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Wellington to Kaikoura via Picton



   Wellington    - slightly overcast 17°C                                              Cook Strait     - windy but seas calm, light swell

   Marlborough Sounds    - sunny and calm 23°C                              Kaikoura Coast       - sunny and warm 21°C



                  Journey time: 7h:45m (including 1h:20m in Picton and photo stops)

                                                Wellington - Picton (sailing time)     3h:10m

                                                Picton - Blenheim                           0h:29m

                                                Blenheim - Kaikoura                       2h:06m


 The port of Wellington on a broody day

On a nice day Wellington is a truly magnificent city.


Today is a little overcast and windy perhaps capturing the true character of the place.


We set off on the 8:30am Interislander ferry sailing for Picton.


Fortunately the seas are pretty calm.


Nothing like the feeling of anticipation as we wait to drive aboard and set off on our South Island journey.



Entrance to Tory Channel and the Marlborough Sounds from Cook Strait



The gorgeous colours of the waters, land and skies of the Marlborough Sounds immediately become apparent.



If you've a day to spare in Wellington and the weather is good, grab a return passenger ferry ticket to Picton. You'll have an amazing experience, even if you're not visiting the rest of the Island this time.

Close-up viewing of the Marlborough Sounds fjords


Expect to see beaches, tucked away baches, derelict whaling stations, hills that fall into the sea like mini-fjords and maybe dolphins riding on the bow wave.


Sister ferry passes in Tory ChannelPicton ahoyPicton waterfront

Near Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand 


Around Blenheim you'll be passing through some of the best sauvignon blanc vineyards, not to mention some nice riesling, pinot noir ...



Think of Cloudy Bay, Wairau Valley and Awatere Valley and you're on the right track.



The scenery is also uniquely Marlborough, with big blue skies, rolling arid looking hills and valleys, hints of sea and mountains.

I originally thought we'd skip straight through Kaikoura. As fate would have it, it was getting late when we arrived and an unscheduled stopover was made ... there really is something special about this place. This was just the start of the spiritual experience the South Island was to provide.


Beach at KaikouraGold on the hills?Kaikoura Ranges meet Pacific Ocean at dusk

Seal watching at KaikouraFyffe QuayKaikoura by moonlight


next day...



Leaving the Wellington docks




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 (Click  for full screen view on the HD slideshow)