Monday, December 30, 2013

Our New Zealand Vacation: Day Two

Day Two:  22 December 2013

We woke up bright and early to catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton.  Luckily, there was already a taxi waiting outside when we walked out of the hotel.

We took the Interislander Ferry.  There was some disruption a few weeks before our trip.  One of the largest ferries in the fleet was damaged and I received several emails for our trips to and from Picton with changing timetables and such.  I was worried at first, but soon realised that there was nothing to worry about.  Our travel times were nearly the same and everything went smoothly.

Ultimately, our ferry left Wellington at 09:00 and arrived in Picton at 12:00.  While on the ferry, I had a cheese scone (basically a biscuit) and Mr. Smith had a date scone.  I'd had a coffee before we boarded, so I was all charged up.  Or so I thought.  I fell asleep for a while and when I woke up, Mr. Smith said that it was lucky I had because the seas were a little choppy for a bit.  Thank goodness I slept through it.  I tend to get seasick sometimes.

So we climbed to the upper decks to get some pics off the ferry.  It was quite cold.  I had purchased a New Zealand sweater for 50% off in the Duty Free shop at the airport.  Boy, was I glad I did!  It's summer in New Zealand, but still so cold.  I froze most of the trip, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Our ferry as we boarded

View from the ferry as we sailed

Me on the upper deck - freezing!

Our ferry docked in Picton after disembarking

After collecting our luggage, we picked up the rental car at Budget.  We rented a Toyota RAV4.  It had just over 550 kilometres on it.  Thank goodness for unlimited kilometres!

We ate lunch in Picton at the Seabreeze Cafe and Bar.  Mr. Smith had crab cakes and I had a toasted ham & cheese sandwich.  We also ordered a coffee and an iced tea.  Everything was delicious and the view was awesome.  And then off we went!

We drove down to Kaikoura.  On the way, we stopped at a place called The Store in Kekerengu along the coast.  We thought it was a store, but it's really a cafe with spectacular views!  Since we had pretty much just eaten lunch, Mr. Smith bought a diet coke and I bought a bottle of pineapple juice - and there goes $10.  Holy cow!

A little further down the road and we made it to Kaikoura.  We checked in with Judy (the owner) and Charlie (her black poodle) at Brook House B&B.  We also met Henry (the cat), but then never saw him again!  LOL

Our room was very comfortable with a queen-sized bed and an ensuite bathroom.  The room opened out onto a balcony with stunning views out to beautiful, well-kept gardens.  Judy was very helpful when we inquired about places to wander around looking for seals and a good meal.  The towels in the bathroom were very nice and the shower was nice and strong!  Overall, the Brook House B&B is informal in a good way.  You feel right at home with Judy, Charlie and Henry immediately.

After checking in, we drove down to see the seal colony and walk along the promenade.  We parked near the Original World Famous Kaikoura Seafood BBQ.  Sign says, "$45 Whole Crayfish."  Okay, so the crayfish is really a lobster and not a big one at that.  We didn't eat there, but when we passed by the stall and tried to make small talk with the guys inside...  we didn't get much more than grunts.  Okey dokey smokey.  We kept walking.

We took the Fyffe Quay walkway.  Saw a lot of ducks, but only three seals.  We were told we'd be tripping over seals.  Oh, well.

When we got down to the end of the peninsula, we decided to walk where the tide had gone out.  Then we hiked (for lack of a better word) up to a couple of lookout points.  Absolutely gorgeous!

We walked back to the car...  past the momma duck and her babies.  Then we drove back to the main drag for dinner.  We ate at the Adelphi Bar and Restaurant.  We shared a Hawaiian pizza and potato wedges with cheese, bacon, sweet chilli and sour cream.  And we each had a cider.  The food and the service were both very good and we would recommend it.

We are exhausted.  Okay, I'm exhausted.  Have I mentioned that it's freezing over here?

Mamma duck and her babies

Seal waving at me!

Kaikoura - GORGEOUS!

Looking down from our hike

Old shed up on the cliff

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