The ferry doesn’t leave until about 2pm, which gives us the morning to wander. Most of us are heading up towards the Tirohanga Track, but I leave a little earlier than everyone since nobody seems too big on moving in the morning.
Unlike the harbour, this is a pretty steep hike. It doesn’t help that I underestimated how warm it would get and am completely overdressed. Jeans and long sleeves were not a good idea for today. That said, the view from the top is completely worth it.
When I make it back to Picton, I decide to check out the bakery next door to the hostel. It’s a small dutch bakery, but damn if the food doesn’t look awesome. I have to restrain myself and be sensible – which is hard when everything looks so good to eat.
The ferry leaves at two, but you need to be there an hour early. The two options are either walking, or grabbing a shuttle that leaves from a stop at the i-site 5-10 minutes away. I decide the shuttle’s my best option – which ends up being a very good decision, because the check in section is in a completely different place than I thought. Once our bags are checked in, we just have to hang around the terminal until the shuttle takes us over to the ferry, since the Stray bus will be staying here for the next tour heading around the South island.
There’s only five of us including Motors, and we’re some of the first few on, so we grab a table to dump our stuff and then wander round. There’s a café and a cinema, and to one of my fellow travellers joy, they’re showing ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ which he insists is an awesome movie. I haven’t actually seen it yet, so once the ferry heads out, I join him in the cinema to watch what is considered one of the best movies to come out of New Zealand.
Its…not really my cup of tea. It’s very Kiwi humour, which can be very blunt when it wants to be. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it is very funny, and I was bursting into laughter at times, but most of it was me cringing – my sense of humour is a very picky thing. That said, when it’s not being funny and focusing on the plot, it’s a very sweet story – I can see why its become a big thing.
Beforehand, Stray would stay at Base during the trip North. However they’ve changed their routes and now only stay at Nomads. This is frustrating for me because I booked to stay at Base over the New Year assuming that’s where Stray would drop me off. So now I’m staying one night at Nomads and one night at Base.
Stray apparently stay at Nomads because its better than Base, but for my money, I think Base is the better hostel. The four bed dorm is tiny, and I’m squeezed in between a bad window and pipes. And naturally there’s not enough space for four people’s bags on the floor either.
That said though, the facilities aren’t half bad, and the staff are really helpful. I’ve been wanting to do a Lord of the Rings tour since Wellington has so many of them. However, everyone else in Wellington had the same idea, so the full day tours are all booked up. There is however, an afternoon one that takes you to scenes from the green belt and over to the WETA Workshop, so I sign up. Figure it’ll be a pretty good way to finish the year.