Home > Uncategorized > Heading South (Day 1)

Heading South (Day 1)

Trying to get to the South Island was the biggest pain in the world. Renting a car was a total crapshoot; we thought we had a car reserved for only $40 a day, only to find out that they didn’t actually hold it for us. So Lena and I were running around at 5 pm on Friday night, just 15 hours before we were supposed to board the ferry to the south island, frantically searching for some other car rental option. We had already paid the money for the ferry, the hostels, and bungee jumping, and didn’t want to lose all that just because we couldn’t find a car. We settled with Budget (who screwed us over on price) and a 2009 silver Toyota Corolla hatchback.

We trecked the long, hilly distance to the ferry in the morning (which was much further than we antiscipated) with our heavy backpacks and wonderful $30 tent. We barely made it in time for the final check-in of the ferry and grabbed a seat on the sun deck.


It was weird riding such a big boat; that’s the first time I’ve done that. It felt like I was in a hotel, except we were moving on the water. (I know it’s nothing compared to a cruise ship, but I’ve never done that.) I barely felt like I was moving, though I did get a little sick towards the middle. A little food fixed that, though. (By the way, they don’t rip you off for food when you’re in a captive location like they do at home; all the food is pretty much priced the same.)
Once we got to the South Island, we picked up our car and went on our way. Driving on the left side of the road wasn’t too tough, but driving on the right side of the car was bizarre. It was difficult judging where your car was on the road, and the fact that we were winding through mountains at 100 km/h (65 mph) didn’t help.

The scenery, though, was absolutely gorgeous. Luscious hills and mountains in the background, with wineries and pastures surrounding us. We were heading through Blenheim for the first hour or so, the wine country that we were so excited to come back to visit on our final day. One lane bridges were everywhere, as were sheep, cows, and even domesticated deer, penned up in a fence just like normal livestock. I got what I considered to be the most beautiful rear view mirror shot I’ve ever had (though I imagined that they would get even more beautiful as we continued to head south).


We finally set down for the night on a small lake near Hokitika. We built up a tent, ate some peanut butter bread for dinner (which would become our staple for a while), and went to sleep.

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  1. March 2, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Could the sky be any bluer or your trip any cooler—soooo jealous!!!

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