Picton – The ferry from the North Island to the South Island (New Zealand)

Categories: Travel reports, Oceania, New Zealand

Today we left the North Island of New Zealand and took the ferry to the South Island to Picton on time at 1.30 p.m.


The strait between the North and South Island

The North Island and the South Island of New Zealand are separated by a strait called the Cook Strait (see Google Maps). It is 22 km wide at its narrowest point and connects the Tasman Sea (in the west of New Zealand) with the Pacific Ocean (in the east). The Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet here with their waves and winds. This is why the Cook Strait is one of the most stormy sea routes in the world.

Map, Route, Ferry, New Zealand, North Island to South Island, Bluebridge Ferry, On Your Own, Travel Report

The route by ferry from Wellington to Picton

By Bluebridge ferry from Wellington to Picton

To get from the North Island to the South Island (with or without a car), there are two different providers: Interislander and Bluebridge. We chose Bluebridge because the price for our day (NZD 53 per person) was slightly cheaper than that of Interislander. The ticket should be booked in time to ensure that you can get a seat on the desired day and time. Especially if you want to take your car (or motorhome) from the North To the South Islands (or vice versa), it is strongly recommended to book a few weeks in advance.

The journey through the Queen Charlotte Sound

The ferry takes about 3.5 hours for the 90 km long route from Wellington to Picton. The crossing offers beautiful views in many places. In the bay in front of Wellington you had a great view of the city. And while driving through the Queen Charlotte Sound, the ship sails through a fjord-like landscape.

Our car rental for the South Island of New Zealand

Around 5 p.m. we arrived at the port in Picton and were taken by bus to our car rental company Europcar. Here we got our small SUV for the trip over the South Island of Neuseland (see travel report car rental for New Zealand).

Since we are travelling to the North and South Islands of New Zealand, we should have taken the car on the ferry between Wellington and Picton. Of course, this would have been possible, but it would have cost an additional EUR 100. Most major car rental companies in New Zealand have rental stations right at the ferry terminals. As a rule, you then drop off your car in a port and get a new car on the other side. The huge advantage is that you save the cost of the car on the crossing! Motorhomes, on the other hand, are usually taken on board. After a rental car booking, you should not forget to arrange the car exchange in advance with the car rental company or in our case DerTour (day of crossing and tell times) so that a car is actually available. We had booked our rental car via DERTOUR and were able to drop off our car at Europcar at the ferry in Wellington (North Island) and then got a new car at the ferry station in Picton (South Island).
Car Rental, New Zealand, South Island, Europcar, Travel Report

Our car rental from Europcar for the South Island in New Zealand

Our Picton Hotel

Afterwards we went to our accommodation Park Regis (now Picton Yacht Club Hotel ) and bought something to eat and drink in a small supermarket. We spent a night here. The room was generously furnished (sofa, desk, small kitchen, balcony) and clean. You can see that it is a bit older, but our room was not “used to it”, as some have written here. Wi-Fi is free for 30 minutes per day per device in the lobby. For us, that was enough. Free parking is available on site. The area is very quiet, no noise. A supermarket is a 5-minute walk away.

Hotel, Park Regis Picton, New Zealand, Travel Report

Our room at Regis Picton Park

All travelogues from New Zealand

For 11 days we explored New Zealand from north to south by rental car on our own. We started our trip on the North Island in the city of Auckland, we experienced the tremendous underground forces in Wai-O-Tapu and Orakei Korako, we explored the capital Wellington, drove across the New Zealand Alps, did a glacier hike on the Fox Glacier, before we finished with a trip through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Milford Sound. New Zealand is a really beautiful country that we enjoyed incredibly.

Reiseberichte New Zealand » North Island: Auckland – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots (New Zealand)
» North Island: Waitomo – The Waitomo Glowworm Caves (New Zealand)
» North Island: Rotorua & The geothermal area Wai-O-Tapu (New Zealand)
» North Island: Orakei Korako – The geothermal region in Taupo (New Zealand)
» North Island: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing & the city of Wellington (New Zealand)
» North Island / South Island: Picton – The ferry from the North Island to the South Island (New Zealand)
» South Island: Abel Tasman National Park – Hiking & Boat tour (New Zealand)
» South Island: Pancake Rocks & the Sea Lions at Cape Foulwind (New Zealand)
» South Island: The Franz Josef Glacier in Westland National Park (New Zealand)
» South Island: Fox Glacier – Heli-Hike, Glacier Walk & Ice Climbing (New Zealand)
» South Island: New Zealand Alps – From Franz-Josef to Milford Sound (New Zealand)
» South Island: Milford Sound – A boat trip through the fjord (New Zealand)
» South Island: Road to Milford Sound & the town of Queenstown (New Zealand)