The Passenger

Monday, February 6th, 2012

  • After days spent often behind the wheel, driving between one beautiful location in New Zealand to the next, it was relaxing today to sit back and be the passenger for a change.

    I was travelling from Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, north to Wellington on the North Island. Catching the 7am KiwiRail Coastal Pacific train I took in some of the same sights I saw just the other day when I drove down the coast to Christchurch to return the rented camper-van. I love train journeys, the luxury of sitting back in my chair and just watching the world go by is wonderful. On this particular train the final carriage was an open one, allowing passengers to take pictures of the spectacular coastline while feeling the wind in their hair.

    At Picton I jumped on the Bluebridge Ferry to cross the Cook Strait, a cruise of almost five hours. The water was calm so I stayed on deck for the entire journey. It was touch and go with the weather, and I had been forewarned that strong winds could make crossing the Cook Strait rather unpleasant. In the end though the sun shone and the journey became very enjoyable and something I could recommend to anyone visiting the two islands of this beautiful country which I’ll be sorry to leave in a couple of days when I return to Australia.