We spent the vast majority of the ferry ride outside chatting with our friends Negin, Hanna, Matilda and Dennis. Our crossing of the Cook Strait was quite uneventful and smooth although it did start to chuck it down once we entered the Marlborough Sounds as we start to head down towards Picton.
Once we docked at Picton, we hopped off the ferry and headed down to the luggage collection before boarding our new Kiwi Experience bus. Before boarding the ferry all of our luggage had been loaded on board for us, meaning we didn’t need to queue and check it in ourselves. This did mean that we had to wait until everyone else had collected their luggage before ours appeared. Although, having said that, we always seem to be the last ones to collect our luggage after a flight so maybe it’s just our luck?!
Once everyone had bundled onto the bus we started our journey to Kaiteriteri. There were no activity stops en route so the journey was a good opportunity to sit back and enjoy the views.
Kaiteriteri is considered the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Kiwi Experience offer a number of discounted activities to allow you to explore a portion of the park, sea kayaking and the sea taxi being the most popular, but we opted for neither.
As accommodation in the area is limited we stayed with the bus accommodation, Kaiteri Lodge. As it was still during the busy period we had to opt for a shared dorm room but our bunk mates were a friendly bunch and we had no trouble getting a decent rest. Unfortunately, we’d only been able to secure the one night at the hostel so we lost the opportunity to be able to go out and explore the area. The weather was also against us as it started to pelt it down when we wandered down to the beach the following morning.
If we had the opportunity to return, we absolutely would even if it’s just for a couple of days to wander along some of the park’s famed hikes.
Sadly we don’t have much in the way of photos to share for this leg of the journey but you can see a bit of the landscape in our video here.