Crossing Cook Strait with your New Zealand Hire Car
The Cook Strait is the stretch of water between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. At its narrowest point, about 19km separates Wellington on New Zealand's North Island from Picton on the South Island.
How do I take my New Zealand Hire Car across the Cook Strait?
If you want to take your hire car across the Cook Strait, you will need to book your hire car and passengers onto a Cook Strait ferry. Here are some tips to bear in mind for your crossing:
- Check to see if your hire car company can book tickets for you on either the Interislander or Bluebridge ferry services.
- Check to see if your car hire company offers any special rates or deals for your hire car, which may include the cost of the crossing.
- Ask if you can drop off your hire car in Wellington, book / pay for passenger crossings only and pick up a hire car in Picton. If booked in advance, this can be quite easily arranged, especially with larger hire car companies with branches in both destinations.
- Sailing times are between 3 hours and 3 hours 20 minutes depending on the service booked and weather conditions.
- Book your ferry crossing well in advance as ferries can get extremely busy especially in New Zealand school holiday periods. Bookings can be made up to six months in advance. Note that there are no ferry services on Christmas Day (25 December).
- Allow if possible, extra time in your trip planning for possible cancellations due to unfavourable weather or sea conditions.
An alternative to taking your hire car across the Strait is to arrange pick up and drop off at hire car offices in Wellington and Picton. You may have to co-ordinate sailing times and hire car office times carefully to avoid waiting.
Booking your New Zealand Hire Car
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