Cruising into the Marlborough Sounds. © KiwiRail

Take in the spectacular beauty of the Cook Strait crossing

They don’t call this part of the planet ‘The Roaring Forties’ because it’s a sedate little paddle across.

The Cook Strait is renowned as an unpredictable stretch of water, but the ferries here – big, wide, easy-going craft – chart a course on a journey that’s been called one of the most beautiful rides in the world. It’s spectacular.

You ease out of Wellington Harbour, with stunning views of the CBD and those villa-dotted valleys, then make your way across the strait.

It’s only about three hours to Picton and you’ll want to be on deck as you come into the Marlborough Sounds – sedate and absolutely beautiful as inlet after inlet, and secluded beach after secluded beach, slide by.

There’s a good chance you’ll see a dolphin or two, so keep your eyes peeled on this amazing stretch of water.

On the crossing, grab a pie and a pint, watch a movie, put the kids in the playground – have a breather, geezer. These guys do this about 5000 times a year, on any of three boats, Kaiarahi, Aratere and Kaitaki, so just relax. Multiple boats mean there’ll be a crossing that suits your schedule. And because they take both people and cars, you can do the whole drive-on, drive-off thing and be road-bound at the other end before you can say, ‘My, wasn’t that easy, Myrtle.’

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