Interislander
Interislander
4
About
Cruise with Interislander from Wellington to Picton across the Cook Strait and through the stunning Marlborough Sounds in just over three hours on the three largest ferries in New Zealand. Interislander is one of The Great Journeys of New Zealand and our three ships each feature several outdoor viewing decks that allow you to soak up the gorgeous New Zealand scenery as it floats by. They also have plenty of lounges, cafes and bars to choose from, plenty to keep the kids entertained - including children's play areas - and plenty for mum and dad too. Cars, vans, caravans, campervans, motorhomes, motorcycles and coaches - all vehicles are welcome, just drive on, drive off. And for the rental car providers, just drop off your car at the rental depots within our terminals then pick up another at the other end - easy! Interislander operates a FREE shuttle bus. Departing 50 minutes before each sailing from Platform 9 at the Wellington Railway Station.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Interislander and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles4,527 reviews
Excellent
2,194
Very good
1,606
Average
394
Poor
135
Terrible
198

Meander&Co
78 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We travelled with our campervan on the Wellington to Picton Interislander crossing. The queue to check in was lengthy and one operator seemed to be struggling to send vehicles through at speed, the second operator could send at least 3 through in the time it took the first to send 1.

Boarding after that was easy, the ferry is clean and staff are helpful but the food is overpriced for what you get. There would probably be enough seating for everyone if other travellers didn't use seats for their luggage or for napping across several seats. We ended up standing on the deck outside because the only seats available were very uncomfortable bar stools.

The crossing itself was very smooth, I did overhear other passengers commenting that this was the smoothest sailing they'd been on - suggests to me that the weather was massively in our favour. Departing the ferry was also easy and very well organised in terms of getting back to your vehicle without a stampede.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora Meander&Co, Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, its greatly appreciated. Our crew and terminal teams are well-drilled experts at making the boarding and disembarking process seamless so glad to hear you experienced this. Regarding the operator at the vehicle check in there may have been an issue with a customer’s booking and they would need to fix this before they can let the vehicle drive on. Glad you got to experience our lovely scenery that we sail through, it’s simply stunning! All feedback is greatly received, and we hope to see you onboard again in the near future. Best Wishes, Kirsten | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written June 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

johnrebain
Devonport, New Zealand12 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
During the planning of a drive trip from Auckland to Invercargil and back so we needed a south and north sailing on the Interislander.
I did the internet thing and looked up the Interislander page and made a mistake in openining Direct Ferries which is directly under the official Interislander page. Hoever I booked what I wanted and was invoiced in USD. I thought this strange but tried to pay with Visa. They demanded I use Paypal and the payment failed. So I then went to the Interislander page and the price was $100 cheaper but I could not book the Picton Wellington sailing mid morning. I went back to Direct Ferries and my desired sailings were still held subject to payment. This time it was succesful and altho more expensive we had the desired sailings. Trip south was 18 August but due to Covid we got locked in Auckland. On Sunday 16 August I tried to cacel on line via DF 'my account' but as it was less than 48 hours to the sailing time, they would not allow cancellation. I went back to the web. No phone number, no email address. In desperation I phoned the Interislander office & was put thru to the wholesale team and I was assisted by a very professional person. She got my Interislander reference number and I had my DF booking number. Karen found an email address & offered to cancel the booking for me but suggested I also send an email. We both got the same reply
'Due to the pandemic, we are currently experiencing an unprecedented demand for our customer service team. To answer our customers questions as quickly as possible we have closed this email address and are asking customers to use the links below to direct their queries based on the type of question' The address given...'MyAccount' which locks me out so this support of DF is going to cost me over $500 & there is no way to talk to these people. What service do they offer to local New Zealnders who pay a premium to travel via DF?
Amazingly bad in my opinion especially when it is a Government edict that has caused us to miss the scheduled sailings
Written August 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora John, Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback, its greatly appreciated. We are really sorry that you had a disappointing booking experience with one of our wholesalers. We understand this was a frustrating occurrence during these already stressful times but so glad we could help you come to a positive outcome! Thank you for choosing to sail with Interislander and we hope to welcome you onboard sometime. Best Wishes, Karen | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written September 2, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chris F
Wroughton, UK246 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Made the crossing on 23/1/20 when the weather was nice and sunny, not too much wind and therefore no real waves to speak of. Checked in in good time at 8.15am for the 9am crossing (30 min is the minimum for foot passengers with luggage). Two piece of luggage allowed and check in emulating air travel check in. Take the minimum of belongings on board. We travelled in Kaitaki Plus - a premium on board lounge with comfortable seating and complimentary food and beverages. That started with a full cooked breakfast including sausages, scrambled egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast etc. No sooner had that been cleared away that mid morning snacks followed by lunch. Indeed you could have spent the entire voyage eating. Teas, coffees and soft drinks and also beers and wines, but not sure if they were complimentary. They also gave us a VIP wifi password which did not seem to work. In fact the normal wifi seemed to work the best. Is was a very pleasant environment to pass the journey with easy access to the outside deck to take pictures or merely admire the scenery travelling up the Marlborough Sound. Overall it was not too dissimilar to travelling from Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides, Scotland) over to Ullapool where the best scenery is over the last hour of the journey travelling up Loch Broom.
The only slightly disconcerting thing was that the general ships announcements can over very loudly and it was not always obvious whether they were intended for us or not. Disembarkation was reasonably well ordered and the luggage came out on a carousel like an airport. Across the road to the car hire offices where we had to line up for about 45mins to get our hire car. After that easy to get away and on the road.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora Chris F, Thanks so much for taking the time to review your Interislander journey, its much appreciated! We are pleased to hear you had a great sailing with us and sounds like you traveled on a beautiful day! Travelling in the Interislander Plus lounge is a great way to sit back, relax and enjoy the cruise across the Strait. All food and beverages (including beer and wine) are included in the upgrade. The Marlborough Sounds is definitely the highlight of the journey and is absolutely stunning! We hope you enjoyed your onward travels equally and that you'll join us again soon. All the best, Kirsten | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written June 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Declan O
Nelson, New Zealand190 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I've used Interislander for five years now on a regular basis to visit my son in Wellington.

