Picton Wed 14th Nov. 9-17°C, Fine, cool breeze.
Another glorious morning, viewing the boat harbour and sipping hot tea. Harbour View Motel lives up to it's name, they'll be prying me out of Picton with a crowbar tomorrow morning. The town is a hub for transport between the North Island and the rest of the South Island, with several large ferry sailings daily between Picton and Wellington. State Highway 1 and the main train line to Christchurch start here. Now that the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake damage to the line has been fully repaired, the scenic Coastal Pacific passenger train resumes daily service to Christchurch from Dec 1st 2018.
Picton has some reasonably priced cafes/restaurants and a really friendly Irish pub, boat cruises into the sounds (which some find lovely but a bit boring), not a lot to do here for the unadventurous but still a really nice place for a break. The renowned Marlborough vineyards are only 30 minutes away by road and there are tours from Picton if you haven't bribed a designated driver.
Threw on the boots for the Tirohanga walk which starts just around the corner from Harbour View motel. About 5km steepish hike to the top and back, took 40m and some sweat to a great view of Picton and Queen Charlotte sound. Reasonably easy climb as long as the track is dry, and walking poles are really handy for those with dodgy knees. Young woman in runners who flashed by didn’t seem to need them though.
The motel owner told me that on Tuesday they saw orcas come into the harbour, chasing stingray.