Questions re Picton-Wellington Ferry

Nov 16th, 2004, 06:23 AM
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Questions re Picton-Wellington Ferry

I am trying to finalize our Christmas/New Year's trip and realize I haven't done much planning about the ferry ride from Picton to Wellington.

We will be renting a car in Christchurch and driving up for several days in Blenheim. Then we will go on to Picton and drop off the car.

So, a couple of questions....

1. Can I make reservations for the ferry online or do I need to do it once I get to NZ?

2. We will be leaving the car in Picton and taking a taxi to our hotel in Wellington. We will have a bunch of baggage with us. Will this be a real hassle on the ferry?

3. Is there a large charge for dropping the car in Picton if we pick it up in Christchurch?

4. Any good recommendations for car rental agencies at the Christchurch airport?

5. We will be staying at the Intercontinental Hotel in Wellington. Is this hotel in a good location and quite near the cafes and shops along the waterfront.

Grcxx3 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2004, 06:40 AM
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1. You can certainly book online (, and at that time of year, it is probably a good idea to do so. It would be essential if you were driving on, but since you are not, it is not as big a deal.

2. My recollection is that there are luggage carts that you can use to get your baggage on and off.

3. Many auto rental agencies will book your South Island and North Island car as a single transaction, because most agencies do not permit you to drive their vehicles between islands. As such, there is not a large drop-off charge.

4. We have rented from Ace Tourist Rentals (, and found them to be well-priced, with good service. Also, New Zealand Rent a Car seemed to be good (

5. The Intercontinental is located on the harbor, in the business district, so it would be a good location for waterfront access. I don't know first-hand, as this hotel is way out of my price range!
ALF is offline  
Nov 16th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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The Intercontinental Hotel is where all the LOTR stars stayed for the world premiere of ROTK. Flash.

Everything in Wellington is pretty close to everything else. All within walking distance (except get a taxi to the ferry maybe cost $10NZD).

wilees is offline  
Nov 16th, 2004, 05:13 PM
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Hi there,
Most definitely get onto booking the ferry now! Online is the way to go.
The Interislander and Lynx can be booked here.

Another ferry service across the Cook Strait is

Try them out as well.

Baggage won't be a problem, you check your baggage in much like checking in for a flight.

Taxis at Wellington will cope with the baggage problem, maybe the hotel you chose will provide a shuttle service so be sure to check it out.

Wellington city is small and compact, walking is no problem.
Christa is offline  
Nov 16th, 2004, 08:26 PM
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Thanks for all the replies! I feel a little more "informed" now!

Finally - what is the difference (other than a slight time difference) between the interisland ferry and the Lynx? We will be travelling with kids - ages 11 and 13 - if that makes any difference.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2004, 08:30 PM
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The Lynx is the faster of the two ferries.
Christa is offline  
Nov 16th, 2004, 08:42 PM
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oops, I hadn't quite finished ...
The Lynx is known as the fast ferry because it gets up to quite a decent speed out in the open water of Cook Strait. The downside is that it has to cut its speed once it gets into the Sounds, this does allow for the chance to enjoy the scenery though.
It has a bit of a rocking horse surge to it, especially in the front!
There is no entertainment on offer but there is a small Childrens Area on board where the kids seem to gravitate and they always seem to find something to amuse them here.
The Interislander has more in the way of entertainment and passengers have the added bonus of being able to get out on the viewing decks. The outdoor space is VERY limited on the Lynx, pretty much non existent really.

Christa is offline  
Nov 19th, 2004, 06:01 PM
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Do not rely on either the Lynx of the Interislander arriving or departing on schedule or the trip being comfortable and hassle free. The seas are noriously rough and the crossing can be horrendous and be delayed several hours or cancelled altogether. Better to fly! We used for car hire. No drop off fees! Good luck.
Lyndie is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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The ferry isn't usually bad in summer (December). I took it last November and it was a very smooth sailing. But I would only take it if you want the experience and beautiful views. Flying is about as cheap and much faster. If you just want to get from Blenheim to Wellington, fly. It's only 25 minutes!
golfer55 is offline  
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