The ferry crossing from North Island (or vice versa) takes approximately 3.5 hours. The ferry passes through the Cook Strait, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea....never calm.....a matter of how turbulent. Our crossing was complicated by high winds and seas BEFORE the Cook Strait....
This may not LOOK very rough to you from these pictures....trust me....(that would be the author, Kathy...the sailor, the one who snored though the hurricane force winds thought nothing of it)....it was rough....do you see ANYONE else out there on the deck, including our sailing captain TOM, who was enjoying an espresso at this point?!
This is a FERRY?? It carried, we think, approximately 20 semi trucks, fully loaded, 80-100 passenger vehicles, fully loaded and additional 150-200 foot passengers......enormous! There are ferries of similar magnitude around the world...in New York, for example....but is it a 3.5 hr crossing on confused seas???
A group of Asians next to us......having a great time!!
An arcade for the kids
One of the bars
Another bar...note the TV's
Not the best pictures, but hopefully, you get the idea that this is not an ordinary ferry....bars, restaurants, movies, sports bars.....and we paid a nominal extra fee....to get a comfortable seat....we didn't know that included full breakfast, midmorning snacks of bagels, croissants, etc. and unlimited soft, energy, sugared, coffee, tea, AND alcoholic drinks.....we will be better prepared next time...
Our first sightings of the South Island......a dismal one, at best