Day 18-The long road to Kaiteriteri

Date: 18.11.2003
Start Location:

S: 41°47.764' E: 172°16.426'

End Location:

S: 41° 02.176' E: 173° 01.052'

Distance Driven 674km (4710km)

Time: 06:30
Location: Murchison
Name: Early Photos

It was a beautiful, crisp, clear morning in Murchison today. To take full advantage, I rolled out of bed at 06:30 and dragged my camera with to capture some of the light and clouds and scenes around Murchison in the early hours, and then strolled down the main street back to the café to sip a "long black" while watching the day begin. By about 8am, I returned to our camp to collect Mike, who was up and busy writing postcards.

Once on our way, we headed south and then east (retracing our steps for a little over 100km) back toward Christchurch. Once at Waipara, we headed north on NZ1 with the intention of heading straight to Picton and then over to Nelson or another point close to Abel Tasman National Park.

Time: 13:18
Location: Kaikoura
S: 42° 25.385' E: 173° 42.971'
Name: Seal Colony

About half way through our trek, we came upon Kaikoura, home of one of the many seal colonies in new Zealand. The seals present today were a bit far out for great pictures, but they are there if you look really hard (not helped by the highly compressed JPEG images that I'm using right now—sorry about that).

Time: 15:53
Location: Picton
S: 41° 17.025' E: 174° 0.191'
Name: Ferry preview

We pulled in to Picton at about 4pm today, where we got to preview the unloading of a boat similar to the one that we will be taking on Friday morning to the North Island. The process was pretty interesting, as the ferry has but one set of doors and all of the vehicles came off pointing forward, so they either have some way to turn them around or they are backing them in. I guess we find out on Friday morning.

Time: 19:02
Location: Kaiteriteri
S: 41° 02.176' E: 173° 01.052'
Name: Night in sight of Abel Tasman

After over 600km of travel (easilly our longest driving day of the trip), we pulled in to Kaiteriteri. The town is best known as a jumping off point to Abel Tasman, which is exactly what we plan to use it for. The facilities here are nice and scaled to handle a large number of occupants. The campervan sites, as an example, number 420. That's nearly 10x the largest motor park we have been at on the trip. However, about half of the sites are closed right now because it is not yet high season and there isn't that much demand right yet. Wait until after Christmas.

The park itself is nestled right on the bay and we have a view looking out right over it. In the morning, it should be beautiful as the sun rises into our front windows.

With any luck, the weather will cooperate and we will have two beautiful days to explore Abel Tasman.