So I was a little premature..it isn't the first and won't be the last time!
So remember how I was going on about having finally got the itinerary all worked out? So I woke this morning and thought that I would be proactive and book Kaikoura because it was the last site we needed to book. Anyway, within a couple of hours of the ink drying on the booking confirmation there was a phone call. You just know that when someone starts a conversation with, "I've been thinking..." that someone is about to spoil your plans if only a little bit. So the "thinking" involved the stay at Kaikoura and subsequent 13 hour day starting with the 3am start and drive to Picton.
The decision has been made to change the Kaikoura stay to 1 night and stay in Picton on the other. That way we will get to do the whale watching and dolphin swimming, drive to Picton the same day and have a reasonably relaxed night and not so early start for the trip to Rotorua. It does mean that there will be no 2 hour drive on roads we don't know, in the dark to a place we have to get to by a certain time. We'll be in Picton the evening before, have time for a leisurely meal and drink preferably by the sea and watch the world go by. We won't need to be up until 5ish the next morning and although it will still be a long day, it won't be as long or involve as much driving. So, it's actually quite sensible....just don't tell her that