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Ferry Travel

A scenic cruise to break your travels.

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If your New Zealand vacation includes checking out both the North and South Islands, your trip will include more than just travelling by road - you'll be taking a 100 kilometre ferry journey across the Cook Strait that separates the two islands as well.

New Zealand Frontiers is an accredited agent for the Interislander ferry company, who operate up to six daily departures each way between Wellington, on the bottom of the North Island, and Picton at the top of the South Island. Should your intended itinerary require ferry travel, reservations can be secured to meet your requirements at a cost of $NZD340 each way - fully transferable (without amendment fees or penalty but subject to availability) and representing a 10% saving on normal full fare rates.

If your travel plans do not include a fixed date for crossing between the islands, or should the flexibility just suit you better, you can also make your own reservations directly with the Interislander using a free phone number during your travels, right up to the day of departure.

However, to ensure travelling on first choice dates and at preferred times, it is recommended that you secure ferry bookings as early as possible, especially during the peak travel season of December to February when fares cost as much as $NZD400 each way.

Vehicle check in time is one hour before your sailing. The Navman multilingual GPS navigation systems supplied with all New Zealand Frontiers rentals will happily take you directly to the ferry terminals - and the terminals are also well signposted from Wellington's motorway and in the idyllic town of Picton if you prefer navigating using the excellent atlases supplied with each motorhome.

While the closest points between the North and South Islands are only 23km apart, your total ferry journey covers 96km. Crossings take approximately 3 hours. Only half of the route is in Cook Strait, with the remaining time spent in the Marlborough Sounds and Wellington Harbour. Make sure you take your camera with you upon parking on-board as the scenery is picturesque. Views en-route range from Wellington's skyline to distant mountain ranges and deep, forested fiords. You'll even pass through an area with eight-knot tidal currents. The Interislander's comfortable vessels carry up to 1600 passengers each and feature bars, cafes and great viewing decks. As well as carrying your motorhome you may see trains and trucks on board.

Due to the expense of retrieving vehicles, New Zealand Frontiers does not accept rentals that require vehicle drop off in one port and pick up in the other.


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  • New Zealand Frontiers is an accredited agent for the Interislander ferry company and can obtain fully flexible ferry bookings with your motorhome reservation at a cost of $NZD340 each way. This discounted rate includes your two-berth motorhome and two persons.
  • To benefit from this discounted ferry fare you must select preferred dates and times when completing the New Zealand Frontiers reservation form as the Interislander does not offer open tickets
  • You can change bookings later without penalty, including upon discussing your itinerary with your New Zealand Frontiers representative at time of taking delivery of your vehicle or by phone during your motorhome vacation
  • Up to six departure times each day to choose from
  • The Navman GPS navigation system in your motorhome will take you directly to the ferry terminal
  • Don't forget to take your camera with you when you park your vehicle on board the ferry - the scenery is spectacular!