Distance Travelled: 484 km
Total Road Trip Distance: 484 km
20th – 21st Nov
So we arrived at the rental shop bright and early. We had been informed we would be getting a 4 berth camper with toilet and shower, and we had been given the length to book the ferry. In NZ a lot of campervans are converted people carriers or estate cars but we knew it has to be better than that. When we were directed to our home and transport for the next four days we were both in awe. It was a biggun.
We drove back to Rangiora to pack up our stuff and say goodbye to Callum (and the pets). Danielle had left for work early so we said our farewells the previous night.
Our drive to our first stop in Picton was solely to await the overnight ferry. Due to the earthquake damage to the usual route the only way to get there was a snaking 7-8 hour route across Lewis Pass, before cutting back to the east. Google Maps has it as 5 hours 24 minutes. 457 km on narrow winding roads in a motorhome that is legally only allowed to travel at 90kmh is incredibly optimistic.
We had previously hoped it would be possible to get the evening ferry but it was too much of a risk. We took our time and stopped in a town called Culverden for lunch and again at a waterfall called Maruia Falls.
Many hours in we reached Blenheim where we stocked up on supplies of food and diesel before making the last run up to Picton. I had downloaded a rather helpful app detailing all the campsites around NZ and we saw there was a free campsite just south of Picton. Unfortunately all eight of the spaces were full so instead we headed into Picton to stay at a paid site but with toilets and power (which we needed to charge our phones).
We had a cooked dinner in our motorhome and decided to sleep in the bed above the cab. Big mistake! It was cramped, the roof gathered condensation and it was really far from the heater. We learned our lesson.
The next morning we headed off early for our ferry.
Picton caravan park was just what we needed. A powered site three minutes drive from the ferry terminal. The lady behind the counter was great, Kate asked if they had room and she ummed and ahhed before saying she might have one… Then she burst out laughing and said “of course! We have loads!”