Farewell to the South Island

Wednesday morning dawned overcast and rainy, with hints of smoke in the air.  Our last night in Motueka we went down to the beach to do some stargazing, since it was a new moon night.  Amazing views of upside-down Orion and even the Milky Way… but we also noticed a significant orange glow emanating across the bay from us.  It turned out to be a substantial fire in the Tasman region, which continued overnight. 

After a final check of our Top 10 Motueka cabin, we loaded the car and headed to Picton… with a brief stop in Nelson to buy a duffel bag.  I have no idea how we’ve possibly acquired enough extras to need another piece of luggage, but with our ferry departure looming, it seemed better to take the more expedient route of acquiescing to reality.  We can re-shuffle in Wellington!

Three hours later, we arrived, fueled the car, pulled everything out, and walked over to the ferry terminal.  After a brief wait in the terminal, we headed on board.

The Interislander Ferry has simply enormous ships, with cafes and lounges and two movie theaters, and windows everywhere.  Lovely views emerged as we got underway.  Penelope was initially enthralled, but soon the call of the iPad was too strong to resist. 

After an hour or so of games (Monument Valley is her current favorite), we decided to check out the views on the top of the ship, followed by some time in the play area on Deck 2. 

I spent some of the time on board reading and planning for our six days in Wellington, and some of the time rewatching Lord of the Rings.  🙂

As we bid adieu to South Island, I’ll take this final chance to share some random family photos and Kiwiana from our past weeks here…

Penelope discovers the joys of the top bunk.
The wind on the South Island is no joke.
A most excellent suit of armor in a Queenstown art gallery.
Frodo and the Ring, made from 20,000+ jelly beans.
Penelope said, “This milk is so fancy! Take a picture, Mama!”
Penelope and the enormous Takahe statue. Not pictured: its fluffy white butt, which Penelope found most amusing.
Awesome hiking t-shirt spotted at the Nelson Market.
We’re not actually sure this is one of the famed Pōhutukawa trees, but… seemed pretty close?
Is this directive meant to be humorous?
What sometimes happens when you ask Jeremy and Penelope to smile for a picture.
Gorgeous delicate blossoms spotted on a trailside plant.
Yes, I have the sense of humor of an adolescent. But this sign cracked me up.
Me, watching Penelope play in the tilted rooms at Puzzling World.
Penelope saved a lovely green beetle which had ended up on its back in the center of the trail. She placed it carefully right side up in her hand, then safely on the side of the trail.
And a final example of the majestic New Zealand wildlife we’ve seen throughout our travels on the South Island.

Next post from Wellington. Looking forward to settling into our AirBnB for the longest stay of our New Zealand trip: a positively luxurious six nights.

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