How many weeks have we been away on our South Island Odyssey? We originally thought about 10, but it may well be a little longer. Here we are at our last stop, a huge grassy CAP at Koromiko, staying for the final two days before we board the Interisland Ferry. There is plenty of room here, and other ferry goers have been rumbling in, using this, as we are, as the final stop before going across on the ferry.
Camping at Koromiko
Most of the places we have been staying at have a “Swap a Book” area, where you recycle your books or magazines and pick up something new to read. Here the books are housed in an old fridge, which appears to be plugged into a power point on the tree. Many visitors are fooled by this, we have been told, and some have been seen trying to plug their appliances into the power point!
Book fridge plugged into power point on the tree!
At the end of the road (corner of Freeths Rd and SH1) is the Collins Memorial Reserve freedom camping area, full to bursting with whizz bang vans squashed in the car park every night. Not for us – we are happily further up the road with plenty of space, surrounded by beautiful mature totara tress, all for $5 a night. The park is dedicated to the memory of Lionel and Harold Collins, killed in a bush accident in 1966. Both men were foundation members of the local NZ Deerstalkers Assn who established the reserve as a deer and game park in 1967. These days the park has another role to play the Koromiko Forest Reserve, protecting the native flora and fauna forever. No wonder the we can hear the native birds singing their hearts out all day long.
Collins Reserve, Freeths Road
We needed to take a trip into Picton, to visit the Interislander Terminal. Our return tickets were booked on the internet, and the instructions told us to print them out. So we fronted up to the desk and asked for a print-out. Not needed, we were told, just show the check-in staff the booking on the phone. Hope the info is correct, when we are in the busy queue tomorrow.
Picton is such a busy, bustling place, cars, caravans, campers and trucks everywhere. After checking out where the dump station was for the following day, had a bite to eat, we then stopped down at the port to check out some of expensive boats in the marina. And spotted the Interislander away in the distance.
At the Picton Marina
Then a visit up the hill to the Lookout – with both ferries, the Interislander and Blue Bridge waiting to board their passengers. And the view out looks so peaceful and calm.
Views from the Lookout
We got chatting to a young German girl (traveling alone) who had just come across on the boat, and biked up the hill to the Lookout. She asked us to to take her photo before continuing on her way around Queen Charlotte Sound to Havelock. That’s rather brave, we thought, to be biking around a strange country on her own. She returned the favour and took our photo, too.
So tomorrow is our big day when we sail back to the North Island. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a calm crossing.