On a calm and sunny day the Cook Strait crossing could be an attraction in itself. The crossing from Wellington to Picton or vice versa takes approximately 3 and a half hours but for a good chunk of the crossing you get to ogle the beauty of New Zealand.
A third of the crossing is taken up coming out or going into the Wellington harbour, while the rest is made up of crossing the Cook Strait and meandering through the Queen Charlotte Sound, which is the most spectacular part of the journey.
- Take a look at the weather: try to book your crossing during fine weather. It sounds like an obvious one but the crossing can be pretty rough in stormy seas.
- There are two different companies that do the crossing: Interislander and Bluebridge. The crossing can become quite pricey ($230 one way for two adults and a car). Many of the rental companies allow you to drop your car off in Wellington then pick up another one in Picton so you avoid the ferry cost for the car. If you are renting a car take a look at Apex as they paid for our car to go onto the ferry meaning we only paid for our passenger tickets.
- The ferries say they have free wifi but it is crap. Don’t bother trying to get connected. Head outside and take a look at the stunning views!