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Cook Strait Ferry Information

New Zealand consists of two main islands, the North (Auckland, Wellington) and South (Picton, Christchurch, Queenstown) and travellers have the option of touring in either island or both islands, and in the latter case it is necessary to book a ferry crossing.

Travel with Interislander and experience one of the most spectacular 3 hour cruises in the world. Last year, Wine Spectator magazine described the journey as "one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world - jaw-droppingly stunning..". You will cruise through the magnificent Wellington Harbour, view the rugged lower North Island coastline, cross Cook Strait, before finally enjoying the peaceful Marlborough Sounds, as you travel between Wellington, in the North Island, and Picton, in the South Island.

Take a stroll on the decks for the best views, have a meal or even see the latest movies releases. Treat yourself, for a small surcharge, to the comfort of the Club Class lounge, a private lounge with couch seating, complimentary newspapers, magazines and refreshments.

Taking your rental campervan on-board Interislander's services is easy, convenient and saves you time - just drive on and drive off!

Interislander has three passenger and vehicle ships - the Arahura and the Kaitaki, providing a convenient, frequent ferry service for passengers and their vehicles. Recently Stena Alegra has joined the fleet as a temporary replacement for the Aratere. The Stena Alegra can only take vehicle bookings at the present time (please see information below).

Check-in for all sailings is 30 minutes prior to departure for foot passengers and 60 minutes prior to departure for vehicles.

The Facts and Onboard

The ship has a large bar, called The Jockey Club, and restaurant/foodcourt, called The Winning Post, each seating 100 passengers.
On Deck 8 is a large recliner lounge facing the bow, so with fantastic views of the journey.
On Deck 7 there is the onboard shop selling magazines, souvenirs and snacks.
Passenger capacity is 350, vehicle capacity is 325 vehicles.

All Aboard Kaitaki

Kaitaki just completed her first busy season since her $4m passenger refurbishment - and the feedback has been amazing.
On board features a hugh Ocean View Eatery foodcourt, a large soft play area for young children, a shop, cabins, nurseries, and a number of lounges. Experience the Lookout Lounge Atrium area, which brings the scenery floating in through two floors of enormous windows!
Not only is Kaitaki newly refurbished she is also the largest in our fleet (and the largest passenger ship in NZ!) with the capacity to carry 1350 passengers and 600 vehicles

Kaitaki Plus

Kaitaki Plus, our premier luxury lounge onboard Kaitaki has just become more affordable. Kaitaki Plus can now be purchased when booking for an extra $40. Alternatively, you can upgrade to Kaitaki Plus at the Wellington or Picton Terminals or at Reception onboard the ship

A Kaitaki Plus ticket allows you to access a private lounge which includes comfortable seating, free internet access, Sky TV, newspapers and magazines, complimentary beer, wine, tea, coffee and finger food. Entry to the lounge is restricted to passengers 15 years of age and over.


Wellington Interislander Terminal:

The Wellington Interislander Terminal is located between the central city and State Highway 1 just 5 minutes from the heart of the city:

  • If you are driving from the central city you should follow Waterloo/Aotea Quay until the sign for the Interislander Terminal. Turn right into the terminal before the onramp to State Highway 1.
  • If youre driving from State Highway 1 you should turn off at Ngauranga Gorge and take the Hutt Road. Follow the road signs for the Picton Ferry/Interislander Terminal.
  • If you wish to return rental cars you should check with the rental car provider about the nearest drop-off location.
  • If youre travelling without a vehicle and would like to transfer from the Wellington Railway Station, you may like to use our free shuttle bus service. The shuttle leaves from Platform 9 at the railway station, 35 minutes before each sailing departure.

Picton Interislander Terminal:

The Picton Interislander Terminal is located on Auckland Street just a 10 minute walk from the centre of town:

  • If youre driving from the State Highway 1 you should follow the road signs for the Wellington Ferry/Interislander Terminal.
  • If you wish to return rental cars you should check with the rental car provider about the nearest drop-off location.
  • If you are planning to drive your vehicle onto the ferry our staff will direct you to our vehicle check-in off Lagoon Road.
Check-in times

If youre a Walk-on Passenger you must exchange your ticket for a boarding pass before final check-in. Final check-in is 45 minutes before departure. Nautical Miles walk-on passenger check-in time is 30 minutes.

If you have a vehicle and a ticket you should go to the Vehicle Check-in area at least 60 minutes before departure. If you dont have a ticket you must buy your ticket from the terminal before going to the Vehicle Check-in area.

Car parking

Wellington Interislander Terminal: Car parking is available at the terminal for $10 a day. Please enquire at the terminal ticket counter.

Picton Interislander Terminal: Interislander provides limited short term car parking at the terminal. Just enquire at the ticket counter. Longer term parking is available at the BP Gateway Service Station, located 400m from the terminal (phone 03 573-6105). The cost is $10 per day (uncovered) and $12 per day (covered).


If youre travelling with a vehicle you may carry as much luggage as your vehicle can contain, in addition to your small hand luggage. If youre a Walk-on Passenger you can take two items of luggage (per person):

  • Each item may weigh up to 30kg and be up to 200 linear cm.
  • Excess luggage will only be carried if there is available space, and will incur an extra charge.
  • Luggage must not exceed 50kg or 350 linear cm.
Passengers with disabilities

All the vessels have:

  • Easy access to toilets
  • Elevators for transferring to the passenger deck.
  • Staff to help passengers in wheelchairs.
  • Convenient parking with easy access to the passenger deck.

If you have a vehicle make sure you advise on check-in if you have limited mobility.

Great onboard services

Apart from fantastic views, Interislander gives you plenty to see and do:

  • Lounges Relax in our lounges with large windows and comfortable reclining lounge seats.
  • Gift shop Pick up a magazine, book, or souvenir or postcards from our gift shop.
  • Childrens corner Children are well catered for with a play area, nursery, cartoons and video games. Plus theres seating for families.
  • Observation decks Take in the views and fresh sea air from our numerous observation decks.
  • Cafes and bars With a range of cafes and bars, enjoy some of New Zealands renowned wines, a coffee, snack or a hearty meal.
  • Vehicle deck Taking a car or campervan? No problem Interislander has plenty of space on its vehicle decks. Drive on, drive off.
  • Entertainment From video games to news and sport with Sky TV. Each ferry also has a comfy cinema screening the latest movies.
  • Club class Club class is a spacious private lounge reserved for passengers aged 15 and over. For a small fee, you can relax in comfort with complimentary newspapers, magazines and refreshments. Workstations are also available. Seats are limited, so we recommend booking in advance.
Booking the ferry

We can pre-book your Interislander sailing when Reserving your Campervan on our Secure Reservations page.  Or, if you have previously booked your Campervan and just require to reserve a sailing just click  on the title above "Ferry Bookings" to initiate a Reservation. When booking through us, Our Platinum Vouchers are completely interchangeable at no extra cost up to 2 hrs prior to sailing. Cancellations receive a full refund if cancelled 24hrs prior to sailing.

Pre-booking for sailings between December 15th - end  April is strongly recommended.

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