Sunday, 7 April 2013

Picton and Queen Charlotte, 31st March 2013

Queen Charlotte Sound.

First full day in Picton Town, Easter Sunday and it's raining steadily. Should clear by lunchtime according to last nights weather forecast so, for the next 90 minutes, half in, half out of a James Bond movie, the one in which the Brits and the Chinese nearly come to blows.

Rain stopped, time to take a good look at this little town. A tourist town predominately and a base for those hardy backpackers who like to hike for days on end. The place is small - just one supermarket, one dedicated fish and chip shop and a fast food joint called 'Kentucky' plus a host of upmarket restaurants and cafes. Thankfully, the supermarket is well stocked with all the ingredients to make a nice cost effective meal - beans, bread and cheese, oh and pasta.

The waterfront is the main feature here, well, it is for those not hiking in the hills above. A museum, aquarium and kids park all beside the ferry terminal. Plenty of Kiwi families seem to be spending the Easter weekend here and plenty of yachts are moored up n the harbour. A plethora of boat rides on offer - from the mail run to high speed fun to steady cruising for a couple of hours. It's all pricey of course, from £50 for the mail run ride lasting a few hours to £14 for a 2 hour quick look at some local coves and bays.

Not in the mood for hiking today, so it's the 2 hour scenic boat ride around the area known as Queen Charlotte Sound and looks like rain again! Damp, grey and cloudy as the boat heads out into the waters and towards Mistletoe bay - dropping off a few bags announces the driver.

A pleasant couple of hours taking in the scenery between periods of rain. Seals sleeping on rocks in coves, plenty of seagulls screeching away and cormorants with yellow heads, diving. Million Dollar properties dotted on the hillsides with a for sale sign at one.

Well that's another Kiwi experience ticked, and more photos to sort through! Tomorrow, it's the bus to Christchurch, a 6 hour ride south.

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