Picton... not what we expected!
Sep 01, 2010
Jun 18, 2011
. After I had recovered from seeing such an abundence of clean water we went for a look around town and discovered the library had free internet access (yaaay!!). Once we had updated our blog we decided to head out into the Marlborough Sounds for a little walk. The Sounds has one of the best walks in the country called the Queen Charlotte Track, which stretches the entire length of the coast line at 71 kilometers and takes about a week to do the whole thing. Considering that we didn't get there until about 3pm we decided to opt for the easy 4 km walk from the starting point to a place called Davies Bay which takes about 2 hours. The walk was lovely and we got to see some beautiful views. Once we got to the Bay we had out first experience of compost toilets (yuck) but the beach itself was gorgeous and we spent some time wandering around. When we first arrived we had the whole beach to ourselves and I was most disappointed when some other people turned up!
We decided that night to stay in our first campsite which is owned by the Department of Conservation (DoC). The DoC has hundreds of campsites all over the country, some of them have lots of facilities, some just have toilets and fresh water and some of them have nothing. We stayed in one called Aussie Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. There wasn't much to rave about in terms of facilities (another compost toilet and a fresh water tap) but the location was incredible! We parked up next to a little path that led down to the water. When you stepped out from beneath the trees the view took your breath away... huge green mountains, the lake spread out in front of you like a mill pod and clear blue skies. It was perfect! It was also bloody cold, so we admired the view for a while and then headed back into the campervan for some food. Hopefully the sun keep on shining for us while we're in the South Island.
We woke up today and saw something quite strange when we opened the curtains... clear blue skies and sunshine!!! We haven't seen the sun in so long we were practically delirious when we scrambled out of the campervan. Today we spent most of the day exploring Picton, turned out to be another lovely surprise. Being the main ferry port which connects the North and South Islands we expected it to be pretty busy, a bit grey, not much character and with really polluted water. We couldn't have been more wrong! It was like a little Monte Carlo. Most people get off the ferry and drive straight through Picton on their way to other places, but we would really recommend staying here for a day or two. After we had eaten some breakfast we went down to the harbour for a look around and we couldn't believe how clear and beautiful the water was! Now I come from Rhyl, which is a little town in North Wales, and I'm afraid to say its sea water can be pretty mucky at times. So the whole idea of clear green sea water is still a bit of a novelty for me and I spent most of my time wandering around the harbour repeatedly saying "Look Tom, you can see right to the bottom of the water!"