Can you name one other ferry company in the world where a member of staff will stand by the gangway to say goodbye to the children wearing huge cow hat with floppy ears. (Last time it was a polka dot top hat!). They have a colouring competition for children. Where on earth will you have a ferry ride where one of the coffee outlets is closed so that the staff can have a barrista coffee competion judged by senior staff to improve the quality of the coffee? I have never had a bad coffee by the way!
Last time I traveled 8 members of staff lined the exit to the gangway to say goodbye to everyone.
So yes.. next time you're being hassled by terse unsmiling security staff at your favourite airport just think of me sauntering onto the boat and being welcome with a big smile. Next time you have a prepackaged airline meal remember me sitting in a comfortable chair marveling at the beauty of the Marlborough sounds eating wonderful food drinking excellent New Zealand wine.

I absolutely love this company because its obvious that the customer service attitude extents all the way to the very top. everyone is relaxed and friendly.
I love seeing tourists enjoy this experience. The stunning scenery is a free bonus on the trip.

Frankly, if you have the time you would be mad to take a plane and miss this experience. Speed isn't everything in life! The quality of this experience is outstanding and I'm pretty sure you will remember it for years longer than any flight you took in a crowded aeroplane.

This is not a ferry its an experience.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora Declan O, Thank you for taking the time to provide such lovely in-depth complimentary feedback on your recent Interislander sailing! We are so pleased to hear about your joyful experiences and enjoyments on board our ships! Our friendly crew work extremely hard to make sure all customers are looked after so to hear these comments is greatly appreciated by all. There really is no better way to travel the Cook Strait! We look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon. Best Wishes, Karen | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written June 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nzflyboy
Auckland, New Zealand21 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Couples
I'm embarrassed as a New Zealander to this as the main link between our islands.

Its a shabby, lackadaisical and amateur experience. The guy at checkin was friendly at Wellington but that was that.

Passengers were yelled at on boarding because there were level 2 restrictions and they were segregating traffic. After that though there was a free for all with everybody doing what the hell they wanted. Passengers were yelled at on disembarking for the same reason.

The cafe was expensive and the staff were doing you a favor serving you. The lounges were shabby and looked like they needed a good vacuum.

It took an hour to drive on and drive off the car at each end - this was a lot longer than last time I used this service and the car deck wasn't full.

