After Kaikoura we headed north on the SH1, the road continues to hug the coast line for a while before it turns inland towards the small town of Blenheim. We made a brief snack stop there before heading on to Picton for our last night on the magical South Island.
We ended up staying at Whatamango Bay DOC campsite, about a 15 min drive along a narrow and very windy road outside Picton. It was such a lovely place, like so many of the other of the DOC sites, located in a small bay outside Picton, just by the water. As we walked to the waterfront we could see houses nestled into the green and leafy hillsides and some right by the water front, they looked like a picture of paradise. I said to Mat that if I could dream, I wish that New Zealand was a bit closer to Europe and that we could retire here one day. It is such a peaceful and beautiful place. It was rather sad to leave the South Island behind us, minus the sandflies that is, I was not sad to leave them behind.
The following morning was a very early start, as we got up it was still pitch dark outside, the stars were glistening in the sky and it was a damp and chill in the air. We drove carefully along the narrow windy gravel road back into Picton and to the ferry terminal. When we got onto the ferry, walking up the stairs I stopped and looked at a framed advertising poster for the ferry, it showed a photo of Queen Charlotte Sound and it said in simple writing: We live in the most beautiful place on earth. I can’t argue with that…