Of my two weeks in New Zealand, this day was amongst my favourite. I think I’ve said it somewhere here before, but I’ll say it again, I LOVE travelling by train, and I spent six hours on one on this day of my trip. The day started, however, catching the bus to Wellington Station, then another bus from the station out to the docks, then boarding the InterIslander Ferry across the Cook Straight from Wellington to Picton. The Ferry trip was certainly worth it, 3 1/2 hours on the huge ferry, the swell was a level 2 of 7 (no glassy, just a little bit of waves). It was, however, once we got out of the Wellington bay and into the Straight – absolutely freezing. It was the wind that was so cold, but still, that’s half the fun. Then it was into the beautiful Marlborough Sounds for about an hour, slowly making our way through to Picton. We arrived at Picton around midday, and, with about an hour and a half before the train for Christchurch left, I had plenty of time to look around. I had lunch at the Picton Village Bakkerij, and I must say, they make pretty good pies.
Then it was ont0 the Coastal Pacific train, for what must be one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. Travelling through vineyards, along the Pacific Ocean past a seal colony, past part of the northern part of the Southern Alps, and through pastoral lands. It was such a stunning afternoon weather-wise, which just made the countryside all the more beautiful. The train arrived in Christchurch around 7pm, then I caught a shuttle bus to the hotel. By time I got to the hotel, I’d been on the road for over 12 hours, and was more than a fair bit worn out! But still, a fantastic day.
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