The Interislander Ferry - A Must for Travellers in New Zealand

NZ Interislander Ferry

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verification Verified Expert

    Kia Ora, fellow travellers! As a fervent explorer myself, I understand the thrill of embarking on new adventures and the joy of discovering the hidden gems of a country. Today, we're venturing on a unique journey, a key part of any New Zealand road trip - the famous Interislander Ferry.

    Brief about the Interislander Ferry

    Operating between the North and South Islands, the Interislander Ferry is more than a mode of transport; it's a delightful exploration of New Zealand's enchanting seascape. With the convenience it offers, especially to campervan travellers, the ferry is not just a choice but a must for those seeking the full Aotearoa experience.

    History of the Interislander Ferry

    Initiated by the New Zealand Railways Department in 1962, the Interislander Ferry has been faithfully serving locals and tourists alike for over six decades. The journey aboard this iconic ferry quickly became more than a transport route, evolving into a scenic voyage that encapsulates the essence of New Zealand's natural beauty.

    Interislander Ferry Routes

    The ferry operates on a specific route, journeying from the Wellington terminal on the North Island to the Picton terminal on the South Island, and vice versa. You can hire your campervan in Wellington and then take the interislander ferry to the South Island!

    This strategic route not only offers convenience for passengers but also highlights the picturesque seascape of the Cook Strait, a stretch of water that separates the North and South Islands.


    Facilities on Board

    Boasting a range of facilities including cafeterias, cinemas, children's play area, nurseries and more, the Interislander Ferry ensures a comfortable and enjoyable journey for everyone. Campervan travellers can even access power points for their vehicles!

    Why Choose the Interislander Ferry

    Convenience for Campervan Travellers

    The question of 'how to navigate between the two main islands' is a common dilemma for campervan enthusiasts. Here's your answer - the Interislander Ferry. Board the ferry with your NZ campervan hire, and let the ferry transport you and your vehicle smoothly between Wellington and Picton, erasing the hassle of arranging for a separate vehicle transport.

    Enjoying New Zealand’s Seascape

    But convenience isn't the only reason why the Interislander Ferry is a popular choice. The journey across the Cook Strait, from the bustling ferry terminal in Wellington to the serene landscapes of Picton, is a visual treat in itself.

    Cook Strait

    How to Book Tickets for the Interislander Ferry

    Online Booking

    Booking a ride on the Interislander Ferry is a breeze with their user-friendly online booking system. With a few clicks, you can secure a place for you and your campervan. Please note that the Interislander ferry price for car is different from passenger fares, so choose your options carefully during booking.

    Ticket Counters

    If online booking isn't your cup of tea, worry not! Ticket counters are available at both Wellington and Picton terminals. It's advised to arrive early to avoid any last-minute rush.

    Tips for Booking

    Here's an expert tip: booking in advance is always beneficial. Not only does it secure your place, but it also helps you plan your travel with a clear Interislander ferry timetable. Do keep an eye out for any discounts or special offers that are frequently available online!

    Cook Strait Ferry

    Travelling with a Campervan

    Pre-Departure Checklist

    Before you embark on this journey, ensure your campervan is fit for the voyage. Though the Interislander Ferry is well-equipped to handle vehicles, it's always wise to perform a basic check of your campervan. This includes fuel, tyre pressure, and making sure everything inside the van is securely fastened. Remember, safety first!

    Onboard Experience

    Once onboard, you can choose to stay in your vehicle or explore the ferry. Note that during the journey, access to the vehicle deck will be restricted. Therefore, take everything you might need during the journey, including snacks, drinks, and your camera to capture the breath-taking views!

    Arrival and Exit

    Upon arrival, the crew will guide you to exit the ferry safely with your campervan. Follow the instructions and you'll be on your way to continuing your road trip!

    New zealand ferry

    Must-See Sights from the Ferry

    Marlborough Sounds

    As your ferry navigates through the Cook Strait into the South Island, it offers a panoramic view of the Marlborough Sounds. Characterised by sunken river valleys, this complex network of sea-drowned valleys is a sight to behold.

    Wellington Harbour

    Leaving the North Island, the Interislander Ferry offers a stunning view of the Wellington Harbour. Make sure to wave goodbye to the charming cityscape of New Zealand's capital.

    Cook Strait

    The journey through the Cook Strait is an experience in itself. With the perfect blend of serene blue waters and captivating landforms, it's a feast for the eyes.

    Traveller Experiences

    Reviews and Ratings

    The Interislander Ferry holds an impressive 4.5/5 rating on major travel review platforms. This high rating is testament to the ferry's efficient service, comfortable facilities, and the unforgettable experience it offers.

    Safety Tips and Regulations

    While the Interislander Ferry crew ensures a safe journey, it's vital to remember a few safety tips. Firstly, follow the instructions given by the crew, especially during boarding and exit. Additionally, if you suffer from seasickness, consider taking appropriate medication before the journey. Remember, safety rules and regulations are there for the benefit of everyone on board.

    Why the Interislander Ferry is a Must-do Experience

    The Interislander Ferry is a unique experience that combines convenience, sightseeing, and a memorable voyage. Its combination of practicality for campervan travellers, enchanting views of the Cook Strait, Wellington Harbour, and Marlborough Sounds make it more than just a 'ferry ride'.

    Cook Strait

    Interislander Ferry FAQs

    To help you plan your trip, we've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions:

    How long is the Interislander Ferry?

    The journey between Wellington and Picton typically takes around 3.5 hours.

    How much is the Interislander Ferry?

    The fare depends on various factors such as the type of ticket (passenger or vehicle), age of the passenger, and any additional services. For the most accurate and up-to-date prices, visit the official Interislander Ferry website.

    Is there a night ferry?

    Yes, during the summer months, there's a late-night ferry from Wellington to Picton, allowing you to maximise your daytime explorations. For the latest Interislander ferry timetable, it's best to check their official website.

    Can I book a cabin for the journey?

    Absolutely, cabins can be booked for an additional fee, offering a private space to relax during your voyage. They're especially recommended for overnight journeys.

    Are there dining options on the ferry?

    Yes, the Interislander Ferry offers a variety of dining options, including a food court, café and even a licensed bar. Whether you fancy a hot meal, a quick snack, or a refreshing drink, the ferry has you covered.

    Let’s go on an adventure!

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