The ferry through The Cook Strait from the New Zealand North Island to The South Island was a fun, new experience. It's a 4-hour journey but the ferry companies make it easy to pass time and spend money (cough).
We chose the Bluebridge ferry because of its free wifi. Unfortunately, this proved unusable given it's extremely slow speed due to the amount of people attempting to access the service at the same time. The ferry fee for 1 mini-van, 2 adults and 4 kids was $369NZD - roughly $292USD. We spent about $100 on food and drinks.
The arrival through The Marlborough Sounds is stunning.
You arrive into Picton. As you approach the S Island, you can quickly see the difference between the N & S Island.
I'm writing this post from the Motueka library. It's about 20 minutes from our accommodation at the base of Abel Tasman National Park. And you guessed it...the library has free wifi. It's also fast and reliable.
On the ferry, we met a couple from Munich, Germany. We visited a bit about travel as there were beginning their 4th week of an 8-week journey through New Zealand. As we visited about travel, they told me to ensure that we visit Austria. Apparently, it's as beautiful as the Swiss Alps but at a fraction of the cost. We intend to now include Austria in our travels through Europe.
And here's one of the great things about travel.
As we wrapped up our conversation, I invited them to please stay with us when visiting The States. They've never been to the U.S. but intend to visit after their bank accounts recover from New Zealand. They returned the gesture by offering us a place to lay our heads in Munich. 'Our flat can't fit the 6 of you...but we'll find a solution'.
They also informed us that Portugal is beautiful and apparently has great beaches for surfing. A specific area off the coast of Portugal features waves some 15 meters.
Our new German friends (please contact us through the blog so we have your names and contact info) let us in on a wonderful secret. New Zealand libraries offer reliable, FREE wifi!
Thank you new, best, wifi friends from Germany!
I'm able to do this post and the kids are able to do school work today because of you!
We've already met many wonderful, intelligent, generous people in our first 3 weeks of travel. We look forward to what lies ahead.
Our drive from Picton to Able Tasman was absolutely beautiful. It was a 3-hour drive but beautiful every kilometer of the way.
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