Travelling with your pet on a Cook Strait ferry

One of the great advantages of taking the ferry is that you can bring your pets. To ensure your pet is comfortable and safe during the journey, we ask you read our tips and policies for pets on board.

Bringing pets in your vehicle

Your pet can remain in your vehicle for the journey at no extra charge providing the conditions within the vehicle are comfortable and safe. We will not let any pets aboard if we feel they are in any danger of harm or discomfort. 

Please note that no more than two dogs are allowed in a vehicle and no more than three are allowed in a campervan or caravan.

During Peak Season, we recommend you book a kennel if you are bringing a dog as we cannot guarantee shaded parking will be available on the day of travel.

Travel checklist 

Before travel:

  • Please check your animal is fit and healthy on the day of travel - don't force them to travel if they aren't feeling well
  • Prepare them for the journey by familiarising with staying in your car alone with toys and blankets 
  • Feed, water, exercise and toilet your pet before boarding

During travel

  • Inform check-in staff that you have a pet in your vehicle and they'll give you a special hanger to attach to your rearview mirror
  • On seeing your hanger, our marshalls will lead you to a shaded space to park
  • Open windows to a gap of 7cm and leave your pet with water for the journey before locking car and proceeding to passenger area
  • During the journey, our crew will look for your hanger and monitor the wellbeing of your pet 
  • If crew find your pet is uncomfortable or stressed, then an announcement will be made over the ship tannoy calling your vehicle model and registration
  • You can visit your pet during the journey by requesting the assistance of a crew member

Your responsibilities

  • You are responsible for your pet's welfare at all times
  • Your pet needs to be comfortable and have enough space to travel in its normal posture (i.e. make sure it can stand up and turn around)
  • Your pet must be inside the vehicle at all times while aboard the ferry (it must not be tethered outside or on the back the vehicle)



Specialist dog owners and professionals can apply to carry above our given limits by sending details of their sailing, numbers of dogs, and method of transport to Please apply well in advance and include images of any specialist equipment or trailers you'll be using to protect your dogs' wellfare.


Bringing pets by foot

You can bring your pet along for the journey on foot by booking a kennel in advance. All of our ships are fitted with spacious kennels that are cool, sheltered, and well ventilated.

It's best to add a kennel at the time of booking to guarantee availability as you will not be able to travel without one.


Quick guide to travelling with pets

Our quick guide to travelling with pets on a Cook Strait ferry covers the essential requirements for a comfortable and safe journey for your pet:

In a vehicle
In a kennel
Max capacity
2 per vehicle+,
3 per camper/ caravan
2 per kennel
Pets must be able move freely
Our kennels provide plenty of space*
Windows lowered by 7cm
Our kennels provide excellent ventila­tion
Pets must have access to water
We provide a water bowl
No injuries, illness, or signs of stress
No injuries, illness, or signs of stress

*Our kennels are typically 80cm wide, 80cm tall, and 60cm deep. Please call us in advance if your dog requires a bigger kennel.

+Accredited dog transport companies are permitted to carry according to their licence criteria.

Travel Tips & Welfare Requirements

Tu Meke premium dog treats at Interislander Check in

Animal welfare information

Please read the following policies and travel tips to ensure you and your pet are ready for the journey ahead:

Your Pet should not travel if they are:

  • Sick or injured (unless certified fit for travel by a practising veterinarian)
  • In their final trimester of pregnancy
  • Pets that have given birth in the past 14 weeks
  • Under 8 weeks old or still weaning

Disability Assist Dogs are allowed in the passenger areas of our ships. For easy identification, we ask your dog wears its official Civil Defence disability assistance dog tag.

Adding a kennel to your booking


$15 per kennel

All of our ships are fitted with spacious kennels in cool, well-ventilated areas.

We recommend adding your kennel when booking your sailing. If a kennel is not available on the extras page, then try selecting an alternative sailing.

When travelling as a foot passenger, you must book a kennel otherwise your pet will be unable to travel.


  • Kennels are cool, shaded, safe, and well ventilated
  • Water is provided
  • Typical dimensions are 80cm x 80cm x 60cm (WxHxD)
    • Sufficient for most animals

Your responsibilities

  • Leave your pet with familiar items (such as toys, blanket, bed or basket) so that it feels comfortable and relaxed
  • Ensure your pet is well-fed, watered, toileted and exercised before travel
  • Ensure your pet fits comfortably inside the kennel so that it can move freely and stand in a natural posture (see typical kennel dimensions above)
  • Ensure that your dog has up-to-date vaccinations (ask your veterinarian for advice).

Check-in information for kennels

Foot Passengers

Proceed to check-in as normal and obtain a boarding pass for you and a kennel voucher for your pet (please leave your dog outside the terminal while you check in).

The kennels are located on the vehicle decks, which means you will board via the vehicle ramps rather than the gangways. Please follow the instructions of our staff at all times.

Vehicle Passengers

Advise the assistant at the vehicle check-in that you have booked a kennel and obtain your boarding passes for you and your dog. The check-in assistant will give you a special hanger for your rear-view mirror to identify that you have booked a kennel.

When boarding, our marshalls will see your hanger and direct you to the kennel area.



This page as all about bringing your family pet on holiday. For guidance on farm and hunting dog transportation, please see our Transporting farm & hunting dogs page