Decompress from metropolis life on a relaxed one-hour journey from Half Moon Bay to Waiheke Island. Photograph / 123RF

Throughout our island nation, profiting from a various armada of ferries – large and small – is a good way to discover New Zealand. There’s typically the chance to mix ferry crossings with biking or mountaineering.

North Island

Kohukohu to Rāwene, Hokianga Harbour

Making the 15-minute crossing from close to Kohukohu to Rāwene, this straightforward drive-on/drive-off ferry is an effective method to absorb New Zealand’s fourth-biggest harbour. Bookend the journey with one in all Northland’s finest pies on the Koke Cafe on the Kohukohu Resort adopted by a leisurely exploration of Rāwene’s artwork galleries and historic Nineteenth-century streetscape. Espresso and cake at Rāwene’s Boatshed Cafe is necessary earlier than persevering with south on State Freeway 12 to Opononi.

Half Moon Bay to Waiheke Island, Auckland

‘Gradual Down. You are Right here’. There is a signal that welcomes arrivals however most guests on the automotive ferries can have already decompressed from metropolis life on the relaxed one-hour journey from Half Moon Bay, or hour-plus from the town. Seize a espresso from the onboard cafe and safe a spot outdoors to observe the islands of the Hauraki Gulf roll by.

Auckland to Coromandel City, Coromandel Peninsula

Crossing the Firth of Thames, it is a two-hour journey from Auckland’s Ferry Constructing to Te Kouma on the western aspect of the Coromandel Peninsula. From there it is a fast 15-minute journey by shuttle bus on to Coromandel City. For lunch, order the cilbir (Turkish eggs) on the Wharf Street cafe earlier than experiencing the bush railway and zipline at Driving Creek on the outskirts of city. A beer at Coromandel’s historic Star & Garter pub completes an ideal time out earlier than heading again to Auckland.

Whitianga to Ferry Touchdown, Coromandel Peninsula

Soar on the five-minute passenger ferry trundling throughout Whitianga Harbour, and it is then a simple stroll of fewer than 20 minutes to absorb sensible Coromandel coastal surroundings. Views from the Shakespeare Cliff Lookout embody Mercury Bay and Cooks Seashore, the place the HMS Endeavour made anchor in 1769, and there is additionally an up-and-down detour to Lonely Bay. For a fair greater journey, it is round 16km to Hahei and Cathedral Cove. An e-bike is really helpful to sort out the rolling terrain. Feast on Mexican road meals at Cooked in Ferry Touchdown earlier than crossing again to Whitianga.

For an even bigger adventure off the ferry, walk or cycle to Hahei and Cathedral Cove. Photo / 123RF
For a fair greater journey off the ferry, stroll or cycle to Hahei and Cathedral Cove. Photograph / 123RF

Queens’ Wharf to Days Bay, Wellington

A preferred day journey from Wellington for the reason that late Nineteenth-century, Days Bay is reached by the East by West ferry travelling throughout Wellington harbour from Queens Wharf. Throughout summer time, kayaks and paddle boards will be employed from Wildfinder in Days Bay, and bikes and e-bikes are additionally accessible to trip round 2km to Eastbourne, or an additional 9km out alongside the 4WD street to the Pencarrow Heads lighthouse. A couple of ferries every day additionally cease at Matiu/Somes Island, a DoC-managed wildlife reserve with good strolling tracks. You may want round two to a few hours to discover the island.

Prepare dinner Strait

Leaving Wellington, Prepare dinner Strait ferries go by each Pencarrow Head and Matiu/Somes Island, however the perfect causes for reserving a daytime crossing characteristic later within the journey. After crossing Prepare dinner Strait and gliding previous Arapawa Island, ferries enter the Marlborough Sounds to barter a spectacular maze of forested islands, and following a ultimate sharp flip to port round rugged Dieffenbach Level, it is then a relaxed cruise alongside sheltered Grove Arm to Picton. Welcome to the South Island.

Leaving Wellington, Cook Strait ferries pass through a stunning passage of water before arriving in Picton. Photo / 123RF
Leaving Wellington, Prepare dinner Strait ferries go by way of a shocking passage of water earlier than arriving in Picton. Photograph / 123RF

South Island

Lyttelton to Quail Island, Banks Peninsula

From the bohemian harbourside vibe of Lyttelton, catch a ferry to Quail Island. The historic island was the place Antarctic explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton skilled their sled canine and ponies earlier than their ill-fated expeditions to the South Pole. Now the island recognized to Māori as Ōtamahua is a protected reserve with regenerating populations of native New Zealand birds and uncommon white-flippered little blue penguins. A well-maintained 4.5km loop strolling path showcases the perfect of Ōtamahua’s historical past and panorama.

Portobello to Port Chalmers, Otago Peninsula

Hire an e-bike from Dunedin eBike Rent ( and reap the benefits of the Port to Port Ferry to finish a journey alongside either side of Otago Harbour. Cycle trails hyperlink central Dunedin to Portobello on the harbour’s southern shore – rely on a journey of round 19km – earlier than crossing the harbour by ferry to Port Chalmers, and a trip of round 12km again alongside the harbour’s northern shore to the town.

While exploring Dunedin, cross the harbour by ferry to bonny Port Chalmers. Photo / 123RF
Whereas exploring Dunedin, cross the harbour by ferry to bonny Port Chalmers. Photograph / 123RF

Bluff to Stewart Island

Crossing Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island solely takes an hour, however it typically seems like one in all New Zealand’s nice adventures. Sturdy, low-slung catamarans escape the shelter of Bluff Harbour previous Stirling Level, and proceed throughout typically capricious seas refreshed by southern breezes seemingly blowing in from the South Pole. As soon as on Rakiura (Stewart Island), the transient hop throughout to the chook sanctuary of Ulva Island is all the time extra enjoyable.

Verify alert degree restrictions and Ministry of Well being recommendation earlier than journey.

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