Wellington – Picton – Christchurch (Rāmere, Maehe 30th 2012)

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Wellington is actually the last city in the New Zealand North Island we visited. That day we crossed the cook strait to get to the South Island. Luckily, our Ferry Harbour just right across our Hotel, it only took 5 minutes to get there. We had Bluebridge Ferry as our transporter for 51 NZD.

This is our second boat trip – after having Dolphin Bay cruise at Paihia. The difference is that the Ferry that we used to cross the Cook Strait was bigger, since it was also used to by people to cross carried along their own vehicle. It was quite a fine boat, with sofas, comfortable seat, common areas for watching cinemas, and cafe. It took about 3,5 hours to reach Picton, our stop at South Island.

During the ferry trip, we saw beautiful scenery from the observation deck. The wind blew hard, but can’t help those scenery that stretch beautifully. Those hilly green plain still on the menu, it just some of them are covered by pine trees, and if offers various color as well.

here’s some photos taken from the ferry

After arriving at Picton’s Harbour at around 11:30, there’s a shuttle bus waiting for us to transport us as per our request. We were then transported to the train station. Whatt ??

That day was one of the day where our time was spent to travel from one city to another, or moving day so we call it. Picton was just our temporary stop, before we headed to Christchurch by Tranz Scenic Train service. We chose to travel by train since it was known that the train passes by lots of beautiful landscapes, which i assume are not offered by the bus. But surely it was an expensive ride.

We got 136 NZD for the train ticket. If you compare the train ticket to bus ticket, it almost five folds. But if offers difference nuance, more comfortable seat, and spacious area. It was kind of more luxurious way to enjoy the scenery.

It took 5,5 hours train ride to reach Christchurch. So we really use the time to suck all the scenery all we can. And it was a remarkable journey. The train itself has wide and clear window where you can watch the scenery beside the open viewing carriage where you can feel the wind as well. And things of course, became more dubious for me. Even on the bus i had to face between the sleep or the scenery watch. This time even harder, should i stay on my seat? Or should i go to the viewing carriage to take picture and webcam it? And i was like going back and forth to the viewing carriage. Fortunately, our carriage is located just next to the viewing carriage. We only had to pass 1 door only to reach it.

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and here’s some pictures were taken by my friend Adrian from his seat (just ignore anyone who’s appear on the pictures 🙂 ). Just notice the scenery changes from to time, Amazing.

And don’t you even think that it was a nice friendly wind that welcome us. It’s a moving train. I fought hard for my hair not to close my eyes. And after moving between some spots on that viewing carriage, i finally found one spot where i could still watch the scenery without my hair blowed by the wind. But indeed, it beyond words, simply Put. Felt like i’m a Hogwarts students boarding to my school.

Among other things that i noticed, was that the passenger for the train were almost all an elder. So question,where are those young people beside us?
We arrived at Christchurch on 5:30, straight away to our motel by shuttle car. Dorset House (http://www.dorset.co.nz/ ) was the nearest accommodation to the central area of Christchurch that i could find during my research. Since the earthquake that struck The City on 2011, the most affected area – Red Zone was closed. Include some hotel or motel backpackers around it.

It was my other favourite accommodation after Astray on Rotorua. But it’s different in that Dorset House is really like A House, from the Building itself, the interior like when you enter the ‘house’, you feel like you are home. The room is spacious and clean, as well as the bathroom. It was a great stay for us, a homey stay.

Highlight and Tips

– Trip SoulMeet
During our trip, you will meet a lot of people who you don’t know, but you meet them often, taking same bus , trip or tour. So did we. We met these couples earlier in the bus on the north island, that happen to be on the same train with us. We then smiled and talk lightly, knowing that they having the quite same itinerary.
You may encounter the same thing, just say hai and make new friends

– Bus VS Train
Like what we have from Picton to Christchurch, you may choose between Bus and Train. By the cost, certainly the Bus is cheaper than the train. By travel duration, it’s only differ for 30 minutes though (Bus: 5 hrs and 45 mins, Train: 5 hrs and 21 mins). Scenery wise, i’m not sure if they passes same scenery. There are times when we saw highway road side-by-side with the railway, but also at times it was just a railway that stretch across those beautiful landmarks.

So it comes down to your pocket and (i guess) scenery and your itinerary. If you’re likely to go by bus all the time, you may want to slip train trip once, or two – like what we had. Basically, we had a diverse means of transportation, from airplane, train, bus, and ferry. Each poses difference experience and scenery.

and here’s our short itinerary

Day 8 Itienerary - basically just a ferry and train trip

Have you ever been in situation where your parents told you not to do something because the consequences, you said ‘yes, not gonna do it’, but then you do it anyway, took the consequences and then the real understanding come next? well, I’d seen and heard so many stories, photos and ‘get it’ that it was beautiful.  But actually stood there, witness, grasp and experience all the nature has offered, had made me feel blown away, it’s just different. Amazing.

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