South Island! After an incredibly bumpy ride on the ferry last night, I finally landed in Picton. Initial impressions weren’t excellent, but that was mostly because it was 1am and I couldn’t see any further than the terminal. Come morning though, it was an entirely different story. Picton is beautiful. The featureless blobs I’d seen out the window the night before were replaced by the Marlborough Sounds, a series of beautiful waterways and mountains that completely dwarf the town. I woke up a little bit later than I’d hoped, so I had to check out of the holiday park before I could take any pictures - but you can see what I mean here.
After filling up the van, I was ready to head off to my next destination - St Arnaud. A quick point about the van too, for those interested. The cost of running it has been incredible. Diesel is sitting at just over $1 per litre here at the moment, so to fill up the tank is costing me around $60. So far I’ve filled it up three times. Couple that with about $20 per night for holiday parks, and my daily travel expenses come to just over $45 per day. That’s incredible. I’ve budgeted for $100 per day, so if I keep up this pace I may be able to squeeze in one of the helicopter rides to the glaciers. We’ll see how we go.
I didn’t stop too much on the drive today. The scenery was excellent, a really nice valley surrounded by mountains - but there was absolutely no where to pull over. I did manage to get a couple of snaps though.
Fast forward a few hours, and I finally made it to St Arnaud. Holy shit, just look at this place. There’s even eels in the water! I don’t know why I find that so cool, but I do.
I’m parked about 100 meters up from the bay tonight, nestled in between some trees in a small patch of forest. I have the entire place to myself, no one else has shown up - and I daresay no one else will at this hour. I’m incredibly happy at the moment, this is the New Zealand I wanted to see, and it’s only day one of the South Island. Apparently it only gets better from here.