Departing from Auckland I took an early train through the dramatic and beautiful landscape of the north, down to wellington. Everywhere I passed could have featured somewhere in lord of the rings. In some places I would see an area that I thought they definitely must have filmed at and then two minutes later I would scrap that because I would have seen somewhere else much more likely.
Over high bridges, passing rivers, hobbit like hills and mounds, snow capped mountains in the distance and then finally down to the west coast leading us into wellington. The train ride was well worth the money, and informative! We each had headphones we could listen to history or geographical information about all the places we were passing.
Wellington – capital of New Zealand. Seemingly a bustling harbour city. Arriving in the evening I decided to walk to the hotel I was staying in seeing as it was a nice evening. I knew I was coming back to wellington and therefore didn’t venture out. Plus I was tired!! So with an early interislander ferry in the morning I retired to bed early.
A taxi dropped me off at the ferry terminal on that beautiful sunny morning. Here I was to take a 3 hour scenic ferry journey from the north island to the south island of New Zealand. You could see the South Island from wellington as it was a clear day. But it goes a route into the Marlborough sound so it wiggles it’s way into picton a small town nestled in the Marlborough sound.
Sailing across to South Island and entering the sound was one of the most beautiful journeys I have ever experienced in a boat. A completely different beauty. Stunning turquoise water , calm waters, clear blue sky and epic scenery. It was hard not to be grinning from ear to ear.
Picton looked beautiful. Walking from the ferry terminal to the train station gave me a glimpse of how pretty it is. Hopefully I will spend more time here on my way back up the country.
The train I was picking up was taking me down to Christchurch. Stopping at kaikora on the way down where coincidently mum and auntie Claire would be joining the train.
This train too was wonderful, very scenic, going through salt farms, coastal paths and flat plain lands with a mountainous backdrop.
Was great to meet up with mum and the aunt who were on good form and sounded like they’d had an incredible week whale watching and walking around abel tasman.
We arrived into Christchurch and pretty much went straight out for a Moroccan dinner just round the corner of our motel. As we are catching the transalpine train early tomorrow morning we chose to stay near the train station with a motel that provided a shuttle transfer. So we didn’t have time to go and explore Christchurch. But the hire car we are picking up in greymouth needs to be returned to Christchurch so hopefully we will spend a night there in a few weeks.