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Taking the InterIslander Ferry in New Zealand

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Taking the InterIslander Ferry in New Zealand
New Zealand is a country of two halves. A scenic way to travel between the North Island and South Island is the InterIslander Ferry. Here’s what you need to know about crossing the Cook Strait by ferry, which provides picturesque views of New Zealand and on-board amenities.

Where to Go 
The InterIslander Ferry runs between Wellington on the North Island and Picton on the South Island. From Wellington port, ferries connect with the Overlander, Northerner, and Bay Express train services to Auckland and Napier, while arrivals in Picton link with the TranzCoastal train service to Kaikoura and Christchurch.

What You’ll See 
Grab a window seat or head out on deck to take in the views as you cruise out across the Cook Strait. The 58-mile (92-kilometer) journey takes around three hours and offers dramatic views of Wellington’s skyline and Pencarrow Head Lighthouse as you set sail from the North Island. As you cross into the protected waters of the South Island, you’ll glide through the glittering waters and lush landscapes of the Marlborough Sounds, Queen Charlotte Sound, and the Tory Channel; keep a lookout for whales and dolphins along the way.

Things to Know 
  • Depending on the season, there are up to 11 ferries running between Wellington and Picton daily.
  • A car ferry service is available.
  • On-board services include restrooms, Wi-Fi, a bar and cafe, and a movie theater on select boats.
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