After 80 days away on our South Island Odyssey, it was finally time to return back home on Saturday. With just a short 8km drive to the ferry from Koromiko to Picton, we arrived in plenty of time and were directed into the front of the queue for lane five. It didn’t take too long for plenty of other travelers to queue up alongside and behind us.
Queued up and waiting
I walked up to the terminal and was happy to see that, according to the sign on the wall, we should be having an easy trip across Cook Strait.
We had plenty of time waiting in the queue to prepare and eat our lunch time sandwiches, and then finally, we were directed to start our engines and proceed to board the Kaitaki. Two staff members had already checked at different times that our caravan gas bottle had been turned off, can’t really be too careful, wouldn’t want a fire on board.
Driving on board, and slotted into place
Our journey from Picton to Wellington
Finding ourselves a table aboard, we settled down to the journey, whiling away the time with our tablets, a book, and various cups of coffee. Things got interesting when the Captain announced that a drill was taking place. After several blasts of the siren, staff members came with life jackets to show how to put them on, and answer any questions. Other scenarios took place, a life boat drill, and a (supposed) fire in the engine room, reminding us on the loudspeaker that this was only a drill for staff training taking place.
Life jackets to the ready
After all that excitement, I took a wander around the ship to stretch my legs and check out the sights. There were plenty of people on the open decks, enjoying the warm sea breezes as we continued on our crossing
Views of the decks
The journey takes some time to gently glide through the Sounds. Turning past these jagged rocks took us out into the open sea.
Nearing Wellington, look what’s coming towards us – another from the Interislander fleet, the Kaiarahi.
We arrived in Wellington about 5.30pm, disembarked, and were soon on our way. But we weren’t quite ready to go straight home, so stayed the night at the NZMCA park in Plimmerton, our first time staying here. The park was fairly full, but we had no trouble finding a spot to slot into. It was a lovely warm night, and we sat outside after our evening meal, chatting to our neighbours and watching the sky change colour as the sunset started to fade.
NZMCA site at Plimmerton
After a leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning we started the last part of our journey home, driving past Kapiti Island which was looking a little hazy.
Arriving back home, we found that the windows had been opened up to air the house (thank you Dot), and there was a huge pile of mail waiting for us. With the caravan needing to be unpacked, the caravan cleaned, the car unpacked, neighbours to chat to, there would be plenty to keep us busy on our first day back home.