Monday morning and it was an early start with the alarm going off at 5.00am. Kathryn very kindly arose early to get us underway with a quick cuppa and a slice or two of toast. Our original plan had been to park on the Inter Island Ferry Wharf over night ready for the 7.30am loading time. That practice has now ceased since the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup. If it was good enough to run the scheme for the rugby fans it should be good enough to carry it on for the NZ travelling public.We were quite happy to pay $10 for the privilege unlike the Blue bridge ferry where it costs $50 a night. All of our group would have been excluded from here as caravans are not welcome and motorhomes only up to 7m.
Still, despite the early start we arrived at the wharf with plenty of time to spare and was marshalled into line with everybody else awaiting loading time. The ferry MV Kaitaki is different from previous ferries in that it can load both front or back depending on how it was moored. Today we loaded through the bow and discharged through the stern. The ship wasn’t completely full as the were still a few spaces on the vehicle deck.
With a light Southerly breeze the Cook Straight between both islands was quite calm with just a half metre swell which made for an enjoyable crossing. After disembarking at Picton we drove around to find a car park where we could stop and have lunch. From here it was just a 30 minute drive to Blenheim racecourse where we plan to stay for 2 night’s before heading down to Kaikoura.