Thursday, July 20, 2017

2017 May 11: From Wellington to Picton with Blue Bridge Ferry and drive to Greymouth

This is another early starting day not only because we use to wake up early but also because we are going for the Bluebridge Ferry from North Island to South Island. I did check the time table in advance and decide to take the trip that departing Wellington at 08:00 hours. According to the requirement, we have to go to the ferry terminal 1 hour in advance for boarding. 

Entering to the deck level of the vessel is the transportation parking area. We parked in the queue as per guidance by the working personnel there. Then there is a staircase that we can walk up three floors to the passenger deck. There is also personal lift available.
Vehicles parking one after the other in line on deck level

The "Still empty" parking line on deck level in Ferry 
Staircase to go from vehicle deck to passenger deck
Food and drinks are sold in the passenger deck and free WIFI is available in the dining hall.
breakfast time: The Dining Hall

Queuing to buy breakfast

Impress with her selection of breakfast

"Cruise Tour" after breakfast
Wind Deck
Life boat hoist
Information Counter
Bow of ferry
Ferry alongside, waiting to depart

Child care room onboard
exposed upper vehicle deck in the rain

Resting after "Cruise Tour"
It took 3.5 hours for the ferry from Wellington to Picton. I have a good rest as majority of the passenger of the day stayed in the dinning hall. If fact, we can pay for room (single, double or four person in one room) of different price to sleep over the 3,5 hours journey if we needed.

Driving out from the Ferry terminal at Picton
On arrival to Picton terminal, there was still raining and we drive towards Greymouth our destination of the day. This took almost 5 hours nevertheless the scenery was beautiful along the way.

Driving route from Picton to Greymouth
Grape field

Beautiful lady with Grape field background
Initially, we passed by a lot of grape plantation. Later, we came across quite a number of farms with long pipeline of "dragon". Initially we did not know what was that until we ask our host when we stay in the farm house. We were told that this long pipeline of "dragon" is the irrigator. It always be installed on the diary farm. This is for proper irrigation of the farm fields to provide good food for the milk cow so that high volume good quality milk can be obtained.
Irrrigator on diary farm field
Besides various farms and plantations, we also drove through mountain, jungles and quite a number of little town, but with very little transport on the road. There was a stretch along the state highway 63 after Renwick which do not seems to have any township beside the highway. This continue into state highway 6 and there were quite a number of location which were under maintenance with very slow traffic.
One of the view along the highway
This was the most difficult distance that we traveled in this trip. Bringing a few bottles of drinking water when driving is our practice and two of us had drunken more than two liters of water each without toilet break for more than 3 hours. Hence we were so glad and happy when this little cafe was found 11 KM before we arrived to Murchinson. It was only two of us in the care for more than half an hours and the following pictures were captured while we relaxed in it.

As I normally believe, resting is for a longer distance to progress. So we have to continue our journey after the cafe and toiler stop. Finally we arrived at Greymouth around 6 pm. The selection of home stay tonight is a caravan in the bush, around 5 KM away from Greymouth city center hosted by Paul and Jannie. This is a choice I made after discussion with my partner. We want to try to feel the stay and overnight in caravan. This is definitely a larger version as compare to the 2-men caravan with larger bed.

The caravan we stayed in the Zephyr model produced in Dunedin in 1973. The host will drive it for their tour annually and it had just be renovated a year ago. When they do not go for tour, this caravan will be parked beside their serene home and it make us very convenient because the host allow us to get into their home and used their kitchen and bathroom.   

It was a comfortable stay, except the bed is short compare to both of us. Thus we are glad that we make the rich choice of renting a normal car rather than using caravan for our trip. 

The day seems to get dark later in the South Island as compare to North Island. We decide to drive to Greymouth city center for a quick look around and took our dinner.

Our host of the day, Paul and Jennie are very friendly couple. Paul is very enthusiastic in their living environment. He told us lots of history of Greymouth including the near by stream where people went for gold mining. Today, he likes to go to the stream but no more gold is found but cobblestone.  

A night view outside of the Caravan in the bush
More pictures in this shared Album

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