Transporting farm & hunting dogs across Cook Strait
Crossing Cook Strait is little different to transporting your dogs by road. With approximately 4.5 hours between checking in and disembarking, keeping your dogs safe and comfortable is a priority for us.
Getting you across Cook Strait safely
Transporting multiple farm or hunting dogs across Cook Strait needs special care to ensure your dogs are kept safe. With 4.5 hours between checking in and disembarking, keeping your dogs safe and comfortable requires planning and appropriate carrying facilities - especially on a hot sunny day.
With this in mind, we have developed a number of Animal Welfare policies to help keep your dogs safe during transit.
These processes begin with you informing us you have dogs. This enables us to park you in a sheltered area and check on your dogs' comfort during the journey.
So please declare your dogs during the booking process and read through the following Animal Welfare policies to ensure you are good to go.
You'll need to complete our Animal Welfare Declaration when booking and comply with the safety policies included within the declaration while travelling.
Animal welfare information
We will not carry any dogs or animals if we feel their wellbeing is at risk, so please familiarise yourself with the safety policies outlined on this page.
DOGS should not travel if they are:
- Sick or injured (unless certified fit for travel by a practising veterinarian)
- In their final trimester of pregnancy
- Dogs that have given birth in the past 14 weeks
- Under 8 weeks old or still weaning
Our quick guide to transporting farm & hunting dogs on a Cook Strait ferry covers the essential safety requirements:
In a vehicle
*Dogs must be inside the vehicle and cannot travel leashed outside the vehicle or ute. Campervans and caravans can carry up to 3 dogs. Accredited dog transport companies are permitted to carry according to their licence criteria.
Protecting the wellbeing of your dogs
Our Animal Welfare policies are different from road transport requirements, so please check your crates/cages meet our specifications before booking.
If your crates/cages don't meet our specifications, then you can book your dogs into our onboard kennels. Each kennel can fit two moderately sized dogs.
Below is our checklist for getting your dogs safely aboard and across Cook Strait.
- Your dog must be fit and healthy on the day of travel
- If your dog is injured, then visit a registered veterinarian to certify they can travel without further harm
- Ensure your transport meets our space criteria:
- no more than two dogs in a vehicle or crate (or single subdivision of crate)
- no more than three dogs in a camper or caravan
- dogs must be able to stand naturally and move freely
- Make sure your crates provide adequate ventilation with a least 20% of vertical walls providing ventilation
- Check your crates or cages are sturdy and secure
- Feed, water, exercise and toilet your dogs before boarding
- Inform check-in staff that you are transporting dogs and they'll provide you with a special hanger for your rearview mirror or dashboard
- On seeing your hanger, our marshalls will lead you to a shaded space to park
- If transporting dogs inside your vehicle, then open windows to a gap of 7cm before locking vehicle
- Ensure your dogs have access to water before proceeding to the passenger areas
- During the journey, our crew will look for your hanger and monitor the wellbeing of your dogs
- If crew find your dogs are uncomfortable or stressed, then an announcement will be made over the ship's public address system calling your vehicle model and registration
- You can visit your dogs during the journey by requesting the assistance of a crew member
- You are responsible for your dogs' welfare at all times
- You must ensure your dogs are comfortable and have enough space to travel in their normal postures (i.e. make sure it can stand up and turn around)
- You are responsible for ensuring your dogs have adequate ventilation and access to water throughout the journey
- Your dogs must be inside the vehicle at all times while aboard the ferry (they must not be tethered outside or on the back the vehicle)
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
- Ensure your dogs are well-fed, watered, toileted and exercised before travel
- Ensure your dogs fit comfortably inside the kennels so that they 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
Proceed to check-in as normal and obtain a boarding pass for you and a kennel voucher for your dog (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.
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.