We had booked a trip with the Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton. To save some money we took the ferry right after midnight, although we would miss the supposedly stunning view on entering the sound around Picton. What we did not miss was the rough see. The both of us got a bit sea sick (as did a greater part of the other travellers) and the crew walked around with sick bags and cold water. Luckily for us the weather calmed down later on.
Arriving in Picton in the midst of the night we found a camping ground at the Cloudy Bay near Blenheim and went to sleep.
Because of the street layout you can travel the south island basically only in two ways: Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise. We decided to do the latter and drove to a small town called Havelock. Havelock is known for its Greenlip Mussels and label them self as the “World Capital of Greenlip Mussels”. In Havelock we had our first glow worm experience on a small track next to a waterfall. Those are actually really small worms with a glowing body part. Hundreds of them were sitting still on the moss around us,thus creating the feeling of standing under the stars.
We also made a boat tour through the Pelorus Sound where we were shown different stages in regrowing native bush, from freshly cleared areas to parts where the administering endet 85 years ago. But even there you could see the difference to areas where never any farmland had been. The tour included a short stop and at the Jacobs Bay Camp Ground, one of New Zealands smallest camp grounds, reachable only via boat. A big plus: There were two almost hand-tame Weka Birds at the ground.
A stay in Havelock is not really complete without eating mussels. We went to the Mussel Pot, a local restaurant which serves mussels in several variations and some nice local beers.
We had some nice days in Havelock and especially the unexpected Glow worm encounter suprised us. After our stay in Havelock we felt welcomed in the South Island.