Picton to Clifford Bay

As a boy growing up in Island Bay, I saw the inter-island ferries (we just called them the Picton ferries) every day. There were four of them – the Aramoana, Aranui, Arahunga and Aratika. I could actually tell which was which from a distance.

The Aratika was the most modern one, and the Arahunga was mainly for freight.

Then they had a fifth ferry, which was called Ara5 until it got its official name of Arahura. That is still in service today, along with the Aratere and the Kaitaki.

Anyway Stuff reports:

Preliminary work on a $200 million port south of Blenheim to replace the Picton ferry terminal could begin within months, with the Government set to announce a high-level study today.

KiwiRail is backing the plan for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) terminal at Clifford Bay, with its own work suggesting it would boost its business and the wider economy significantly.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce said yesterday: “It will take a while to get it built but it will actually shorten the time between Wellington and Christchurch, and Auckland and Christchurch for rail by nearly two hours, and road by 80 or 90 minutes.”

Despite all my childhood memories of travel to Picton, I have to say it does make a lot of sense to move the terminals to Clifford Bay. It will make getting to Christchurch less painful.

It’s a lot better today, but for many years there were basically no 24 hour petrol stations between Picton and Christchurch so if you did not fill up in Picton, you might not make Christchurch,

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