Today it was 5 months since we started travelling!
This was our second visit to Picton, but last time we drove straight through after getting off the ferry. So today we decided to spend the morning exploring the town. First stop was an internet café where we spent almost 2 hours sorting out photos and researching Australia for our next 3 months! We then picked up a few supplies in the supermarket, before going back to the campsite after realising we'd left some stuff in the fridge and freezer there, and were moving on South today.
We then drove to the Wharf, next to the ferry terminals. There was a small, 2-screen cinema there, but the only thing we wanted to see wasn't on until much later. This is one of the many things I love about NZ - all of the cinemas are small and friendly, not a cineworld in sight!
Instead, we visited the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum to visit the exhibition and then go onto the boat itself. The Edwin Fox has had a long and varying career. It was built in India and sailed to England on its first voyage carrying tea. After that it was used to transport immigrants and convicts from England to NZ and Australia, on long and unpleasant 3 month voyages. It was also used before that in the Crimean War, to take soldiers to Russia. It ended up in NZ, after an immigrant voyage, and as it wasn't seaworthy anymore, was used to store coal for many years, before being abandoned off the coast of the South Island, tethered to some trees, for 20 years. In the 1990s, a group of volunteers worked to restore it and eventually it was moved to a dry doc at Picton, and the museum was established. The museum's aim is to preserve the shop as it is, rather than try to restore it to its original state. It was very interesting to learn about its history and then explore the ship ourselves. As usual, we were the only visitors at the time we were there!
Then it was time to drive South, through Blenheim, to a DOC site in between there and Kaikoura, our next stop. The campsite was in another stunning location, right on the beach, and we found a good spot up a small hill - we've learned not to park too close to the water as it can get noisy!
After a walk on the beach we settled down to our books and magazines for the rest of the evening.