Interislander is a ferry service between the North Island and South island of Cook Strait, New Zealand. The ferry service in Cook Strait was started in August 1962 by New Zealand Railways Department (NZR). A tour taken in New Zealand is incomplete without crossing Cook Strait.
It takes about 3 hours to complete one tour. The ferry was known as ‘one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world’. If you’re lucky enough, you can also spot dolphins during the Cook Strait crossing. The Interislander carries around one million passengers and 230,000 vehicles per year on 5,500 sailings. These ferries became a part of ‘The Great Journeys of New Zealand’ in 2007.
1. Kaitaki Interislander Ferry
Kaitaki in Maori means ‘challenger’. It has the capacity to carry nearly 1600 passengers. It is the largest ship in Interislander and also the largest ferry in New Zealand. The Kaitaki Interislander Ferry is different from the other ferries as it offers a special and beautiful experience. This ferry never gets boring for children as it has a playground on board. During peak seasons, the clowns and magicians will also be on board along with you.
2. Aratere Interislander Ferry
Aratere in Maori means ‘quick path’. This roll-on roll-off (RORO) rail provides top and luxury facilities which include Wi-Fi, bar, restaurant, cinema, shopping and the Aratere Plus Lounge for an unforgettable experience. This ferry has enough space to get your vehicles on board as well.
3. Kaiarahi Interislander Ferry
Kaiarahi in Maori means ‘leader, guard or guardian’. This is the latest ship with all the new and improvised facilities. This roll-on roll-off ferry transports passengers and vehicles from Wellington to Picton. The ship is named after a very popular dolphin, Pelorus Jack. These dolphins have been so loyal that they have guided the ship for over 20 years.