Heading into Picton

New Zealand ’17: Day 07 – Wellington to Picton to Abel Tasman National Park (Wed)

Lodging: The Waters Bed and Breakfast
Date During Trip: July 5, 2017

Wellington to Picton to Tasman
Wellington to Picton to Tasman

I’m on the Inter-Islander Ferry at the moment, rocking a bit (though it’s a calm day) as we enter the straights between the two islands. I just went out on to the top deck (10) to see the sites as we exited the straights outside the Wellington Harbor. For a ferry, this is a very big ship.

The wind on the top deck was ferocious. You could easily get blown off of the ship, which is rather large indeed. I had to hold my iPhone/BeastGrip rig with unusual force to keep it from being blown out of my hands. Then, when I went to come back inside, I had great difficulty getting the door opened against the blasting winds! I was beginning to think I would have to grab the door with both hands and pull it open by pushing my feet up against the wall of the ship.

The captain just came on with a safety announcement stating that the conditions in the straights after exiting the harbor are “less than favorable.” He requested we hold on at all times and take care when opening/closing doors as they may slam unexpectedly. Hello! He suggested we remain seated until we clear the straights.

This is great fun indeed.

I dozed off while cruising through the straights and awoke as we began entering the South Island “fjordlettes.” The wind was calm. I went on the 10th floor and shot pictures and video, though, while beautiful, this was not terribly dramatic—more placid.

Click any photo to see the larger version of it.

We got our rental car without issue and headed from Picton to Mapua (also referred to as Tasman). The drive had several scenic spots, and we took our time. We then stopped for lunch at a quaint little roadside spot with a fireplace in Havelock. Warm!!!! Steve had a salad made with “Grumpy goat feta cheese.” Apparently there really is a grumpy goat, on a nearby farm, from which the cheese was made.

We stopped at a rest area along the side of the road so Steve could use the bathroom. They boasted a scenic lookout just a bit further down the trail. It was a hike of millions of miles! It was slippery, muddy, steep, and had rocks and roots everywhere. My feet were furious with me. And then to add insult to injury, the views were not all that. Steve will never let me live that down as I was the one that suggested we do it. Every time he said it was too far I would insist, and really believed, “We’re almost at the top.”

We arrived at The Waters when it was already dark. Sorting out the final turns on the property (a working vineyard and farm) was a bit of a challenge, but we made it. The proprietor came out to greet us and appeared a little worried we were so late.

The bed and breakfast is in a particularly lovely spot, feet away from the ocean/bay but surprisingly high up from the water though it certainly doesn’t look that way from up here. There is water on 3 sides of the room. The place was freezing, but she had turned on the heat for us.

Actually, I think the cold floor helped my plantar fasciitis a good bit as my foot was really killing me from all of the walking yesterday and today–”We’re almost to the top!”

We had dinner at a quaint little local hotel, the Apple Shed. I was dying for Diet Coke, and they sold us 2 cans to take to our bed and breakfast! Very nice people. We honestly didn’t say anything, but, realizing we’re Americans, the proprietor went off on a tare about Trump. They all seem to hate him here in New Zealand.


For a synopsis of all of the posts from this 2017 trip to both the North and the South Islands of New Zealand, with links to each post, click here. The posts listed in the OTHER RELATED POSTS HERE @ TT.US (below) may include posts from our 2014 trip.