picton ferry

There is no doubt that the idea of soaking up some rays in the sun while the northern hemisphere is wrapped up and shivering is an appealing one, understandably, for many people. New Zealand’s summer is special and it’s why locals and visitors alike get out to explore the country during this time.

If you are traveling across both islands in New Zealand, you will need to reserve a ferry crossing across Cook Strait. Currently, there are two ferries operating between Wellington and Picton, the Interislander and Bluebridge. A ferry crossing between Wellington and Picton is one of the most picturesque ferry journeys in the world. It is rated as a must-do experience on Trip Advisor. The Cook Strait, named after Captain Cook, separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

During the course of your journey, you will be treated to magnificent views of Wellington and Picton Harbours. In addition, you will be treated to views of remote bays, Kiwi holiday homes, islands, native bushland, and the stunning Marlborough Sounds as you travel between the two islands.

Take your rental car on the ferry and enjoy the 3 hour journey in comfort. Then drive off and enjoy your self-driving adventure.

Is there a time when I can check in?

As a result of weather events, roadworks, and sadly accidents, our roadways are often affected by these factors. You should always give yourself plenty of time when travelling long distances to catch the ferry. In case you’re taking a rental vehicle on your Cook Strait ferry, check-in closes one hour before departure.

When I arrive, how do I check in?

You don’t need to check in at the passenger terminal if you’re travelling by rental car. Learn the steps to take and ensure a smooth check-in and boarding experience. It is recommended that you check in at least one hour before departure. You should have your booking details ready to present to the check-in staff to minimise delays. Anyone over the age of 18 will be required to present a photo ID.

How does the vehicle check-in process work?

  • You should arrive at least 1 hour before departure
  • Check in your vehicle by following the signs
  • Make sure you have your ticket ready for the check-in booth attendant
  • Exchange your ticket for boarding passes at the check-in booth
  • The marshal will direct you to the boarding lane and parking area
  • To board, wait for the marshal’s instructions
  • Mobile phones should not be used during boarding
  • The onboard marshal will direct you to the parking lot once you are on board
  • As soon as you enter the ship, turn off your headlights
  • For automatic vehicles, make sure your handbrake is fully engaged and your car rental is in “Park” or in gear for manual vehicles
  • Make sure that the alarm and anti-towing alarm are off (if they are present).
  • Your rental vehicle should be locked, ensuring all items are protected from theft or damage
  • Make your way to the passenger area by following the signs to the lifts
  • Have a great time sailing!

Where can I find more information about the ferries?