Interislander Cook Strait Ferry

Our Interislander Cook Strait ferry has been connecting New Zealand since 1962. Our Picton ferry departs up to three times daily from our terminal on Auckland St and our Wellington ferry departs up to four times daily from our terminal on Aotea Quay.

interislander journey

The Cook Strait Ferry Journey

The Interislander ferry is the longest running Cook Strait ferry service in Aotearoa New Zealand. Interislander sailings are between Wellington (North Island) and Picton (South Island). Our Interislander ferry trip is known as one of the most beautiful ferry cruises in the world. The Cook Strait ferry covers 92 kilometres (58 miles) and takes just over three hours. The journey between Wellington and Picton is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist experiences.

Connecting the North Island rail network and our Northern Explorer scenic rail experience with the South Island rail network’s TranzAlpine and Coastal Pacific services, the Interislander is an unmissable part of New Zealand’s Great Journeys.


Wellington Picton
Sailing times

The Journey across the Cook Strait averages 3 to 3.5 hours and we sail daily from Wellington to Picton.

The timetable given below is a reference guide only. For accurate sailing times, please use the booking system and select your date and direction of travel or see the Arrivals & Departures board.

9:00 am
12:30 pm
2:45 pm
5:55 pm
5:00 pm
8:30 pm
8:30 pm
12:00 am
3:30 am
7:00 am

The Journey across the Cook Strait averages 3 to 3.5 hours and we sail daily from Picton to Wellington.

The timetable given below is a reference guide only. For accurate sailing times, please use the booking system and select your date and direction of travel or see the Arrivals & Departures board.

9:05 am
12:35 pm
10:45 am
1:55 pm
2:15 pm
5:30 pm
6:45 pm
10:15 pm
10:15 pm
1:45 am

Plan Your Journey

Interislander Picton Terminal Page Snippet

Find Our Terminals

Whether you're travelling with us by car or coming by foot, find out how to get to our terminals.
Find out more
Arrivals and Departures Snippet 730x504 2

Arrivals & Departures board

Get today's sailing schedule with accurate departure and arrival times, including disruptions and cancellations.
Find out more
vehicle check in

Vehicle Check-in

Everything you need to know about how to check in your vehicle when you travel with us
Find out more
Travel as family snippet

Travelling with kids

Whether a toddler or a teenager, there's plenty on board to keep your kids entertained!
Find out more
IL Discount fares Snippet 730x504

Get the latest Interislander deals!

Find all the latest Interislander special deals and discounts in one place!
Find out more
Interislander Sailing Update Page Snippet

Travel Tips

Prepare for your Interislander journey across the Cook Strait with these essential travel tips
Find out more

Our Cook Strait Ferries

Interislander Kaitaki Aerial Leaving Wellington LK6212 3840x2550


Kaitaki can carry 1,350 passengers and is the largest ferry operating in New Zealand waters. On board she features a huge Ocean View restaurant, Hector's Café, Local Heroes Sports Bar with Sky Sports, a large soft play area for young children, a shop, cabins, nurseries, and a number of lounges. Kaitaki's most prominent features is her Lookout Lounge Atrium area, which brings the scenery floating in through two floors of enormous windows!

Read more
Aratere Aerial LK0313 Shrunk 3840x2560


Aratere is our longest serving vessel. With eight separate viewing areas, including a large roof top seating area and a viewing deck on the bow, Aratere was built to show off the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. Inside, she features a large Food Court, a Hector's Coffee Bar and Shop, a children's play area with slide, nurseries and Quiet Lounge.

Read more
Interislander Kaiarahi Sailing into the Sunset RH2826 3840x2560


Kaiarahi is the newest member of our ferry fleet. On board, she features a large Ocean View restaurant, panoramic Lookout Lounge and spectacular views from her Local Heroes Bar. On Deck 8, you will also find an outdoor seating area, which is perfect for those summer sailings through the gorgeous Marlborough Sounds.

Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the latest travel news?

Please see our Travel information  page to find the best way to get the latest travel information for your journey.

Can I change my sailing?

You can change your sailing at any point prior to Check-In opening (i.e. one hour before scheduled departure). To change your sailing, simply log in to your booking online and select an alternative available sailing. You can change to an equivalent priced sailing free of charge or pay additional costs to upgrade to a more expensive sailing.

How can I get in contact with Interislander?

The easiest way for you to make your ferry booking is through our website.     However, if you need to get in touch with us to assist with or change your booking, please contact us on 0800 802 802 (international: +64 4 498 3302) or by email on  We're around Monday to Sunday: 8am to 5pm. 

Can I sail on Interislander with my pet?

You are allowed to bring your pet, but they must be kept in your vehicle for the entirety of the journey. If you are travelling as a foot passenger then we have kennels available for hire. Cats can be checked-in provided they are in a suitable animal carrier/cage. Other caged animals can also be checked-in. You will not be able to visit your animal during the sailing, so please ensure they are well fed, watered and exercised prior to boarding.

How do I use an Interislander Promocode?

Promocodes are offered regularly through our monthly newsletter, in selected publications and through business partners such as the AA. To use a Promocode, simply proceed to complete your online booking. After you have entered your passenger details and have clicked to proceed you will come to the Payment Details page where you will find the Promocode box. Simply type or paste your Promocode into the box and hit the enter button and the discount will apply.

If you’re using a promo code for a group booking, please go to ‘group bookings’ under our book menu.  The promo code will be the first thing you’ll be asked to enter before you can continue with the booking.  

Please note that many Promocodes are only valid on certain fares types and are date limited. If your Promocode is not working, then please check the booking date range, travel date range and fare types that were specified with the advertised Promocode.

Can I send goods on Interislander unattended?

If you wish to transport cargo, including cars and trailers, without travelling then you can arrange this by calling our freight service on 0800 660 670 or email for more information.  These contact details are for freight only, for passenger bookings,  please contact 0800 802 802 or email

Can children travel Interislander unattended?

Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Adults are considered to be anyone over the age of 15. Those aged 15-17 years old will need to call us on 0800 802 802 if they wish to travel on a child fare without an adult fare included in the booking.