In summary the Interislander charges premium fares and delivers Ryanair service. Avoid this.
Written September 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora nzflyboy, Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback. We are sorry to hear you had a disappointing experience sailing with us. It is very unfortunate to hear you did not have a pleasant trip. All feedback is thankfully received, and I will pass this onto our team. Thank you for choosing to sail with Interislander and we are sorry that it didn't live up to expectation for you. Best Wishes, Karen | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written September 7, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KarenM1_10
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan1,044 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We took the ferry from Wellington to Picton. Prior to entering the terminal, we dropped off our rental car. Since it was early and the car rental agencies were not open, we simply parked the car and dropped off the keys in the box. We then entered the terminal area, which was very large with ample seating inside and outside. They also had a small café onsite. We entered the ferry and were surprised to see all the amenities on-board. We opted for normal seating, which was fine. But you could also upgrade to the plush seats. There were several restaurants on board and one was offering a buffet breakfast. They were also showing movies for a fee. The ferry ride was very comfortable and by the time we arrived in Picton, the rain subsided and the sun came out. You can walk outside to take photos and the views were beautiful. The only thing that I was disappointed in was that there were no announcements made along the way of some of the highlights in the area, such as Red Rocks Seal Colony, Tory Channel and Cook’s Lookout. When we arrived at the Picton terminal, I waited for the luggage. It comes out on a carousel similar to the airport and my husband went directly to the car rental agency to pick up our car, which was outside near the terminal parking lot. The rental car area is very small and the lines are long so get there as quickly as you can. If you don’t want to wait in line, you can grab something to eat nearby and then go back when they are less busy.
Written April 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora KarenM1_10, Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, its greatly appreciated. We hope you enjoyed your sailing and amenities we have to offer on board, including a variety of seating, entertainment and food and beverage options. Glad to hear your rental car process was so seamless. Having rental car depots at both our Wellington and Picton terminals allows for easy drop off and pick up options if you are not taking your car on board the ferry. Announcements are not usually made for places, but I will pass your feedback on as our staff and crew work really hard to ensure our customer experience is top-notch. Thanks again for the feedback and for choosing to sail with Interislander. Best Wishes, Karen | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written June 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

John H
Carmel, IN10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Nice staff, lots of things to do, movies, bar, food. The 3 hour cruise went by super fast, we upgraded to the premium cabin that included drinks and food. This was great, though we did not have to given all the things to do and buy individually.
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora marvilles, Thanks for your amazing feedback and the five-star rating! All three of our ships having a great range of things to do on board during the 3.5 hour cruise between the North and South Islands. Glad to hear your sailing went by fast and you enjoyed the Interislander Plus Lounge. We hope you enjoyed your onward travels equally and that you'll join us again soon. Best Wishes, Kirsten | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written June 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

best0ne2017
Greater Perth, Australia208 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
As first time seniors travelling with hire car we were impressed with the efficient boarding procedures. Large queue of traffic from Trucks motorhomes and cars waiting in lanes to board and staff moved all on board in efficient and seemless manner. All guided to our place on deck 5.

Plenty of cafes on board with ample facilities for 3 hour crossing to Picton. We had arrived before we knew it. Disembarking was all handled smoothly and efficiently.
Friendly and helpful staff. Great memories of our ferry trip.
Written March 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora best0ne2017, Thanks for your amazing feedback and the five-star rating! We are pleased to hear you had a great time travelling with us and you’ve now got great memories of Interislander. Our team on the ground are experts in getting everyone on and off the ships effectively and efficiently, it’s a huge task but they do an awesome job! We look forward to welcoming you back on your next holiday! Take Care, Kirsten | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written June 17, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AytonWellington
Wellington, New Zealand284 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We did a return journey over 4 days. Both sailing were of a very high standard at a price that was very acceptable. Cost is under half of the Air travel option including a rental car.

Drive on and drive off option is very easy and is a quick service.
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora AytonWellington, Thank you for your lovely feedback and the five-star rating. We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed both sailings with us. Our crew work extremely hard to make sure all customers are looked after so to hear these comments is greatly appreciated by all. Thank you for choosing to sail with Interislander. We hope to welcome you on-board again in the future! All the Best, Kirsten | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written June 15, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Liketorome
Dorset383 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We have travelled on the Interislander many times. This time it was nowhere near as efficient in terms of loading - waited ages just sitting in the car, but the unloading was pretty quick. The crossing is lovely with magical views of islands and inlets. The facilities in terms of bar and cafe are good but there is not enough seating inside especially when it is cold/windy or wet outside. People spread themselves out so just two people are at a table for 4 and some and even lie down across several seats around the edge and feign deafness when asked to move.
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Ora Liketorome, Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback. We are glad you got to see the beautiful views from our ships. We are sorry to hear you found the boarding process inefficient and a lack of seating. Our crew and terminal teams work very hard to make the boarding and disembarking process seamless. Depending on when you arrive and where you are the in the queue will decipher how long it takes to drive on board. Unfortunately, we do not offer any allocated seating, but we do hope you managed to find somewhere comfortable to sit. Thank you for travelling with us and all feedback in gladly received. Best Wishes, Karen | The Great Journeys of New Zealand
Written June 15, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 4,129
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Interislander - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Wellington HotelsWellington Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Wellington
All things to do in Wellington
Day Trips in Wellington
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars