Picton is the port for the passenger/vehicle ferry to and from the North Island. There are two companies - InterIslander and Bluebridge. Both leave from the terminal in picton.
Mum and I used the InterIslander. We decided to pay an extra $45NZ each for Premium Class. It was definitely worth it for the 4 and 1/2 hour trip. The ticket let us use the lounge with comfortable chairs, tea & coffe and snacks, a buffet lunch, wine & beer, wireless internet connection and our own staff.
To get to the North Island with our camper van, it meant catching the Interislander ferry. We made sure we arrived the night before, stayed in the caravan park ( which was rather full) and were reading for departure the next day.
The ferry crosses the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The 92 km, three hour journey between Wellington and Picton is quite a nice one.
Interislander operates three ships to carry both passengers and their vehicles in a safe, comfortable journey across the strait. There are up to 11 sailings a day, so plenty of sailing times to choose from.
Please check the website for all the up to date information.
Why not take a flight across the strait?
The flight takes only 25 minutes and you get beautiful views of the sounds. But be warned, it might get very shaky...
The one-way trip is 61NZ$ with YHA discount, including transfer to the airstrip near Picton
the Ferry departs twice a day from Wellington and vice versa...and there is the Fastferry as well. have a look at the webpage
then you have the choice between the train depends where you travel next.. or car rental, which is the best option. you are independent and the price is right. if you are lucky and I stretch if...you might get a great deal, while you bring a rental car to Christchurch. many tourist hire in Christchurch to Picton and the yards in Picton are bursting, sometimes that goes both way. crossing the Cook Straight on the Ferry and paying for the rental is money thrown out the window...make a reservation for Wellington.
third pic.. through Charlotte Sound
free rental call Europacar ..0800 800 115.....134 Victoria St. CHRISTCHURCH
The Ferry has many crossings each day and is the main-stay of the Picton economy. The price of tickets start at $45 each way if you book far enough in advance and you can also get special deals on single day travel (up early, back late). You can take your car or bike with you at a cost - check out the website below for full details including sailing times.
If you wanna save time and don't like to travel on a ferry, this is a great way to get from the North Island to the South Island.
Besides the time that you save, the trip by plane provides you with beautiful views of the ocean and the surroundings of Wellington and Picton.
If the weather is calm, Ferry is a nice way to get to the South Island from Wellington (though looking at it afterwards, I think there were flights which were cheaper, and much faster than this slow ferry, which was speed restricted, for some reason).
From Picton to Wellington there are two ferry services operating.
The Interislander is the biggest company .They have a fast ferry and the conventional ferries. Both are equipped to take vehicles and foot traffic. This service operates on a very regular basis but remember to book in busy times. The Interislander is the dearest of the two companies due to having a monopoly for so many years.
The other company is Strait Shipping.
They have one main ferry (Blue Bridge) Which does two return trips daily from each Island. This ferry will take approx three hours twenty minutes each way. This ferry takes vehicles and passengers. We found a better and cheaper service on the Blue Bridge.
Coffee and tea was free and you could walk over more of the boat. See there website below.
Crossing to the north with this ferry from Picton, it was a very bad weather almost everyone in that boat were sick due the big waves, was a bad experience
Picton is a biggish port as it is on the northern edge of New Zealand's South Island & is close to Wellington, across the Cook Strait on the North Island.
The Interislander goes regularly over to Wellington and back several times a day.
Cars can go on the Interislander too.
Adults $NZ52 each way