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Need Ferry Advice

Indianapolis...
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Need Ferry Advice

I'm feeling a bit panicked because I just checked ferry schedules and see that some of the times when I was planning on crossing are already sold out....so, I think I need to figure this out quickly:

Would it be too much (as in too exhausting) to try to arrive from the US in Wellington and catch the ferry across on the same day? It is "mathematically" possible given arrival and departure times, but I'm not sure it is practical.

I'd also appreciate any recommendations in terms of one ferry over the other (Bluebeard is less expensive than the InterIslander) but are there other things I should consider in choosing?

Thanks!

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Interislander
Interislander
3,325 Reviews
Wellington, New Zealand
1. Re: Need Ferry Advice

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Removed on: 10 June 2015, 22:35
Indianapolis...
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2. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Thanks -- I suspected that trying to it all on one day would be a bit much...the stress is coming from finding things already booked (we will be there late May/early June) and that is dictating some of the trip plans in ways we hadn't quite expected.

So our arrival time in Wellington is about 9 AM and there is a 2:30 ferry pm.

I thought perhaps if we crossed our first day, that might give us an extra day in the far south -- but it just might not be possible.

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Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Personally I would pick the ferry that had the time that best suited. The differences just come down to personal preference of detail.

If you are not trying to get a vehicle across you should get on most crossings outside the key peak seasons around school holidays.

Wellington is one of the more interesting cities in NZ with a lovely "buzzy" feeling. It would be a great stop over.

Wellington, NZ
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5. Re: Need Ferry Advice

There are also two ferries that you can check out - Interislander and Bluebridge.

You won't be able to get very far if you have an afternoon sailing. It will be about 6pm by the time you arrive, so you'd have to overnight in Picton or Blenheim. It might be dark, you'd be jetlagged and you'd be driving on the wrong side on unfamiliar roads. Stay in Wellington overnight, and catch the the 8:30am ferry. You'd get in by about lunchtime, so all you'd lose is the morning.

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Interislander
Interislander
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Wellington, New Zealand
Indianapolis...
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6. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions. I'm still not sure what the differences are between the two ferry lines (other than price). The schedules are almost the same.

On another thread Wanaka Lakes posted a you tube video of a rough crossing. I understand that it is hard to predict and one day be calm and the next rough, but I'm wondering how rough the crossing might be "on average" the end of May, even with all the caveats that come with averages.

I'm starting to wonder if perhaps flying into Nelson instead of Wellington might make sense given our tight schedule?

Global Travel, Dallas, do you do a round trip when you rent? We're hoping to get the car in Picton and leave it in Qtn or Dunedin to fly back to Auckland.

Thanks again for everyone's help.

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Auckland
Auckland
North Island, New Zealand
7. Re: Need Ferry Advice

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Wellington, NZ
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8. Re: Need Ferry Advice

End of May is the end of autumn. You might get some storms, you might not. The actual open ocean part of the trip is only about 1.5 hours. If it's bad, go outside, get the freshest air you could ever experience and admire the rugged Wellington coastline. The Sounds are really sheltered.

I really enjoy the drive from Picton to Nelson, especially through the very scenic Queen Charlotte Drive from Picton to Havelock. Flying is of course an option, but there are a number of trade-offs to make - cost, speed, convenience, photo opportunities. It's really up to you to decide what trade-offs you value most. Personally, I'd ferry and drive every time, and I'd only fly if on business.

Indianapolis...
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9. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Thanks for the car recommendations, we usually try to use local rather than international corporations for car rentals, but with all the pick up and drop offs perhaps Hertz is the way to go -- I'll definitely check that once I know for sure when and where we need the car.

Weta, I don't mind a little rough water, but it there are huge swells, I don't think I'm going to feel safe going outside. I'm just trying to get a sense of how typical rough vs. smooth crossings are, especially since waiting an extra day to cross means a long drive to make it up on another day.

Wellington, New...
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10. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Check out Apex car rentals. They have offices in both Wellington and Queenstwon, allow their vehicles to be taken across the ditch and in some instances will pay the ferry costs.