Onboard activities

Set sail across Cook Strait on a family-friendly holiday adventure with Interislander. We've been a Kiwi holiday favourite since 1962, and we love entertaining families!

Watch our Interislander family as they explore our Cook Strait ferry on their summer holiday adventure:

Family Travel Video

Your family adventure starts here 

At Interislander, we've been entertaining Kiwi families for over 60 years as the national Cook Strait ferry service, and our favourite sailings are during school holidays when we can have some fun with our little shipmates.

Because we know the lifelong treasured memories we create today will bring future generations of little Kiwis aboard, we love to make each Cook Strait crossing a magical event.

Your holiday begins the moment you step aboard our Cook Strait ferries, and we want you to enjoy every moment together. 

With facilities and services made to entertain, your Interislander Cook Strait crossing will be an adventure your family will remember forever.

Here's a look at what you'll find aboard...

Kids playing games together on an Interislander ferry

Game time

Our Cook Strait ferry journey is primetime game time. And you can forget needing to play silently on a mobile. On our ferries, you can spread out and play cards and board games together and roar and cheer as much as you like! 

We welcome you to bring along your favourite games, or you can buy new games from the onboard shop.

Non-stop play time aboard Interislander


Go wild, and shake out that excess energy in our play areas.

Each Interislander ferry has a dedicated children's area, with a playground area on Aratere, a children's playroom on Kaiarahi, and a whole deck dedicated to fun, with a full soft-play climbing frame and crawling mat for babies, aboard Kaitaki.

Grab some family snacks from Hectors Cafe

Snack time

Top up your energy levels with freshly made sandwiches and paninis, pies and pastries, and coffees and cakes - there is something yum for everyone.

On Kaitaki and Aratere, you'll find Hector's Cafe conveniently next to the family lounges. On Kaiarahi, you'll find the same treats on offer in the Ocean View restaurant.

Kids playing games together on an Interislander ferry

Movie time

With three hours to play with, the Cook Strait crossing gives you plenty of time to watch a blockbuster movie. Both our Aratere and Kaitaki ferries feature mini cinemas - in fact, Kaitaki has two.

Tickets are sold in the on-board shop where you can also pick up popcorn and fizzy drinks for that authentic movie experience. 

Taking time to enjoy your family is what Interislander is all about!

Hangout time

Even our kids are super-busy these days. So why not just enjoy some time together with no schedule or deadlines or homework or devices or any other places to be!

You'll find plenty a spaces on our Interislander ferries where you can simply sit together, share conversation, and watch the world drift by. 

Show your kids the beauty of New Zealand with Interislander

Outdoor time

Discover and learn about the sights of the Sounds, with whaling stations, salmon farms, pods of dolphins, sunbathing seals, soaring albatross, communes of shags, Cook's Lookout and hundreds of years of human history.

Do your research beforehand by reading about our beautiful Cook Strait crossing and the Cook Strait wildlife you might encounter. You'll also find information panels dotted around our ships for you to read. 

Interislander fish and chips make a playful dinner

Dinner time

Keep your little sailors ship-shape with our ship-shaped kids' meals. You can choose from Fish or Chicken Nuggets, served in a ship with hot chips and a choice of drinks. Our Butter Chicken dinner is also a winner with all ages. 

You can view our Interislander food menu online now.

Let your little one sleep in our Interislander onboard nurseries


Let your littlest one sleep off the excitement in one of our onboard nurseries. 

Each of our ships has a nursery or two where you can lay your child to sleep. You'll also find a comfy chair for you to relax in and baby-changing facilities. 

Spread out in our family lounges aboard Interislander

Chillout time

Enjoy some family time in our Interislander Family Lounges. With comfy seating, tables to play on, and room to spread out, you'll find your Interislander Cook Strait crossing is a great time to relax together.

On our Aratere and Kaitaki ferries, you will find Hector's cafe close by for family snacks and that all-important barista coffee.

Take timeout to enjoy the outside on the Interislander ferry


Take timeout outside, soaking up the atmosphere together.

Drifting through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds, cruising across Cook Strait, winding around Wellington Harbour: each of these hour-long segments provides inspiring views of our beautiful country. Make sure you find time to go outside and enjoy it!

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