Day 7: Nelson – Wellington, Cloudy, 24ºC max, 14ºC min.
Today was our last day in the South Island. We woke early to commence our supposed 120 km (near 2 hr) journey towards the Picton Ferry Terminal to be on time to board the InterIslander. Before we embarked on our journey, we gathered in the carpark to pray for journey mercies.
On our way there, halfway between Blenheim and Nelson, we stopped by a quaint riverside location where a bridge crosses the Pelorus River, that flows along an enchanting scenic reserve.
This was where Director Peter Jackson chose to film the Dwarves in Barrels scene from The Hobbit, where the dwarves were filmed floating in barrels down the river.
It was also an opportunity for us to take a break from the long car ride, especially for the little ones – a chance for them to take a breather from sitting down too long in an enclosed space. They were more than happy to run around in the park for awhile before we continued on towards the ferry terminal.
We drove a further 55 km (50 min) to arrive at the Picton Ferry InterIslander Terminal in time to board the InterIslander that was originally scheduled to leave at 1.00 pm. However, we met with a delay that pushed the departure time 1 hr later. That was plenty of time for us to have our lunch while waiting in line amongst all the queueing vehicles that were waiting to board the InterIslander.
Besides the 5 lanes of cars, there was also 2 other lanes for camper vans, and another lane for heavier vehicles carrying truckloads of freight. Our car was directed to lane 3 while JMIDM was in lane 2.
Then came the turn for us to board the InterIslander. Each vehicle drove on slowly towards the vehicle entrance, and was directed accordingly to different decks within the large cruise.
It was our first time being on board the InterIslander – the NZ ferry service that bridges the gap between the North and South Islands as it journeys across the Cook Strait.
The 92 km, 3 hr journey between Wellington and Picton is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist experiences, and acknowledged as one of the most spectacular cruises in the world.
That was Daniella looking at our voyage across the Cook Straits and pointing at our destination – Wellington.
With the capacity to carry up to 1600 passengers, the Kaitaki (meaning “challenger” in Māori) is both the largest ship in Interislander’s fleet and the largest ferry operating in NZ waters.
There was a total of 10 decks within the Kaitaki. There was so much to do in the cruise for the 3 hr journey from Picton to Wellington. Deck 10 is the main outdoor observation deck where the above pictures were taken.
Deck 7 houses the shop, a family lounge, the Premium Plus lounge, a cafe, the nurseries and some of the resting cabins. There was also outdoor observation areas where we snapped pictures of NZ’s magical scenery of the Marlborough Sounds.
Deck 8 was where we spent most of our time on board the cruise, where the restaurants are located. We found seats in the Ocean View Eatery where we chatted over beef lasagne, fish & chips, and a lemon pound cake. The girls watched UP on J’s Macbook. Mum and Mei Tsin both managed to leaf through chapters of the book they brought along.
We also ventured to the Lookout on the same deck, which offers café-style seatings with great views. It has a nice stairway that links to Deck 9 where other resting cabins are located.
For children, there was an indoor playground and a movie theatre located on Deck 2. Josh brought Matthew to the playground when he got restless, while Little E took a 1 hr nap upon my shoulders during that time.
Before we realised, we have reached Wellington, the capital city of NZ! Although today was the last day we had in the South Island, today also marked the first day we set foot on the North Island in NZ.
For our accommodation in Wellington, all 10 of us would be staying under one roof! We booked our night’s stay at a unique 5 star Qualmark rating executive townhouse at Boulcott Suites that is centrally located just off Boulcott Street. A little hard to locate, but our GPS saved the day!
Designed and fully furnished with style, our four-bedroom apartment is a three-level townhouse that comes with a private patio area, a large living room and dining room, kitchen, and high speed Wi-Fi access.
We parked our cars in the open air St. George carpark next to Boulcott Suites, unloaded our car boot and packed ourselves into the townhouse. After choosing our rooms, we showered and got ready for dinner!
We dined at the family-friendly “The Oaks Satay Noodle House” along Cuba Street, which is within walking distance from Boulcott Suites. We had a great dinner consisting of beef noodles, chicken chop fried rice, satay noodles, fried noodles, spring rolls, roti prata, etc.
Following dinner, JMIDM returned to the townhouse, while we went to New World to stock up on groceries for tomorrow’s journey. It was another blessed day that the good Lord has granted us. Worthy to mention is that today was also Josh and Mei Tsin’s 15th year wedding anniversary. The Lord has blessed this gorgeous couple abundantly with His riches in love and grace. They are exemplary role models for me and J, besides Mum and Dad.
Blessed 15th wedding anniversary Josh and Mei Tsin! We love you lots and lots!! ❤️❤️❤️
Let me be reminded of God’s mercy and faithfulness. He has given us a great and loving family, who are awesome testimonies to God’s greatness. They have lived and are still living a fruitful life that is worthy of Christ Jesus, our Lord. May we be also transformed in our lives, with our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ as our Head of the family, giving Him the glory in all things that we do, say and think about.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.” (Hebrews 12:1-4 NLT)
“O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him who alone doeth great wonders: for His mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 136:1-4 KJV)