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Kaitaki leaving Wellington

Welcome To Wellington

The Wellington terminal is located less than 2km north of Wellington CBD and getting there couldn't be simpler. The terminal has free short term parking, a large long term car park, a large drop-off zone and a free bus that operates from Wellington train station.

Passenger Check-In: the vital information

  • Arrive at least 45 minutes before departure
  • Go to the Departures building (Departures is clearly written on the front of the building
  • Have booking confirmation ready (having the document open on your phone will do)
  • Go to check-in counters and exchange booking confirmation for boarding passes
  • Check-in baggage during check-in
    • Carry-on allowance is one small bag and one handbag/laptop bag
  • Wait in departure lounge until boarding is announced
  • Follow terminal staff instructions to gangway to board
Getting to the Wellington Terminal...
Car & Parking Directions

Driving to Wellington terminal

Driving to Wellington terminal couldn't be easier. Out terminal is located just north of Wellington CBD on State Highway 1 (SH1). If you are coming from the north on either SH1 or SH2, then simply look for the signpost for the Interislander.

The terminal has both long-term and short-term parking available. There is also a large drop-off area.

The Short Term parking area is located directly in front of the Arrivals terminal. Visitors can park there for a maximum of 30 minutes and it is free of charge.

The Long Term parking area located straight head as you arrive, beyond the terminal. Long Term parking cost $10 per day. Parking spaces cannot be booked in advance and space is not guaranteed. Parking there is unlimited, but you must have a valid pay-and-display ticket. Two pay and display machines are located in the Long Term parking area.

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Get directions by bus or train

Getting the bus or train to Wellington terminal

Bus from Wellington Station

Getting to Wellington terminal by bus or train couldn't be simpler. All long distance buses and trains stop at Wellington Railway station. From there, we operate a free bus service to the terminal.

The bus departs 50 minutes before each sailing between the hours of 7.30am and 8.00pm and leaves from the Interislander bus stop on Platform 9.

If you are planning your travels around New Zealand, then it is worth looking at the Northern Explorer scenic train service, which travels from Auckland to Wellington. The Northern Explorer stops at many great destinations, including Hamilton (for Hobbiton), Otorohanga (for Waitomo Caves), National Park (for the Tongoriro Crossing) and Ohakune (for national cycle trails).

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Get directions by walking

Walking to the Wellington terminal

Walking to the Wellington Ferry terminal takes approximately 30-40 minutes from Wellington Railway station. However, we recommend either taking the free Interislander bus from the Railway Station or catching a taxi.

The bus departs 50 minutes before each sailing between the hours of 7.30am and 8.00pm and leaves from the Interislander bus stop on Platform 9 at the Wellington Railway Station.

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Wellington Check-In counters

Checking In

Before you can board the ship, you will need to check-in and collect your boarding passes. The Check-In Counters are located immediately inside the Terminal Building.

If you have luggage to check-in the you should use the two counters on the left hand side. If you just have hand luggage, then you can use the right-hand Ticket Counters as well (see the Baggage Allowances section below for more information on whether you need to check in your bags).

Please have your Booking Confirmation ready for the check-in attendants. We are more than happy for you to have your Booking Confirmation open on your phone for presentation if you prefer.

Buying Tickets

If you need to buy your ticket then you should use the right-hand counters

Terminal facilities
Wellington Terminal

Seating Areas

The Departures Terminal has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. So whatever the weather, you can sit and wait in comfort. You will also find a rack of tourism pamphlets and a rack of our on board magazines to flick through while you wait.


Wellington terminal has a café that sells coffees, snacks and cold drinks. There is a large seating area to relax in whilst waiting to board.

Children's Play & Picnic Area

Kids Play Area

There is a gated children's play area outside the rear of the building that is suitable for children of all ages. All children must be supervised whilst playing in the area and we have provided seating for adult supervisors and picnic benches for eating at.


There are toilets in the terminal building. They are located between the check-in counter and the café


The terminal is a smoke free environment. However, there is a smoking area outside the Departures Building


Terminal Escalator
Mobility Cart
Passenger ramp

The terminal has step-free access and accessibility toilets.

Boarding Kaitaki and Kaiarahi is via either escalator or lift.

Boarding Aratere is via a step-free gangway (ramp). We have a mobility vehicle on hand if you need assistance getting up the ramp

There are short-term parking bays for people with accessibility needs directly outside the Departures Terminal. There are also dedicated spaces in the Long Term oarking area.

If you need assistance getting in and around the terminal and getting on-board, then it is imperative that you notify us at 48 hours before travel. Failure to do so may mean we are unable to assist and therefore will be unable to let you travel. Please call the terminal on 64 (0)4 815 9628 (6.30am to 6.30pm daily) or advise us when you make your booking. We will then organise for someone to be here to help you when you arrive.

Baggage allowances

Hand Baggage

Each passenger is allowed to take on board one small bag and one handbag/laptop bag. There is a stand in the terminal where you can check if your bag is small enough. Our policy uses identical measurements to those used by airlines.

Checking-in Baggage

Suitcases, backpacks and large bags must be checked in. You should use one of the two counters on the left hand side of the Departures Terminal to check-in and drop off your luggage at the same time.

You are only allowed to take one small bag and one handbag or laptop bag onto the ship as hand luggage

Upon arrival at Picton, your luggage will be delivered onto the baggage carousel, which is located downstairs in the terminal building.

