February 10, 2009

New Year's Holiday: Picton

Part 2 of 2!  Most of our holiday was spent in Kaikoura, but we did stay over one night in Picton.  We arrived in the early afternoon, so I planned for us to go on a twilight kayaking tour.  This was a big deal for me, since (1) I can't swim, (2) the kayaking takes place in the sea, and (3) I don't like to be in water where things live.

We had a few hours to roam around after we checked into our (seemingly) lovely hotel, so we decided to go to the highly touted Aquarium.  EcoWorld Aquarium - what a great name, right?They had lots of cute signs outside of the building and cute advertisements in NZ travel brochures.  Since we had such a great experience at the Christchurch Aquarium last year, we were ok with the entry price of $17.  Besides, this aquarium had a preserved giant squid!  And Tuatara!

Once we walked through the doors, though, we knew we had made a mistake.  The aquarium can only be described as a very sad, very old, repurposed YMCA.  All of the fish and reptiles seemed to be begging us to kill them (or at least set them free).  We initially thought these turtles were confused about sex, but we decided the one climbed on the other to try to crush him to death as an act of mercy.

Look at those eyes pleading for freedom!

We didn't take a picture of the "giant squid" because we couldn't see it.  The (very, very dirty) glass case where it was encased could have contained anything - or nothing at all - there's no telling, really.

They did have a video called "In Search of the Giant Squid".  We caught it late, and watched for about 10 minutes or so until it ended....with no giant squid in sight.  A couple in front of us had watched the entire 30 minute video!  To be fair, the video wasn't called "Finding the Giant Squid", or "Hey Look, There's a Giant Squid"...

To get over the horror that was 'EcoWorld', we wandered around the lovely Picton waterfront until it was time for our kayaking tour.  Like Darren's horseback riding picture, my first-time kayaking picture is equally non-existent.  But here is Darren with the kayak after the 3 1/2 hour tour. 

During the tour, we kayaked out to the little island in the foreground.  It was a gorgeous evening!  Turns out I really like kayaking once I forget that I'm on the open sea where a shark could turn over the kayak and eat me. 

After a sleepless night in our lovely hotel that happened to be a block away from the railroad tracks and an (apparently) all-night skateboard park, we wandered around the beautiful waterfront of Picton before catching the Ferry -

On the way to the Ferry landing, we passed this old boat that is being restored (or has been restored..?).  We could have spent some money to get more information, but we didn't care that much.

On our way home, with one last look back to Picton...


Blaise said...

nice to see your opinions of picton match up fairly well with our own. Underwhelmed would be the best word for it.

On the up side, kayaking is indeed a lot of fun and there's a ton of great places to do it, both in Wellington and around the islands. :)

Marrisa said...

What a shame about Ecoworld! We will keep that in mind to bypass it next week when we go down there. Wow, three and a half hours in a kayak! Well done you!! I went in the sea for the first time in ages last week and loved it, kept looking round for a shark fin though!

Glad you had a good time - hugs xx