After an early morning wake-up call, we were on the road bright and bushy tailed for our short 10km drive to the ferry terminal. After checking in and being shown where to park prior to boarding, we came across this bit of sage advice.
And there she was, the Kaitaki, which means “Challenger”, ready and waiting. Built in 1995, 22,365 tonnes, 181.6m in length, and with a speed of 20.5 knots, the journey across Cook Strait takes about 3 1/2 hours.
Kaitaki – the Challenger
All the cars and small campers were loaded first, and then we went in together with the larger motor-homes and big trucks. The staff made sure that everyone is parked up close and then we had to squeeze ourselves out between the gaps and make our way to the lifts to take us to the public lounge areas.
Luckily the sailing was nice and smooth, as Robin is not a good sailor in rough weather. How about a little breakfast to start off our journey? Nothing too rich or greasy, such as the cooked breakfast on offer, (just in case the swells start the ship rocking and rolling in the middle of Cook Strait), it was a sandwich for him and baked beans on toast for her. The Ocean View Café was one of three eateries on board, and was doing a roaring trade.
Wind blown selfie on the deck
As we travelled through the Sounds, Robin tracked our trip on this handy app on his phone.
And then we saw another Interislander ferry Kaiarahi coming towards us, on it’s journey to Wellington, and a Mussel Farm quietly growing mussels in the Sounds.
Almost at Picton
The announcement came over the speakers for all car passengers to return to their vehicles, and not to start their engines until directed to. Before too long the drawbridge was lowered, and off we went, out into the bright Picton sunshine. And the sign in front of us read, “Welcome to the South Island”.
We’ve arrived safely – now to head to Murchison.