North to South Island, Crossing the Cook Strait

Having spent ten days or so on the north island it was time to cross Cook Strait and see the epic landscapes the south island had to offer. We had a few days in Wellington to relax and explore before an early trip on the Interislander to Picton then onward to Kaikoura.

First stop…


Before catching an early morning ferry across the Strait, we spent a few nights in Wellington. There is plenty to see by foot within the city, but a trip up to the Mount Victoria is well worth it. If you are in the city on a Sunday be sure to drop by the Harbourside markets, popular with both locals and tourists.

Make the time to explore Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. There are so many fun and interactive exhibits for the inner child (an earthquake simulation) as well as more solemn tributes to the ANZACs and the history of New Zealand. Plus it’s free!

The Interislander

The boarding, we drove on and off, was seamless and surprisingly organised. Once parking your car you must leave the vehicle and head to the upper decks for the crossing. There’s plenty of comfortable seating with outdoor balconies for those who want to embrace the wind. We were lucky to have a near perfect day for the crossing.


Once disembarking the ship, drop by the bakery for some delicacies (some of the yummiest pies and doughnuts in NZ). The town does have a few museums to have a look at, but we were on a mission to our next stop so didn’t have time to explore.

Picton to Kaikoura

The drive from Picton to Kaikoura is a picturesque coastal drive. Take your time, pull over, and take in the beauty and wildlife.

The Driving Route