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> The Ferry to the South Island and Picton, A fabulous trip through the Marlborough Sounds
nztravelguide
post Apr 4 2008, 06:34 PM
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Wellington Ferry to Picton
Boarding the ferry is very simple and straight forward. They are very professional so just go with the flow. Lots of comfortable seating. Crossing over on the ferry takes about 3 1/2 hours. Good idea to take a book along to read and perhaps a pillow to rest with. There is a movie onboard. About a third of the trip is getting out the Wellington Harbour, another third crossing Cook Strait where if the weather is bad you will notice it. If you have a tendency for sea sickness good idea to get some pills for the trip. Since you have time if the weather is really horrible wait for a better crossing time. The reason I like Bluebridge is the fact they will let you cancel and re-book with no penalty for one thing. (www.bluebridge.co.nz ).

The last third of the trip will be within the Marlborough Sounds one of the most beautiful places on earth. The ferry enters at the heads into Tory Channel and cruises into the Queen Charlotte Sound all the way to the small town of Picton. Hopefully you will have a pleasant crossing so you can enjoy the beauty of the trip.
I will assume you leave the holiday park by 10am and head for Wellington using the boarding time of 1:00pm. This will provide you with ample time to get to the terminal and check in plus if you are at the Bluebridge terminal you are right down town in Wellington. You have time to take a walk along the waterfront all the way to the museum of Te Papa if you like and return or just walk over two blocks to the centre of town to look around.

After reaching and leaving the ferry at Picton go to the first roundabout and turn left. If it is late afternoon (4:30pm) I suggest you can go have a look downtown in this very small place, perhaps have a cuppa at LeCafe on the waterfront. If you feel like freedom camping on the waterfront on the backside by the “coathanger” bridge is a parking lot where you are welcome to park 24hours for $2.00. This is where we always stay when here. Right close in town also is the Picton Top Ten (www.pictontop10.co.nz ) and the Picton Motor Camp(www.pictoncampervanpark.co.nz ).
Good place to stop is the Irish Pub.
As you will notice there are a lot of Sounds related activities you can get involved in here so maybe you might want to stay another day? After all its leap year so you get an extra day! I have allowed the other day. Also you may wish to drive the 1/2 hour to the Marlborough Wine Country. If you do go to Blenheim and after getting into town on the left is the Information Centre on the left (plenty of room to park) where you can pick up a wine tour map. Go back to Rapaura Road turn left and enjoy. Return to Picton for the night.Attached Image Attached Image Attached Image
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