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pre-book the ferry?

california
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pre-book the ferry?

We will be travelling from Wellington to Picton in the middle of January. Is it advisable to pre-book tickets or can we wait to book until we arrive in New Zealand?

Thanks for your help.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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11. Re: pre-book the ferry?

Sounds about right. Paid $55 per person a couple of months ago.

Bluebridge is generally slightly cheaper though with less facilities. The Bluebridge terminal is a little more centrally located near the CBD in Auckland which can be useful. Once boarding tickets etc are sorted, you can wander into the city to wile away a couple of hours before sailing. If not too busy, staff are usually accommodating about letting you park up there prior to travel.

The two ferries have different sailing times. Day time is obviously more scenic. But an overnight trip can save on one night's accommodation and gets you off to an early start next day. Good breakfast options in both ports.

Often people don't realise that you can hire cabins on Bluebridge at a very reasonable price to catch a few hours sleep. Mostly used by truck drivers etc. Bluebridge does seem to cater more for the freight transport side of things.

Johor Bahru...
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12. Re: pre-book the ferry?

Joan M, thanks for the tip re. overnight trip on the ferry. If I'm not wrong, we can rent a cabin for $40 for few hours nap. Probably I will travel by this way on my return trip from South to North Island.

Is this doable? Morning at Kaikoura, go for whale watching trip, back to port for lunch, then drive all the way to Picton for 160km, should be need around two and half hour right? Last ferry depart at 1025pm and reach Wellington around 2am next morning. I will definately miss the scenic view for the cross but at least I can start my journey from Wellington in the early morning, either for town sightseeing or continue my journey to New Plymouth or Hamilton. Is this a right idea? Thanks

New Zealand
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13. Re: pre-book the ferry?

Driving after a night of little or no sleep is never a good option.

Better to cross during the day to enjoy the views then get a proper nights sleep before heading off again.

Johor Bahru...
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14. Re: pre-book the ferry?

Thanks WL for the advice. Will consider it esp. if safety involved. It will depend on my itinerary, either I will have enough time in NZ.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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15. Re: pre-book the ferry?

Trip between Kaikoura and Picton is not particularly arduous. The first 70kms along the coast is best travelled in daylight. (Depends whether you decided to go Nov or May since sunset timings are quite different.)

The road is good but too many people busy watching the coastal views and not the road. Also main transport route for heavy commercial vehicles travelling Wellington/Christchurch and beyond.

Plenty of time for a pleasant dinner in Blenheim or Picton. (Preference for Picton, just in case there are any last minute holdups.)

Not sure if you are travelling in motor home or car. Check with the ferry company as to how early you can set yourself up in the ferry queue. (Depends on intervening sailings) You may get some rest before your sailing.

At the same time, check on parking up at the Wellington end. Ferry staff may let you stay in their carpark for the rest of the night if not too busy.

There is a modern inner city motorhome camp a few minutes away from Bluebridge's Wellington ferry terminal. (depending on which ferry company. The ferries berth in quite different locations) You would probably need to prebook if you plan to spend the rest of the night there. At $50 per 24 hours, it is a bit expensive but it is very central to the CBD.

http://www.wwmp.co.nz

We believe motorhomes are also allowed to overnight at the parking area near Te Papa museum off Wakefield Street. (Not the main Te Papa parking site, across the road) There is a scheduled fee for overnight parking. It is a large parking area suitable to motorhomes. By day, there is a metered hourly rate.

Check this with the local TA denizens or Wellington Council.

If you decide on a day time sailing, there are several low cost van camp sites in the Blenheim/Picton area. Check up on Rankers.

www.rankers.co.nz/respect/

Dunedin, New Zealand
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16. Re: pre-book the ferry?

Sorry, correction to above parking info. Further research seems to indicate that the area we were referring to near Te Papa is privately managed through Wellington Waterfront Ltd

wellingtonwaterfront.co.nz/getting_around/…

Barnett Street Car Park (Pay and Display) 150 bays located on the corner of Cable and Barnett streets. ($9.00 for 12 hours)

Think this is probably the most accessible parking for large vehicle and the most affordable for inner city. Walking distance into CBD and ofcourse right beside the must see destination of Te Papa museum

Johor Bahru...
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17. Re: pre-book the ferry?

Joan M, thanks again for the tip and advice. Appreciated it very much.

My trip will be this Nov or next year May. Based to this link,

http://rasnz.org.nz/SRSStimes.shtml

sunrise will be around 6am and sunset around 8pm. Too bad I can't find the info for May 2013. Should be diff. +- an hour?

Not planning to drive a motorhome, prefer car instead. Thanks for the link for parking and stay nearby ferry terminal and town centre.

This planning based to drive from Kaikoura. If I decided to cover east coast - south - central and west coast, my planning will be change to drive from Nelson instead before crossing by ferry.

thanks again for everything.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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18. Re: pre-book the ferry?

Sunset difference between May and Nov is more like around 3 hours difference. (Nov is in NZ daylight saving period during which the clocks are put back one hour earlier. Actual solar difference would be 2 hours) So 5.30pm vs 8.30pm Plus twilight period after that.

Angle of the sun to horizon varies quite a bit as well, With low sun angles in winter. Bothersome on some roads if you happen to be driving directly towards the setting sun. With the South Island's mostly N/S orientation this isn't usually a problem on most roads.

Edited: 3:25 am, September 28, 2012
19. Re: pre-book the ferry?

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