Capsule x Interislander
Who needs a bit of a break with the girls? (um, yes please).
While we have our beautiful country to ourselves for a little bit, do we need much of an excuse to pack up the car, jump in, crank up the epic tunes and just go?
Broadcaster Brodie Kane certainly didn’t, so she and her BFF – her mum Jo – did just that, and set out from their homes in Christchurch to the nation’s capital on the ultimate gal’s getaway. And, the broadcaster reckons she’s cracked the code when it comes to organising the PERFECT trip – including crayfish in Kaikōura, vineyard hopping in Marlborough, a ferry adventure across the Cook Strait on the Interislander and a night on the town in Wellington.
So, from Christchurch to Wellington, here’s the only girls weekend itinerary you’ll ever need – Brodie’s Epic Roadie!
Over to Brodie:
Ok, so before you start, you always need to figure out and agree to a playlist with your girls. With Mum, I knew we had to pick from the old-school 50s, 60s and 70s kind of catalogue – bangers for boomers, essentially! So it looked a little something like this:
– Basically anything from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack
– Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
– Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
– I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
– Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
– Hotel California – The Eagles
I mean, I’m not mad about it.
And also, whatever you do, make sure you’ve allowed enough time to do what you want to do. You want the freedom to be able to stop for the toilet, for a cold drink and for photo taking!
Stop #1 – Kaikōura
You simply must stop in Kaikōura – it’s the perfect place for close (well, closeish) encounters of a seal kind, not to mention the dolphin and whale watching you can do too. But having a gander at the seals doesn’t cost you a thing, and it’s absolutely brilliant.
One of the things that has to be on every Kiwi’s bucket list is a visit to Nin’s Bin – you know, the blue and white caravan perched on the beach that you’ve seen in hundreds of photos? Yeah, that one. It’s where you go to have the best and freshest crayfish you’ve ever had, and it’s a massive Kiwi institution. Grab a full cray, drizzle with lemon juice, crack a cold one and take a load off. It’s one of Aotearoa’s most perfect moments, and you can’t really beat it.
Stop #2 – Marlborough
A gals’ getaway without wine would be sacrosanct – and would you look at that, you’ve just found yourself in sauvignon blanc heaven. Grab yourself a map of Blenheim and plot out your favourite wineries, grab yourself a sober driver and head off to sample New Zealand’s finest. Don’t miss:
Wairau River Wines – awesome rosé
St Clair Family Estate – you’ll get an epic feed at their restaurant
Forrest Estate – amazing set up
Relax and take it easy on the roadie by staying in Blenheim for the night, which will give you a much-needed respite from the day’s imbibing. If you’re keen to stay right in the vines (think of the photo ops!) head to Marlborough Vintner’s Hotel, which is absolutely beautiful and situated right in the vineyards. It’s such a stunning setting.
And if you’re looking to continue with the true blue Kiwi experiences, head to the pub with the best ever name, Cork and Keg in Renwick, for a good old-fashioned pub feed and some top-quality bants.
Stop #3 – Cruising on the Interislander
The Interislander is special for me and my family – my dad used to work on it, and my mum actually swam across the Cook Strait, so every time we’re on board, it’s a huge nostalgia hit.
The great thing is the ferries cater for both girl squads and families – and me and my mum! I love that you just drive on, park up and away you go.
You instantly feel like you’re at home – it’s warm, welcoming, and then the ferry takes off and you’re away! And there’s so much to do. While the playgrounds keep the kids away, you and the girls can head to the bar – well that’s what me and mum did – and watch the incredible scenery. I sort of put it in three sections – first you get the stunning beauty of the Marlborough sounds – and the funny thing is that it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like, it’s always jaw-dropping. Then, the mighty Strait which always makes me go, ‘wow – I can’t believe Mum swam across the bloody thing’ – before coming into Wellington into the headlands, you hook around the corner and the cityscape is there.
Every section of that adventure is incredible. All of the ferries have kids activities – it means they’re not in your space! – and there’s a cinema if you want to watch a movie. And if you want to be boujee and you’re feeling a bit flash, you can go to the adults-only Plus Lounges.
I would have sailed on the Interislander more than 100 times, I reckon, and it never gets old. And in this year, when we’re all in the craziness of the pandemic and in the middle of the own personal rat race, you sometimes forget to stop and look up. With this part of the journey, you can do just that.
Stop #4 –Wellington
Say kia ora to the nation’s capital and embrace the city’s bustling nightlife. Drop off your bags – Heritage City Life is a perfect choice as it’s right in the middle of the CBD – and head for cocktails and dinner at Dragonfly. Pull up a pew in their heated courtyard and settle in for a great feed and some awesome concoctions. I reckon Lulu’s also great for a few drinks too – and for brunch the next morning, you can’t go past the iconic Maranui Café in Lyall Bay, with one of New Zealand’s best views and a wicked breakfast menu.
To clear the cobwebs, either boost it up to the Mount Victoria Lookout, or take a lovely walk around the bays before heading back into Wellington City for a wander.
Girls weekend, crushed!