Wellington Luggage Carousel
Picton Baggage Carousel

Baggage Allowance & Charges

Each passenger is allowed two items of luggage with a maximum weight of 32kg's per item and no bigger than 200 linear centremetres (this is calculated by adding the height, width and depth together). For safety reason there are no exceptions to this rule, apart from for sporting equipment (see below).

Additional baggage will be charged at $5 per bag and is subject to availability

Oversize or overweight baggage

Interislander can supply baggage trailers (called noddies) to transport oversize or overweight baggage. The cost of this service is $50 ($30 for Nautical Miles members). However, if the baggage exceeds the size of the trailer, it can not be accepted for travel.

Sporting equipment and bicycles

Sporting equipment, such as surfboards, golf clubs, canoes and bicycles, can be carried on our vessels at an additional cost of $15 per item.

Travelling with pets

Disability assist dogs

Only Disability Assist Dogs may remain in the company of their owner. There is no charge for Disability Assist Dogs.

Travelling with dogs

Bus from Wellington Station

Kennels can be hired at $15 per kennel. The kennels are various sizes, however they are typically 800w x 800h x 600d. You can place food and water in the onboard kennels to cover the crossing. We also recommend you bring some bedding or a blanket which they are familiar with, as this will help them feel more comfortable and will help them rest.

Always allow time to exercise your dog before boarding.

You will not be able to check on your pet during the journey, so please ensure they are comfortable and have fresh water.

When checking in you are required to leave your pet outside the terminal building. A customer service representatives will then assist you with instructions on how and where to board the vessel. You will be directed to the pet storage area by our marshalling team on-board the ship.

Other animals

Cats, birds and other caged animals may checked-in as baggage. Please ensure your pet is well fed and that the cage or carrier is secure, safe and waterproof. Pets that are being transported are placed on the front of the baggage truck for the duration of the crossing.

Travel & weather tips
Wellington Terminal

Get ready for the Great Outdoors

One of the great pleasures of sailing across the Strait is sitting or standing on one of the viewing decks. Even on a bad day, the Marlborough Sounds, Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour are a picture of dramatic beauty. So make sure you are prepared with the following:

  • Sunscreen: even if its overcast, the New Zealand sun is very strong and can burn you in less than half-an-hour.
  • Jacket/jumper: the weather is often completely different either side of the Strait. It can also be breezy at sea. So remember to take a jacket or jumper with you on-board (you can't go back to your car or checked in baggage to get one).
  • Footwear: please ensure that all members of your party bring footwear.
  • Sunglasses: there's nothing more annoying than leaving your sunglasses behind because its cloudy and then suddenly needing them.
  • Camera: if you like scenery then make sure your camera is fully charged.
  • Phone: if you have friends on Facebook or Instagram who like scenery and/or pictures of you having a blast, then make sure you're phone is fully charged. Also, remember to share with #findtimeInterislander.
  • Sea sickness remedies: you might want to investigate your options for medicinal remedies prior to sailing, although we do sell tablets on-board in the shop.
The weather in the sounds can be changeable!

Worried about the weather?

Typically, strong winds and gales from the north are nothing to worry about will simply make the beautiful scenery a bit more dramatic. The water will remain calm, but our outdoor decks might be closed. However, a strong wind from the south, known as a Southerly, can cause significant swells.

If you want to get a forecast for your journey then it is best use the service instead of a weather forecast. This will tell you the expected wave heights. Upwards of three metres is considered by most non-seafarers as uncomfortable.

Interislander ships are large and feature stabilisers, so we will sail in very uncomfortable weather. However, there are times when we will delay or cancel sailings as it is unsafe to go out there. If we anticipate extreme weather, then we will get in touch and notify you. Your decision to sail on the day lies entirely with you and providing you notify us before Check-In, you are welcome to defer to a later sailing.

Safety on-board
Safety on-board Kaiarahi lifeboat

Your safety aboard

The safety of all passengers and crew is our top priority aboard our ships.

  • Wear shoes at all times: surfaces can be slippery and glass-wear can get knocked over in bad weather.
  • Smoke in designated areas only: each ship has smoking areas outside that are sheltered from the weather. If you can't find one then just ask a member of staff to direct you.
  • Listen for announcements: safety announcements will be made over the PA system, so please ensure you can hear them and pay attention to them. If you are listening to headphones then please ensure you can still hear the announcements
  • Use handrails: in rough weather the motion can be unpredictable. Please use the handrails where provided and take extra care on stairs and when entering spaces with raised door sills to avoid tripping.
  • Take extra care using external doors: the doors to outside passenger areas are very heavy and have high sills beneath them. Please be careful when using them and look for other passengers before letting the swing shut.
  • Supervise children at all times: please make sure you look after your little ones whilst on-board.
  • Combat illness: the middle of the ship is the most comfortable place to be during high swells as it moves the least.
  • First aid: if you are unwell or need first aid assistance then please contact the nearest member of staff.
  • Emergency procedures: in the unlikely event of an emergency you may be required to go to the designated assembly stations (muster station). The signal for this will be seven or more short blasts followed by one long blast on the ships’ whistle or bells. Remain calm and follow the instructions of our crew who are trained to deal with any emergency situation.

Continue Exploring

View Ship Facilities
Travelling on Kaitaki
Travelling on Aratere
Travelling on Kaiarahi
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