After our skydive, we felt like nothing was living upto the buzz of jumping out of a plane, and following several consecutive days of bad weather we didn’t think we had actually seen or done anything since the jump. We talked about what we had seen and done following on from our Wanaka adrenaline rush, and actually we had seen and done quite a few things, it just took noting them down to remember.
From Wanaka we headed towards Canterbury, and visited a sleepy little town called *********. Here we visited some the bearded miners, taking a look at their current living accommodation and accepted their challenge of solving their horseshoe puzzle. After a bit of guidance we both managed to complete it! We left a $5 donation as they were very chatty and happy to show us around.
We had intended to visit the Fox Glacier at Frans Josef, however the torrential weather put a stop to our plans, and instead of walking on the ice we stopped for a pie in a cafe before deciding to continue driving, rather than waste a few days sitting out the bad weather.
Our next big destination was Kaikora. We weaved through the windy roads in the rain and mist, making it there around lunchtime. We had intended to go whale watching, but when we reached their office we decided to give it a miss for several reasons. The weather was so bad that there was a severe sea sickness warning for all departure times, with the company advising tablets for those who don’t travel well on boats. They were also having to travel over 13 miles out to see, with visibility so poor there was no guarantee of seeing anything even if it was there. And finally the price for all of this was over $300 for us both, so owing to all of the above we decided to give it a miss. Feeling disappointed I noted on my wiki camps app several locations close to where we were, had seal colonies. We drove out to the first, saw nothing and thought it may not be our day to see any wildlife. However when we reached Ohau lookout the seals were there in abundance! The adults were laid out over the rocks, catching some Z’s whilst the baby seals had a whale of a time splashing about in the rock pools.
After checking the weather forcast for the next few days, we decided it would be sensible to book the ferry to the North Island for the following day, so we didn’t waste a day not doing much in the bad weather. The ferry crossing isn’t cheap and cost around $280, the cheaper early bird bookings were booked up very far in advance so we had no choice but to go with the slightly more expensive alternative. We decided to drive through to Picton, which is where you pick up the ferry and get an early night before our 7am check in. When we arrived in Picton the free campsite which we had intended to stay at was full (it only had 12 spaces) so we had to pay for a proper campsite, which cost $38. Although this was an unexpected expense, the pouring rain would have made cooking in the van incredibly difficult, and the hot shower was an added bonus for us too!