Als we took one of the earlier ferries across the Cook Strait, the alarms on our phones went off a little too early in the day for comfort. Barely past 6 in the morning, we made breakfast on our room and started to pack our stuff into the car.
By 06:30 we checked out and made our way to the Interislander Ferry to Picton.

As we couldn’t take our rental car with us on the boat, because the rental company does not like to transport cars between the islands, we had to leave it on the North Island, and grab a new one on the South Island.
Weirdly though, as it was still early in the day, the offices for the rental companies were still closed. Therefore, all we had to do to ‘return’ the car was to leave it in the parking lot (double parked of course, as it was way too busy) and drop the keys of the car in a designated letterbox in the departure terminal of the ferry. That was the weirdest thing ever!
We’ve learned not to ever depart with the keys of the car, and now we are deliberately leaving them behind, seemingly unattended in a nondescript box with a hole in it.
We did it anyway, and luckily were able to collect our second car on the other side.

The trip on the boat itself was quite interesting as well. It was fully booked, and with a strong breeze the boat started swaying and rolling a few short moments after we departed from the dock. This kept on going for about an hour, after which quite few people were feeling the effects of the ocean on their bodies. Lots of green faces all around!
Luckily, the ride started getting a lot smoother after that, and we even had some time to enjoy the trip.
As the weather was not good at all, with dark grey low hanging clouds blocking all views that aspect was toned down, but the rest of the trip was lovely.

As I bought a large case of beer a few days ago, I wanted to carry it with me on the boat, but was informed that I was not allowed to do so. The case had to be checked in with the suitcases to go in the cargo hold of the vessel, and was labelled fragile. On the other side, I was greeted by the case on the conveyor belt. It was probably the weirdest thing they carried today!

We traded in our blue Mazda 3 for a white Toyota Corolla which is a wee bit smaller than the other one, so our suitcases only just fit in. Unfortunately they don’t fit in the trunk, so we have to pack smart!
From Picton, we had to drive about 2 more hours to Kaikoura. This place is about as touristic as they get, and their main selling point is whale watching. We are no strangers to that trade, and have booked a tour for tomorrow.

But first: checking in at The Point B&B, and try to get some food. We hear pizza from The Black Rabbit Pizza Company is really good!
Now let’s hope the rain clears away for a while, as it has been chucking down since we arrived here around 2pm. Also, a lot of rain is forecast for tonight. We’ll see what happens tomorrow morning!