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Ferries and travel between the North and South Islands

Being an island country, ferries in New Zealand are an important part of our transport infrastructure. Here’s some information on the main services.

Inter-Island Ferries between the North and South Islands
The most important route in New Zealand is across the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands. There are two companies operating between Wellington and Picton. The InterIslander is the largest operator. They connect with the train services between Auckland and Wellington, and Picton and Christchurch. All their ferries take vehicles however please note, most rental car companies do not allow their vehicles to be taken on board. You must return at one end and pick up a new car at the other. A smaller company called Bluebridge also operates a large ferry on this route.

The sailing takes just over three hours with one hour of that being a beautifully scenic cruise through the Marlborough Sounds! Both companies offer cafe facilities and wifi onboard among other services. InterIslander also has a premium lounge offering a more comfortable cabin with satellite TV, free food and alcohol, it's like flying business class. This must be booked in advance though so be sure to advise your Travell specialist if o you're interested in upgrading.

There are many commuter ferry services throughout Auckland. Fullers operate ferries the bulk of these including ferries to Devonport, Rangitoto and Waiheke. Most depart from central Auckland at the ferry terminal at the bottom of Queen Street. They also have a vehicle ferry to Waiheke.

Stewart Island
Small passenger-only ferries operate between Bluff and Stewart Island at the bottom of New Zealand. This can be a bumpy journey so be sure to discuss flight options with your specialist if you are concerned. Flights operate to the island from Invercargill.

Australia to New Zealand
There are no ferry services between New Zealand and Australia, or any other country for that matter!

- Essential Info

Written by: David Kettle

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