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Interislander - Arahuranã waka – new zealand’s ferries

Interislander offers daily ferry services across the Cook Strait – linking Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island – providing transport for passengers and vehicles (cars & campervans). Interislander operates 5,700 sailings per year!

The 92km journey between Wellington and Picton takes only 3 hours and has been described as ‘one of the best ferry rides in the world.. jaw droppingly stunning’.

The 3 hour journey bridges New Zealand’s most fascinating regions. Wellington on the north island is both New Zealand’s political and cultural capital. Marlborough and Nelson on the south island offer a truly unique mix of calm, natural beauty, fine food, wine and adventure.

Interislander - View From ArahuraInterislander offers you the freedom and convenience of exploring all of this by road. You can take your rental vehicle* between islands – just drive on and drive off.

*with the exception of Budget vehicles, whereby you drop off the vehicle at one end and pick up another Budget vehicle at the other end.


Interislander offers daily services and 3 passenger vessels – Arahura, Kaitaki and Aratere – catering for passengers (including vehicles), commercial vehicle and rail.

The ferry timetable below is a guide only – valid at the time of e-publication, and may vary. Please confirm the time with your agent at the time of booking.

Ferry Departure Time Arrival Time

Inter Islander
(3 hour sailing)



Ferry Departure Time Arrival Time

Inter Islander
(3 hour sailing)


*peak season - varies yearly between October and April

location of terminals

Wellington Terminal: the Wellington Interislander Terminal is located between the central city and State Highway 1 – just 5 minutes from the heart of the city. Click here for directions.

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

Picton Terminal: the Picton Interislander Terminal is located on Auckland Street – just a 10 minute walk from the centre of town. Click here for directions.

Short term car parking is available at Picton Interislander Terminal. For longer-term parking visit BP Gateway Service Station, located 400m from the terminal, cost varies from NZ$10-NZ$12 per day.

check-in times

If you’re a ‘walk-on passenger’ you must exchange your ticket for a boarding pass before final check-in. Final check in is 30 minutes before departure.

If you have a vehicle and a ticket you should go to the Vehicle Check-in area at least 60 minutes before departure.

driving times

South Island: Picton to Nelson– allow 2 hours; Picton to Kaikoura– allow 2 hours; Picton to Christchurch– allow 5 hours.

North Island: Taupo to Wellington– allow 5 hours 15 minutes; Palmerston North to Wellington– allow 2 hours 15 mins.

additional information

Operated by: InterIslander (TranzRail)
Children: infants under 2 years travel free of charge. Children 2-14 years inclusive pay the child rate. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Luggage: ‘walk on passengers’ can take two items of luggage per person, each item to not weight more than 30kg (total must not exceed 50kg). If you’re traveling in your vehicle you may carry as much luggage as your vehicle can contain, in addition to small hand luggage.

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