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KiwiRail’s Interislander ferry service is an extension of State Highway 1 and the Main Trunk Line across Cook Strait, linking road and rail networks between New Zealand’s North and South islands.

One of the world's most beautiful ferry journeys, it is also a popular tourism service.

We currently  operate a three-ship fleet – Kaiarahi,  Kaitaki  and the rail-enabled Aratere  - that cross the strait a combined total of 4000 times a year.

Kaitaki (meaning Challenger) can carry up to 1400 passengers, while Aratere (Quickpath) has capacity for 600 and Kaiarahi (Leader/Guardian) 550.

Between them they transport nearly 800,000 passengers and 250,000 cars a year.

More information on Interislander, including booking tickets, is available here.

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The Inter-island Resilience Connection project (iReX)

The KiwiRail Board was advised on 12 December 2023 by the Government that it has decided not to provide further funding for the iReX (Inter-Island Resilient Connection) project which included two new Interislander ferries and redevelopment of Picton and Wellington terminals. Unfortunately, the project cannot proceed without further Government funding. The KiwiRail Board will now oversee the wind down of the project and review plans for the Cook Strait connection. Read the KiwiRail media statement:KiwiRail statement on Project iReX   | KiwiRail