Catch one of the best sunsets in the world!

Catch an early evening Interislander Cook Strait ferry between October and March and you could witness an unforgettable sunset in the Sounds!

Sunset on the Cook Strait with Interislander
Kaiarahi sails at sunset near Te Rua Bay
Sunset on the Cook Strait with Interislander
Sunset at Wedge Point

Sunset on the Sounds

Beautiful evenings on Interislander


There is something primitively nostalgic about watching the sun go down at the end of the day. But sadly, finding time to watch our world ease into soft hues of orange and brown as the sun slowly descends over the horizon is something we seldom find time for. City and town dwellers may even have forgotten what this spectacular event looks like, as it is usually obscured by buildings and busy lives. But on Interislander, we regularly enjoy this heavenly event. Weather permitting, we see it every day on our evening sailings through the Sounds.

Interislander's meandering voyage through the Marlborough Sounds has been rightly described as one of the most spectacular ferry rides in the world and many people have fallen in love with those roughly hewn forested hills, sparkling blue waters, isolated inlets and rocky islands that we gently sail through. But in the evening, as the sun descends, floating through the Marlborough Sounds on the Interislander becomes a voyage of serene beauty and overwhelming peace. And with no other distractions, you really can Find Time to enjoy this heavenly event!

Aratere leaves Queen Charlotte Sound
Aratere leaves Queen Charlotte Sound

When it comes to soaking up the Marlborough Sounds sunset, Aratere is the best ferry on the Strait.

Aratere has three floors of outside deck: Deck 5 has areas on the bow and along each side; Deck 6, has viewing space along the sides and rear of the ship; Deck 7 is the roof, which has an amazing 360° view, with large seating areas and tables at the rear.

A passenger enjoys a magnificent sunset on Aratere's top deck
A serene view of the sunset sounds
Aratere leaves the Tory Channel with a beatiful sunset over the South Island
Sunset over West Head

One of the most dramatic points of the voyage is the entrance to the Tory Channel. As you approach from either diection, it looks as though the ship is heading straight for dry-land. Then, suddenly, a small opening appears and the ferry tiptoes through.

Normally you wouldn't notice, but in the evening you might think the sun is setting on the wrong side of the ship. This is because when crossing the Cook Strait, the ferry actually travels north when sailing to Picton on the South Island and south when sailing to Wellington on the North Island!

Because the northern tip of the South Island is directly west of the southern tip of the North Island, if you are crossing the Cook Strait at sunset then you will see the sun descend directly over the South Island. It is a blissful and special sight to end the day.

A spectacular sunset over the South Island from the Interislander Cook Strait ferry
Sunset over the South Island

Pick a day out to go with it!

You can combine any of these packages with a spectacular Marlborough Sounds sunset. These return day trips on Interislander from Wellington to Picton all include return sailing aboard the early evening Aratere from Picton

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