Cruising the Cook Strait

If you’re wanting to bridge the gap between the North and South Island, making the journey by ferry offers a scenic experience you'll never forget.

The 92km ferry journey across the Cook Strait – where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean - leaves from Wellington, at the bottom of the North Island and sails to Picton, at the top of the South.

The journey takes just over three hours but there is little doubt the scenery and breathtaking landscapes encountered along the way will be etched in your memory forever.

The purpose built Interislander Ferry sails across the Cook Strait to the calm waters of the wine-lovers paradise of the Marlborough region, sailing up the Tory Chanel and into the Queen Charlotte Sound. 

Crystal clear blue waters, secluded bays, lush native forest, unique birdlife and some playful marine wildlife are just some of the highlights you can expect to encounter during your leisurely journey across one of New Zealand’s most significant bodies of water. 

Significance of the Cook Strait

While South Island Maori have inhabited this part of New Zealand for over 1000 years, using the Queen Charlotte Sound as an important area to hunt and gather, the Cook Strait was given its European name when it was discovered by British explorer Captain James Cook. Cook used Ship Cove– now the start of the world-renowned Queen Charlotte Track - as his South Pacific base.

Further settlers, who were lured by the rich and expansive coastline, later arrived to set up whaling stations. Farmers and miner followed, creating a boom in this untouched corner of the world.

Today the Marlborough region and the Queen Charlotte Sound is a playground for outdoor adventures and wine-enthusiasts. The turquoise hued waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound is filled with an abundance of marine wildlife, keep your eyes peeled for  seals, penguins, whales and dolphins during your journey.  On a clear day, a peek of the towering Southern Alps can be spotted in the distance, giving you a taste of what is to come on your South Island adventure before you’ve even arrived.

Travelling with MoaTrek

MoaTrek are committed to making your visit to New Zealand one of the most relaxing trips you’ve ever had.  With shops, WIFI, and a chance to sample some local wine and cuisine, the Interislander Ferry is a fantastic way to reach the South Island. 

Crossing the Cook Strait is part of many of MoaTrek’s tours and we can’t wait to share this exciting journey with you. For more information on MoaTrek’s tours visit our website or contact us directly here.