I had never before travelled on the Wellington–Picton ferry route. During my motor racing days we took the ferry from Wellington, but it sailed all the way (overnight) to Lyttelton and it was not a RoRo at that time. I remember watching the cars being craned on board at the Wellington wharf. Does that date me a bit?
This time around we drove aboard, ate in a reasonable restaurant, and were ready to disembark after a mere three-and-a-half hours’ voyage. Picton seemed to be swarming with motorhomes, either disembarking or waiting to board, and we soon discovered that there were no camping grounds with an available space so decided to press on towards Blenheim. Clear of the rush, we were able to secure a nice site at Blenheim Top 10 and it suited me to stop there as my plan was to visit Sir Peter Jackson’s aircraft collection at Omaka (a former RNZAF base) the next day. Once there, we took in both exhibitions: the ‘Knights of the Sky’ featuring aircraft from WWI, and the separate ‘Dangerous Skies’ which comprises WWII aircraft and artefacts. As one might expect of such a successful film maker it is all perfectly presented and period correct. The Bristol Freighter and the DC3 parked out near the entrance give the flavour immediately upon arrival.