Getting to North or South Island by ferry
The North and South Islands of New Zealand are separated by the Cook Strait. The Cook Strait is a rough sea, meaning it's difficult (nearly impossible) to build a bridge or tunnel here. Meaning there are two options to cross the Strait: By car or by plane. (Even though there are at the moment business cases being written for even a train ferry.
If you want to cross by car, the ferry is the only option and two options remain:
1. Cross the Cook Strait with BlueBridge.
2. Cross the Cook Strait with Interislander.
First, we start with the map to see the connection, then we move towards a complete comparison between the two.
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Interislander vs Bluebridge Ferries
Pricing – If you want to travel from North to South or the other way around as cheaply as possible: Then you must try the comparison website: Directferries.com. They use real-time data. and you can also instantly make your booking.
All ferries on the Cook Strait are old – Both the ferry companies run very old ferries, nothing compared to the new and modern ferries in Europe or the new ones connecting Australia with Tasmania. So the difference in terms of ‘which ferry is more luxurious' is very small.
Tourist focus vs truck/freight focus – Bluebridge, while comfortable, seems to be more focused on truck services whereas the Interislander is more tourist orientated. On Interisland you can also upgrade your ticket for a bit more luxury which is something we would advise.
Bigger Ships – The ships from Interislander are bigger and can handle the waves between Wellington and Picton in the Cook Strait a bit better.
Either way, the differences are small. New ships would change his guide instantly and we do hope new changes will arrive in the near future.
Traveling from North to South
There are many influencers and Youtube travelers who made short reviews about crossing the Cook Strait, we selected two good ones:
Frequently Asked Questions
The ferry companies that sail from North to South are BlueBridge and Interislander.
There is only one good answer here: Compare the prices.
Yes, you can bring your dog along.