From Windy Welly to Picton

This weekend we went to Wellington, and switched between the two islands in New Zealand. We know why it’s called a windy place here now…

After our adventures the past days on the North Island of New Zealand, we are about to get to the South Island. The final trip of our rental car on this island was getting us from New Plymouth to Wellington
“Windy” welly lived up to its reputation. We had to hang on not to get blown in the sea. To the point were it became unpleasant.

Art in open air, Wellington New Zealand

Art in open air, Wellington New Zealand

Our accommodation in Wellington is the Museum Hotel. Great place to stay: lovely art in the lobby, great decoration in the rest of the hotel and superb suites/apartments.
Art in Wellington

Art in Wellington

We explored Wellington, shopped a little and laid back – getting ready for la grande traversee on Sunday. There are a couple of ways to travel from the North Island of New Zealand to the South Island. We choose to take the ferry to make the jump. Vicky has never been a fan of transport over water, so she had a little stress this day.
Breakfast at the Museum Hotel, in the Hippopotamus restaurant is an experience. The food is as one can expected, good. But the setting is stunning. The works of art and the elements of the decoration have been picked by someone who had a great feeling of art, but knew how to make a restaurant worth staying in.
We dropped our rental car at the port, and checked in for the ferry between Wellington on the North Island and Picton, on the Southern Island. Our agent had chosen the Interislander company to accommodate this trip. The part where we crossed the open sea will be considered “to remember”. As two cyclones had made their way earlier to the New Zealand coasts, the sea was not really calm. We found a place om the highest deck. Vicky went for a place in the open air. Seen the condition of the sea: the wise choice :-)
Ferry between Wellington and Picton by Koen Blanquart

Ferry between Wellington and Picton

The trip took a little over 4 hours, and we made it trough the beautiful fjords of the South Island to Picton. We picked up a more recent model of our RAV4, and headed for the Peppertree Lodge in Blenheim. Werner and Heidi welcomed us with much enthusiasm in their beautiful estate.
Vicky and I recuperated from the shipping experience with a little game of petanque (a draw…) and had a taste of the produces of Werner’s wine-making, before we went out to have a great meal on the veranda of Gibbs, an informal restaurant just outside Blenheim.
Our first encounter with the south island promises for a great couple of weeks to come!
Blenheim, New Zealand, the 16th of January, 2011


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  1. […] help noticing the signs warning for a rough sea and an increased risk of seasickness. You readers of our blog know that Vicky is one of these people that tend to be a little sensitive for that kind of weather. […]

  2. […] morning started in the lovely Peppertree lodge, where our splendid day of yesterday ended. The Swiss couple that runs this B&B are not only great people with whom we had a great […]

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