Sunday 15th October
Onto Wellington and our last night on the North Island. We checked out the interisland ferry for the next day and drove into the 'coolest little capital in the world' (as described by Lonely Planet). The freedom parking we were aiming for was a car park covered by a fruit and veg market so we continued on through and round the bay, chancing upon 'The Chocolate fish' a great cafe on Shelly Bay, overlooking the sea, with bikes for the kids to play on and bean bags to laze on afterwards while we read the Sunday Times.
Heading back into Wellington, we had time for a quick hour in the Te Papa museum, and found somewhere that served a good old fashioned Sunday roast dinner, and bedded in for the night - in a car park!
We had an early start the following day catching the Interisland ferry to Picton on the South Island. The journey was 3 1/2 hours with the final hour through the Malborough Sound which was just breathtaking.
After checking into a campsite we visited the I-site where Dave booked a very special trip for Sophia and he the following morning. We then decided we needed a walk, so trekked up the Tirohanga track to a viewpoint over Malborough Sound. It was slightly further than we thought but our two mountain goats managed over 5 miles up 61 floors to see the view and it was stunning.
We took the garden track down which brought us back into Picton via some stepping stones, where Sophia fell in and had to walk back into Picton sounding very squelchy!
There we fell into The Oxley for refreshments and after a lovely (little) walk back through the harbour where we saw stingrays swimming, slept soundly in our little van that night.