Wellington to Pictun to Nelson to Westport to Mahinapua and onto Franz Josef
11.03.2010 - 13.03.2010
We caught the overnight bus from Taupo and reached Wellington at 7 15 in the morning. From there, we boarded the interisland ferry to cross over to the South Island.
The ferry was huge with nearly 8 floors, an indoor movie theater and a huge restaurant in one of the floors. After a huge breakfast, we went up to the top deck and got a few glimpses of the Wellington coast.
The ride itself was quite boring so I settled down into a nice chair and dozed off and got up just before we reached Pictun on the South Island. Arun, on the other hand, was busy taking photographs of the Pictun harbor.
We were picked up in Pictun by the Kiwi Experience buses. There were two buses and one of them was already full. There was a huge group waiting and we all got onto the second bus. Our bus driver was Lauren who spoke with a heavy Kiwi accent. She was hilarious, cracking jokes all the time and giving us the most idiotic trivia about NZ.
From pictun, we headed out to Nelson - a really small town quite close to the Abel Tasman national park. I really wanted to check out the park but we reached at 3PM in the afternoon and again, we were short on time. Kiwi experience suggests a minimum of 10 days for the south island but I think we needed around 15 days to see everything properly.
Anyway, we checked into the hostel and set out for a small hike. There was a hill nearby which we started climbing. At the peak, we found a sign which said that we are at the 'center of New Zealand'.
We had a beer tasting session that night at the pub, where we had to taste 5 different types of local beers. It was a fun session. At dinner, I met some of the members of the new bus, Eden, Rosey, David etc. This group was a lot more active than the north island bus and I knew right from the start that it was going to be a great trip.
On the way to Westport, we stopped on the Nelson river for Jet boating. This was quite a lot of fun. The jet boat could go insanely fast and turn at such speeds. The guy driving the boat made it turn 360 degrees and times and all of us were fully soaked by the time we got back. He drove so close the rocks that we thought we were going to crash but we swerve at the very last moment. After a while, it started raining and the rain drops hit our face so hard that we had to hide behind our rain coats. But thankfully it stopped soon enough.
After that, we reached Westport, another tiny town on the west coast. On the way, we stopped to check out a few seal colonies. The weather worsened and it was raining almost all the time. The hostel was really nice. I was in a room with the three Danish dudes and we played cards till quite late in the night.
The next day, the day of the Pub pub party, a party we aren't going to forget ever. The theme of the party was to get dressed in anything that starts with a P. I initially wanted to just go as a photographer and just wear my DSLR around my neck. But that was kinda boring so I finally dressed up as a pirate. It was one of the wildest parties I've ever been to.. and let me just leave it at that And of course, I am not going to post any pictures.