Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016
We had a leisurely start to the day because our campsite was only 1 km from the ferry terminal in Picton and our departure time was 9:45 am. We were a little early at the dock and got in line with all of the other transport trucks, campers, camervans and cars. By 10:45 am we were on our way. The view of the bay when we left Picton was beautiful.
We had smooth sailing from Picton on the south island to Wellington on the north island and we arrived at 2 pm. During the trip, we do some planning for adventures on the north island and we quickly realized that it would be a challenge to complete all of the things that we wanted to experience, in just 7 days, so we decided to do a little more driving then we had originally anticipated when we arrived in Wellington.
One thing that had been recommended to us to see was the Zelandia,formerly known as the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, so we headed directly there. I took a picture of the sanctuary from the reservoir in the sanctuary, which gave a view from the tree-tops.
We were a little concerned at first that we would actually see the animals in their natural habitat but it didn’t take long for us to get some great pictures of some of the animals.
There was even an annoying duck!
We finished our walk around the sanctuary at 4 pm and then went to the van to head north on our 3 hour journey. There was just one problem…the van wouldn’t start. I had left the lights on and the battery was dead. I phoned AA, while Cheryl was able to find some staff to help us out. It didn’t take us too long to get the car started and we were on our way.
Unfortunately it was almost 5 pm when we left and we hit rush hour traffic and the initial drive preceded slowly, but when we finally got well out of the city, we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of rolling hills covered with trees, ranches and farms. The mountains weren’t as high as we had experienced in the south island and therefore the roads were much straighter.
Our destination was Ohakune so that we could position ourselves for the activities we had planned for Wednesday. When we arrived in Ohakune, it was just after 9 pm and the campsite office was closed but there was a sign on the door to find a campsite and register in the morning, so that is what we did.
We set up the tent and went out for dinner. We had a little trouble finding a restaurant that was still open, but we finally found one that would make us a pizza.
Having stretched an originally scheduled ” easy day “, into a long day, we were both very tired and we wanted to get an early start in the morning because we had planned for it to be another long day. We’ll see what happens.