With luck on our side, we made it from the north tip of the North Island to its southern tip with plenty of time to get to our ferry and on to the primary focus of our New Zealand trip – the South Island.
I had read about this ferry crossing in several lists of “Top 50 Travel Destinations” or “The 100 Best Travel Moments” or, “25 Best Boat Trips” or… well, it’s on a lot of those.
The Marlborough Sounds are not fjords, but ancient river valleys that flooded with rising oceans. After crossing over on a blissfully calm sea, I would say that I agree with the inclusion of this venture on all these lists of fabulousness (Jeff says he would have preferred it with big waves, which happens some times).
There’s not a lot of words to describe this trip, mostly the pictures are what matters. I do want to send out a “thank you” to the sales agent from Crumplers in Perth who told us where to go on the ferry to have the best view (get first in line and make a beeline to the front of the ship, which happens to be the bar). We were almost the first on and did exactly as told, and got the best seats on the boat. Front and center (this being one of the few times that I had no desire to ‘upgrade’ as the luxury quarters were in the back of the boat with nearly no view).
Plus, we were in the bar, so it was just a quick trip over to pick up a spectacular glass of wine, for less than $7. I had two.
Lots of good people watching and fantastic scenery. All in all a wonderful couple of hours on the Aratere, and the perfect arrival to the South Island.