Things we learned:
Get two cars for the price of one!
We have rented a standard car. Nothing fancy, not the smallest can you could get, but no camper either. We have a good tent and it is ok pricewise. We picked it up in Auckland (North island) and are drop it in Christchurch (South Island).
What we didn’t know until we picked up the car in Auckland: The Rental-cars don’t change take the ferry to the South Island, only we do. We need to drop the car and the ferry station in Wellington and will pick up a new one in Picton where the ferry arrives on the South Island. “new car” turned up to be the literal what we got: it had 60km on the clock.
It was still a little bit a disappointment, since the other car was a lot fancier. Well, in case we ever think of buy8ing a small SUV: we have tested two now!
Stuff we saw:
Stuff we did:
Wellington is a nice town. We can say that even though we didn’t see much. It was rainy, cold and windy. So we ran around the harbor area, got something to eat and returned to the campsite. We had a cabin again, good because of the rain, but with the high quality we found so far on the campsites in NZ: this one was certainly not the best one, at least not the cabin itself. But it protected us from the rain and so we packed our stuff to do the crossing (we have to change the car, so we had to pack everything in two bags to check it in at the ferry terminal, a little bit like at the airport).
The following day the weather was a lot better (maybe that is because Prince Harry and his wife were in town, who knows). We used the sun to make a nice drive to the peninsula just outside the city. A fantastic drive. Just half an hour out of the heart of downtown you find the most stunning nature. We stopped a lot to take pictures, watched some plane land on the incredible airport there and had a good lunch.
A great day and a city with a great scenery literally just around the corner minutes.
The ferry crossing to the South Island is fantastic. The town of Picston is deep in the Marlboroughs. These are former valleys that have been flooded since the southern island has been pushed up in the last few million years. The ship enters these fjord-like waterways.
A short 1-hour drive brought us to a fantastic hostel where we stayed overnight to avoid the upcoming rain.