How to Cross from North to South Island, New Zealand via Ferries - From Wellington to Picton through the Queen Charlotte Sound

How to Cross from North to South Island, New Zealand via Ferries

From Wellington to Picton through the Queen Charlotte Sound


Comment /

After an epic trip in Lake Taupo where I summited the 2,291m high Mt Ngauruhoe situated in the Tongariro Alpine Crossing that ended my first week in New Zealand, it was time to say goodbye to the north island and headed down south. Today's trip began in Wellington.

A Month In New Zealand On A Budget.

New Zealand Travel Video

The Kiwiland from Pete R. on Vimeo

Getting to Wellington from Lake Taupo

Again, I took the NakedBus from Lake Taupo to Wellington. If you remember, there was a little incident the last time I was on the NakedBus. As I was thinking about the last incident, it happened again, this time involved cops and several hours delay. As we were driving across the beautiful plain of New Zealand, some people on the bus noticed that the bus was moving in slow zig-zag motion. The driver was allegedly drunk as some of the people on the bus has claimed and a few locals demanded a change of a bus driver. The driver assured us that he was okay but he continued to drive like he did before. Not until we reached our first transit at Palmerston North that some of the locals went down and refused to get back on the bus while reporting the incident to nearby cops. It was a fiasco.

After a few hours of delay, the Nakedbus finally responded to our request and sent us a new driver. We eventually arrived safe and sound in Wellington at almost 9PM. The next day, I got an email from the Nakedbus addressing yesterday's incident and gave me a 50% discount on my next purchase. I would say, they have responded awesomely and I never had any incident since then.

Where to Stay in Wellington

That night I stayed at the Dwellington, a beautifully decorated and welcoming hostel that made me feel just like home. I highly recommended this place.

Crossing from Wellington to Picton

 Day 8: Wellington and the Cruise Across the Ocean

The Dwellington provided me with a free internet and breakfast, something that is quite rare in hostels in New Zealand. I was able to book a ferry ticket from The Interislander the previous day for 55 NZD (low season price). What I didn't realize though was how far the ferry terminal is from everything else.

Since I have only one night in Wellington, I decided to pack up early and made the mistake of going to the ferry terminal by foot first to drop my bag and explore later

Since I have only one night in Wellington, I decided to pack up early and made the mistake of going to the ferry terminal by foot first to drop my bag and explore later.

As it turned out, the Interislander terminal was so far away from the city that I ended up not going anywhere after that

As it turned out, the Interislander terminal was so far away from the city that I ended up not going anywhere after that. If I were going to go out, it would mean that I would surely miss my ferry so I ended up doing absolutely nothing. What a waste of my time in Wellington.

At around 2PM, I boarded the ferry and off we go to the south island!

At around 2PM, I boarded the ferry and off we go to the south island!

The clouds were forming on the horizon but the scenery were still dreamy and stunning

The clouds were forming on the horizon but the scenery were still dreamy and stunning.

Approaching the Queen Charlotte Sound, one of the highlights of crusing between islands of New Zealand

Approaching the Queen Charlotte Sound, one of the highlights of crusing between islands of New Zealand.

After light rain and an extremely windy afternoon, I was glad to arrive at the ferry terminal in Picton

After light rain and an extremely windy afternoon, I was glad to arrive at the ferry terminal in Picton. My face were numb to its bones.

Where to Stay in Picton

It rained all day that day so I ended up staying in a hostel the whole evening. I stayed at the Sequoia Lodge Backpackers. One of the first hostel in New Zealand that had me impressed right from the beginning to the end.

First step in the hostel, I had a pleasant conversation with one of the staff who, mind you, looked and sounded just like Angie Harmon. At 8PM, the staff served us free chocolate pudding. It was beyond delicious! At night, I talked to one of the most inspirational woman I've met on my trip, Kasia from Poland. We talked until 1 in the morning about all kinds of topics from my work to her 3 years journey working in India alone after schools. I considered it a time well spent even though I did not get to explore Picton like I wanted to.

