

Note: the Sounds are huge, so this is only a part. Guided tours are available if you want to explore it further.

Like the previous day in Picton, glorious sunshine accompanied me on the three-hour journey between the two islands, and the first part of the journey is the ferry navigating the channels between the smaller islands to reach open water.

It. Is. Stunning.

The ferry itself had cafés, a bar, viewing platforms and even a cinema! There are cabins available to be booked, too, and some journeys do take place overnight. Each ferry has different facilities, so while I can recommend making the trip at least once, check the ferry available on each trip to see what it offers.

I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen next, but I’ll spend a little time in Wellington and catching up with my friends. That wind is going to be a real wakeup call after two-months away but it’s summer so I can hope it’ll be warm, at least.

When I have more plans or adventures, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Until then.

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