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Stewart Island Ferry - Stewart Island Experience
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Rough weather, but safe & seamless transfer

We used the Stewart Island ferry on our way from Oban back to Bluff and onward to Invercargill by... read more

Reviewed 1 May 2021
greg_wanders
,
Auckland Central, New Zealand
Perfect crossing twice

I guess we were very lucky with the weather. The only thing I think is stupid is that you have to... read more

Reviewed 27 April 2021
mariannah378
,
Katikati, New Zealand
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All reviews foveaux strait both ways sea sickness rough seas sick bags return trip free tea and coffee sea legs hour crossing rough ride efficient service before departure great trip blue cod blue penguins bluff crew
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Reviewed 1 January 2018

Overall, the trip over and back were great and it was only shortly after departure from Bluff that the ocean got a bit wavy and the boat was rocking enough to make your stomach feel uneasy. However, shortly afterwards, things leveled out and I felt good enough to go outside onto the back of the boat and enjoy the outside air.
Before you knew it, you could see the northeastern coasts of Rakiura and by the 1 hour mark, we were already pulling into the harbor at the island.

Going back to Bluff, it was way smoother and the weather also way more clear than going out, and the scenes along the coastline and other islands were beautiful against the blue skies.

If you're planning on visiting Stewart Island, I think the ferry is probably the best way to go and surely very popular as there were always a bunch of people getting on and off of both locations during my 2 trips.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank Jeff206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2017 via mobile

Most of our large group of older women opted to fly to Stewart Island but three of us more comfortable on boats decided to try the ferry and see what Foveaux Strait was really like.
It was,a fantastic to experience the meeting of three big bodies of water - the Tasman, the Pacific and the Southern Ocean. There was a very big swell and 35 knots of wind so it made for a wild ride. I was certainly out of my comfort zone so held on tight and followed the crew's instructions. The captain seemed to interpret every wave to make the boat,as stable and comfortable as possible and the two young women were outstanding in the way they cared for the motion sick passengers. I have been on some very rough Interislander trips and these Foveaux seas seemed ginormous to me but I felt very safe.
Coming back the weather was more settled and the trip very pleasant. As we got close to Bluff harbour we noticed the swirling tides and wild waters. I will never complain about the price of Bluff oysters again. These Southern seamen and women are highly skilled so give it a go. One of the most exciting and edgy experiences I have ever had.

Date of experience: December 2017
1  Thank DenzieK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2017 via mobile

Ferry was great, jump on board and away you go essentially. Doesn’t take that long to get to the island only an hour. Prefer to go by boat than plane any day. The ferries make easy work of the strait, always fun when it’s a bit choppy.

Date of experience: December 2017
Thank KylieBruce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2017

You have two choices to get to Stewart Island: Ferry or fly.. We chose the catamaran ferry. It is very casual, basic service. The ferry seats about 100-125 passengers.There is a bar on board. Luggage is loaded into watertight bins which are strapped onto the rear deck. Stories circulate about rough weather, but our crossings were relatively smooth. The ferry is a very good way to travel.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank ron028
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2017

Stewart Island Ferry Co. was great about waiting until last flight arrives to pick you up from airport, regardless what their actual time table says ... and gets you to the ferry in time. They offer shuttle service to local hotels in Invercargil as well. They have small shuttles with little accommodations for bags so book your shuttle with the ferry ASAP ...

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank DeeAv8r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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