If you want to explore both islands of New Zealand, there is no way to cross the Cook Strait between the two Islands, other than by ferry. It takes about 3 hours to make the 92km journey from Wellington to Picton. The strait is named after Captain Cook, who discovered New Zealand, and is known as one of the most impressive boat trips in the world. The picturesque scenery as you travel through the sounds is one you will remember forever.

The Global Campers Team recommends you book your ferry ticket in advance, especially between the summer months of November to March. The Interislander Flexi ticket is your best option, and gives you the opportunity to change your departure time right up until 2 hours before you are scheduled to depart. This not only gives you the flexibility to extend your holiday in a beautiful spot, but also allows you the option to wait for a smoother crossing if there are rough seas.

Ferry notes

  • The shortest distance between the North and the South Island is only 22km
  • The ferry then travels 70km through the Marlborough Sounds
  • The trip takes 3 ½ hours
  • Allow about 5hrs including loading and unloading

The Cook Straight is known for its winds which can make for rough seas. The ferry will be cancelled if sea swells reach about 5m so be prepared for unexpected delays and wait times.

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