Exploring Picton City

Day 9: Picton and the Snout Track

The moment I saw sunlight shining through the window, I jumped out of bed and went out for a walk as fast as I could, as I know that nice weather don't last in New Zealand. Since my bus leaves at 12 PM, I decided to go walk the Snout Track so that I could at least see the Queen Charlotte sound with my own eyes.

After I grabbed my morning Flat White, I finally had time to appreciate how beautiful Picton was

After I grabbed my morning Flat White, I finally had time to appreciate how beautiful Picton was. It was this moment that I started to regret not staying longer in Picton.

Hiking the Snout Track

There are many walks I could undertake but with only 3 hours left in Picton, the Snout Track was the best choice

There are many walks I could undertake but with only 3 hours left in Picton, the Snout Track was the best choice. The whole walk is around 3 - 4 hours long and If I ran part of it, I would be able to catch the bus in time. It was tight but I wasn't going to leave Picton without doing anything!

The walk began from the beach, circling around the port and the small hill nearby

The walk began from the beach, circling around the port and the small hill nearby.

After an hour walk, I approached an open road and a parking lot

After an hour walk, I approached an open road and a parking lot. As in turned out, you can drive to the starting point of the Snout track to shorten the time.. but what is the fun in that? :)

After an hour walk, I'd finally reached the Snout head, an outlook point to the Queen Charlotte Sound stretching out to the horizon as far as the eye could see

After an hour walk, I'd finally reached the Snout head, an outlook point to the Queen Charlotte Sound stretching out to the horizon as far as the eye could see.

I met only 2 people throughout the walk

I met only 2 people throughout the walk. It was so quiet and peaceful that I didn't mind staying a little longer at the outlook point. That is one of the reason why I like New Zealand so much, you can always find a place without crowds.

Finally, I saw the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound with my own eyes

Finally, I saw the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound with my own eyes.

As I was about to leave, I met an old lady (aged around 50 - 60 years old) and she told me about her life story of not wanting to do what friends her age do, buying a house and sitting around all day

As I was about to leave, I met an old lady (aged around 50 - 60 years old) and she told me about her life story of not wanting to do what friends her age do, buying a house and sitting around all day. She decided to sell her house in Nelson and live in a camper van, traveling her own country. My admiration for her feat showed as I enthusiastically asked her more and more questions. Unfortunately, the time was not on my side that day and I had to end the wonderful conversation prematurely and ran down the track.

I gave the Queen Charlotte Sound one last look and literally ran back to Picton

I gave the Queen Charlotte Sound one last look and literally ran back to Picton.

As I ran down from a mountain, this funny sign caught my attention

As I ran down from a mountain, this funny sign caught my attention. Blues music sure is dangerous to kids. ;)

Even though not much went on during my time in Wellington and Picton, it was a good change of pace from what I did in Lake Taupo. It gave me some time to really appreciate the culture and the people living and traveling through New Zealand. This theme of traveling would continue on to Nelson in the next episode of New Zealand's solo traveler's journal until another adventure in the Abel Tasman national park. Stay tuned for more travel stories in New Zealand.

A Backpacking Guide to Nelson and Motueka, New Zealand.

Further Reading for Backpacking in New Zealand

I’ve spent 5 weeks backpacking in New Zealand and I have written a ton more about my journey traveling throughout New Zealand from the North Island to the South Island that you might help in your trip planning.

Here’s a selection of articles about New Zealand:

The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by BucketListly where we will follow our founder, Pete Rojwongsuriya around the world as he singlehandedly travel alone and experience different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.


Categories: destinations new zealand oceania


Are you also on Pinterest?

Why not save this post to your Pinterest board for later? I am also on Pinterest so feel free to follow BucketListly Blog's boards and get the latest pin directly.

Save for Later Follow Me on Pinterest


Loading..

Leave a Comment

Please do not use your business name to comment.