SATURDAY, 5th November
I didn’t expect that! In the morning I was waken up by the hail fall.
That was my way to the bus stop.
Luckily, I could leave my big bag at the backpackers’ and pick it up when I return. It was a great solution, because 1) the weather was as you can see above and imagine me dragging my bag through that layer of hailstones and water; 2) I was going to Stewart Island by ferry, but I was planning to come back by plane where there was a 15 kg limit for the luggage.
I was a bit angry with myself that I had booked the ferry in Te Anau, not waiting to check out the connection once I get to Invercargill. Maybe they won’t tell you at the Visitor Centre, but the cheapest way to get to the Island and back is by plane. One way ferry ticket cost $69, but it’s from Bluff, so you can take a shuttle from Invercargill, which cost $23 or if you go by your car, you have to leave it at the car park in Bluff and pay about $5 or $7 for the first night and then I think $2 for every other night. So all in all, return trip is $182 if you take the coach! BUT you can call Stewart Island Flights one day before you want to fly there and ask about Standby Fare, which cost $70 one way and return $120. That’s $62 in your pocket! I didn’t know about that, so I could only safe $20 coming back to Invercargill by plane.
I packed my stuff in two small rucksacks, took the coach to Bluff (I was the only one on it) and boarded the ferry. It wasn’t large and I wasn’t the only one on it this time. I had been told that the crossing might be a rough ride and it was, but as long as I kept my eyes on the horizon, I was fine. One older lady got really sick.
Oban, the only town on Stewart Island, wasn’t big, but it had all that you needed.
Visitor Centre, ferry terminal
hotel, clothes shop, grocery store
Even though I arrived after 12 pm and had a lot of time, I wasn’t in the mood for tramping. It was cold outside and rained heavily every 20 minutes. I stayed at the Bunkers Backpackers with a warm living room and great selection of DVDs.
So most of that Saturday I stayed inside catching up on the Internet, which was free and watching films starting from “Boat that Rocked”, “Billy T Live” and then “Boy”. Betweet the films I just left the hostel to do some shopping and I had awesome blue cod with chips from Kai Kart.
I realized it was 5th November, Guy Fawkes Night, when I saw the bonfire through the window. When I got myself to go to the beach, it was much smaller than before.