NZ Interislander

This item appears on page 15 of the November 2008 issue.

I’d rate the trip from Wellington (North Island), New Zealand, to Picton (South Island) aboard the Interislander ferry a “must” for the scenery, but my wife, Eva, and I did have some problems on our most recent visit, in December ’07-January ’08.

From Route 1, the signs were adequate for finding the ferry terminal in Wellington; we had to backtrack only one time.

Initially, I had reserved a 2 p.m. trip through an Internet travel site. When I went to confirm, less than a week before we were to take the ferry, Interislander couldn’t find our reservation and said it was too late to get us on the 2 p.m. departure, so we had to take the 6:15 (last) trip instead. This meant it was dark by the end of our 3-hour crossing — and Picton rolls up its sidewalks early.

We paid US$50 each for one-way passage. You can take your car on the ferry, but we did not and paid US$35 for five days’ parking at the ferry terminal in Wellington. The ferry is big, and the cafeteria has not-so-special food items of the “mashed potatoes and gravy” variety.

I recommend booking directly through the provider instead of some flashy Internet ad. Also, go earlier in the day; the scenery as you enter Marlboro Sound approaching Picton is great. Contact Interislander (Box 2085, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand; phone +64 4 498 3302, fax 498 3090,


West Chester, OH