Rosie and Tony’s New Zealand South Island Adventure: part 1

I’ve been threatening to write about Rosie and Tony’s New Zealand South Island Adventure for well over a year now.
We have been in Northern Ireland for 18 months now and I have run out of excuses to put it off.
If the truth be known, I really enjoy looking back at the images both of us took on our trip as it brings up so many great memories and emotions. So here is the first post of my new series.

Rosie arrived in New Zealand late February 2021 during our long covid lockdown.
The original plan was for Rosie to settle with me in New Zealand, however after some careful soul searching we decided to move to Northern Ireland and start our new adventure together there.
This was Rosie’s second visit to New Zealand having spent two months with me in 2019 before the pandemic broke out. During that first visit Rosie never got to travel further than a two hours car ride from our home base in Upper Hutt.

So before we left for the the Emerald Isle, Rosie wanted to experience at least some of the New Zealand that I had planted in her fertile imagination.
This meant that unless we did something pretty drastic and quickly, Rosie would not get to see at least some of New Zealand during the peak autumn colours and time was running out.

Due to covid and overseas travel restrictions many New Zealanders were exploring their own county instead of heading overseas for their holidays. Autumn is a wonderful time to explore New Zealand, so booking a crossing on the the ferry for as soon as we possibly could became a bit of a nightmare as it was weeks until we could get a vacancy.

So we booked our crossing which was 14 days away with a flexible ticket as this would allow us to take advantage of any cancellations giving us a chance to swoop in on a vacancy should one come up in the meantime.

We did not want to miss out on those peak autumn colours, so we kept our eye on the interIslander website constantly to see if any vacancies might pop up and what would you know, a vacancy popped up for the very next morning.
We secured the vacant crossing leaving us feeling very blessed indeed. However we were left with a only matter of hours to throw a heap of gear into our wee Toyota Caldina and be there in time for the check in.

Flexible tickets cost a little bit extra but in this case it saved us heaps of time and gave us the opportunity to  leave immediately so we could experience the best of the autumn colour down south. Later on that flexible ticket gave us the opportunity to extend our trip twice.

I was so excited to finally be able to share with Rosie some of my favorite places in the South Island, our whirlwind tour was about to start.

We were on the way

The next morning an hour before we were due to leave, we received a text from the interIslander informing us that our crossing was to be delayed by 4 hours. So now we were left  twiddling our fingers while sitting around the flat and drinking coffee until it was time to go.

We arrived at the terminal with heaps of time to spare to be greeted by a gale force northerly.
I was glad it was a northerly as opposed to a dreaded southerly, because neither Rosie or I have the best sea legs and the Cook Strait is famous for its vicious, stomach heaving, southerlies.
We had also booked a pelagic trip with Albatross Encounters for the following day and we hoped that the wind would have died down by then.
However a strong northerly meant we would be greeted by nothing more than a lumpy sea once out in the middle of the Cook Strait.

By clicking directly on any of the images on this blog you will be able to view them at full size

Rosie waiting for the ferry at Wellington harbour

Rosie waiting patiently for the ferry to berth at the wharf in Wellington harbour, she was excited to be on the first leg of our adventure.

At last the ferry berthed at Wellington, it might have been hours late, but we were soon on our way and we were given complimentary chips and a burger for our dinner due to the delay.

The interislander arriving at Wellington

The Interislander arriving at Wellington.

Rosie taking in the sights of our capital city as the ferry crossed the Wellington harbour.

Out on the bow of the ship in the middle of the Cook Straight, Rosie was having a wild hair day as the northerly  was whipping her hair into a frenzy and also in my face. The wind also made it a task trying to keep the camera steady.


Rosie still enjoying a wild hair day.

As the sun dropped so did the temperature, so it wasn’t long before we were back inside the boat where we stayed for the duration of our crossing.
Our destination for our first night was Kaikoura and being hours behind schedule Rosie contacted the Backpackers that we were booked with. Rosie let them know that we would not arrive before the place locked up for the night. We were given a code for the secured door so we could enter the premises after hours. This was a first for me, it seems airtight security is a big deal in Kairoura.
Sleep did not come easy for me as I could not wait to see the look on Rosie’s face as she came up close and personal with the huge sea birds off the coast of Kairoura.
However, the morning did come eventually and the wind had dropped somewhat and the sun was shining.

Rosie enjoying breakfast in the sun and looking forward to our date with the big pelagic birds.




3 thoughts on “Rosie and Tony’s New Zealand South Island Adventure: part 1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.