Interisland Ferry - Aratere  © Interislander

Interisland Ferries

Ride one of New Zealand's interisland ferries between the North Island and South Island for a ferry journey unlike any other! Whether you're travelling with a vehicle, or solely as a passenger, the ferry is a great alternative to flying. One of the most picturesque ferry rides in the world, the trip takes just over three hours and operates year-round.


New Zealand Ferry Transport

New Zealand's two main islands are divided by a famously rough stretch of water called the Cook Strait. There are two ways to cross the Cook Strait: by plane or by interisland ferry.

New Zealand's interisland ferry services offer an affordable, relaxing and breathtaking journey between the North Island and the South Island, taking in the spectacular Marlborough Sounds en route. The ferry journey in either direction takes approximately three hours and 15 minutes.

There are two interisland ferry companies operating in New Zealand: The Interislander and Bluebridge. Both travel each way between Wellington and Picton, offer comparable fares and travel several times each day.

The Interislander
Interislander operates three ships, Kaitaki, Arahura and Aratere. They have 11 sailings each day so there is always a choice of travel times. Once you are on your Interislander journey you can take a stroll on the decks, enjoy a meal or drink, and even watch the latest movie releases!

Interislander can transport vehicles of all sizes, and is as easy as drive on and drive off.

Interislander have a number of on-board services, including The Cove (a private room reserved for passengers 18 and over), Premium Plus private lounge, various other lounges, a gift shop, children's corner, observation decks, cafes and bars, entertainment, and WiFi is now available onboard all ships.

New Zealand Inter-Island Ferry Timetable:

Ferries Departing Wellington

Time Frequency Company
2.25am Daily Interislander
3.30am Sun-Fri Bluebridge
8.00am Daily Bluebridge
8.25am Daily Interislander
10.25am Daily (in peak season) Interislander
1.30pm Daily Bluebridge
2.05pm Daily Interislander
6.25pm Daily Interislander

Ferries Departing Picton

Time Frequency Company
8.00am Sun - Fri Bluebridge
6.25am Daily Interislander
10.05am Daily Interislander
1.10pm Daily Interislander
2.00pm Daily Bluebridge
2.25pm Daily (in peak season) Interislander
6.05pm Daily Interislander
7.00pm Daily Bluebridge
10.25pm Daily Interislander

* These times are a guide only. For up-to-date departure and arrival information contact the ferry company directly.

Booking your Interisland Ferry Tickets

Ferry ticket bookings can be made on both the Interislander and the Bluebridge websites, or by calling their customer service teams. You can also book your ferry tickets with some information centres, or at the ferry depots.

It is VITAL to book your ferry ticket well in advance if travelling during Christmas holidays and school holiday periods. Ferry tickets often sell out months ahead of these dates.

 The Interislander ferry in the Marlborough Sounds.  The Interislander

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