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Welcome aboard the Interislander.
The Interislander ferry is actually a group of three ships, which transport passengers and vehicles between the two main islands (creatively named as the "North Island" and the "South Island") in New Zealand.
Your 92 kilometre voyage between Wellington and Picton (located in the Marlborough district) takes around three hours, and has been described as one of the most spectacular ferry voyages in the world.
Crossing Cook Strait, the voyage passes through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds as it nears Picton on the South Island.
Up to 11 services per day operate, and the three ships, the Kaiarahi, the Aratere, and the Kaitaki, offer passengers a safe, comfortable voyage, with a wide range of onboard services.
The ferry offers a very cost effective
alternative to flying between the North and South Islands, and we can say
from personal experience, that the voyage is relaxing, and spectacular.
If your New Zealand holiday includes both islands, then it is
often practical to finish your North Island trip at Wellington, catch
the ferry to Picton, at the top of the South Island, and
resume your trip.
Kaitaki or "challenger" in Maori, carries up to 1600 passengers. It is the largest ferry operating in New Zealand, and offers passengers a range of observation points, several food outlets, as well as nurseries and play areas to keep the kids occupied (and parents happy!).
Aratere means "quick path". This
modern vessel provides passengers with a comfortable and entertaining trip.
Facilities include a food court, a cinema, a well stocked bar,
and a unique Club Class Lounge, which offers passengers upgraded
services for a small extra charge.
Kaiarahi means ‘to lead’ in Maori. The name symbolizes Pelorus Jack, the dolphin on the Interislander logo, which guided ships through the waters of the Marlborough Sounds and Cook Strait for more than 20 years. As the newest ferry in service, it features a bright, modern decor, two passenger decks, the Ocean's View eatery and Local Heroes Bar. You can also relax on deck or at the Lookout Lounge and outdoor area on Deck 8.
Terminal Information - Wellington
The Wellington terminal is located at Aotea Quay.
You can get to the Wellington terminal in several ways:
If using a GPS, search under points of interest in the ferries or transit sections.
The GPS co-ordinates are Longitude 174.47.201220000000035 and Latitude 41.15.863759999999871
The Interislander operates a free shuttle service from Platform 9 at the Wellington Railway Station. At the time of publication the shuttle service operates from 8.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Purchase tickets by cash or credit card at the ticketing station. The shuttle leaves 50 minutes before departure of each ferry sailing. The shuttle also runs from the ferry terminal back to Wellington Railway Station (provided sailings arrive before 9 p.m.).
A service, costing $3, operates for Base and YHA Backpackers to
the Wellington terminal. Tickets need to be pre-purchased from the
relevant backpackers hostel.
Taxis are readily available for transport to the inter island ferry terminal.
Terminal Information - Picton
The Picton terminal is located in Auckland Street, Central Picton.
If you are a walk on passenger, you must board at least 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
Transport to the Picton ferry terminal can be by:
If you are using a GPS check under points of interest in the ferries or transit sections. The GPS coordinates for the ferry are Longitude 174.0 0.3084000000006881 and Latitude 41.17.136599999999902
If you arrive on the train, it's a 4-5 minute walk. Just follow the footpath from the station.
The terminal is only a few minute's walk from Picton's town centre.
Hotels, motels and backpacker accommodation
Many providers offer passengers a pre arranged drop off. Check with your accommodation provider.
Water taxi companies may also provide a drop off at the terminal.
A bus stop for services from out of Picton is located at the Interislander terminal.
If you are taking a vehicle on-board
If you intend to take a vehicle on to the ferry then you need to first go to the Vehicle Check-In. It's located 200m south of the ferry terminal on Auckland Street.
The GPS coordinates are -41.287198, 174.004707
Important - A Special Note If You Are Hiring A Rental Car or Campervan
Car and campervan hire companies have varying policies regarding
allowing their cars or campervans to travel on the inter island ferry.
Some companies allow it and some don't, so please check at the time that
you book your
rental car or campervan.
Some companies require that you drop off your car at either Picton or Wellington, and collect a new vehicle after your inter island ferry journey.
You can learn more here.
Book your ferry tickets here
We offer a full booking service for the Interislander.
Just click here.