We left Hokitika before sunrise in order to drive 5 hours up to Picton to catch the ferry from the South Island up to Wellington in the North Island. The drive went by pretty quick as we were one of the only people on the road for the first few hours of the drive. Around 2 hours into our drive we were winding through mountains and beautiful forests. The drive was a slow one because of the winding roads, but it was really worth the view.
After we cleared the mountains we were driving through a long valley that had seemingly endless wineries – some of which we recognized from wines we had been drinking! We found it quite appropriate that the road we drove was called the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. We arrived in Picton with lots of time to spare.
Picton is a little coastal town that is located in a bay on the northern shore of the South Island of New Zealand. It is built up on hills so that it seems every house has a beautiful view. It is a fairly busy town (in New Zealand standards) due to the 2 main ferry companies taking cars across to the North Island.
The ferry ride was very comfortable. We sat on the top deck for a while and enjoyed the view until we were out in the open ocean and it was insanely windy. We headed back inside down to the lounge area where we watched some TV. We landed in Wellington about 3 hours later and started our journey around the North Island.