Christchurch to Picton

Getting There: Christchurch to Picton

The main reason to travel to Picton at the tip of the South Island, is to catch the ferry across to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.  There are a few different transport options to travel from Christchurch to Picton.
By Rail:
  • KiwiRail run the Coastal Pacific train service every Tuesday from Christchurch to Picton. 
  • The train departs at 7.00am and arrives into Picton at 12.15pm.

By Bus:

  • Intercity operate their bus service twice a day from 182 Armagh Street.
  • The first bus departs from Christchurch at 7.00am and arrives into Picton at 12.20pm.  The second bus departs at 4.00pm arriving into Picton at 9.15pm. The journey time is around five and half hours.
  • Other nationwide operators include Nakedbus which departs from Christchurch at 7.00am and reaches Picton at 12.40pm. 
  • If arriving into Picton at midday, the next Interislander ferry from Picton departs at 1.15pm, arriving in Wellington at 4.35pm. There is also a Bluebridge ferry that leaves at 2.00pm.
  • If arriving into Picton later, there is a Interislander ferry that leaves at 10.30pm arriving into Wellington at 1.40am.

By Car:

  • It's an easy route to navigate, driving along State highway 1 all the way from Christchurch to Picton. This journey should take around fours and half hours. 
  • We recommend stopping at Kaikoura which is the whale watching capital of New Zealand. Kaikoura is around two and a half hours drive north of Christchurch.
  • As you travel into the Marlborough region, it's worth taking time to explore one of the main wine growing regions of New Zealand. Blenheim is a good base to explore those cellar doors and award-winning Sauvignon Blancs.

Car Hire:

Check our My Guide Car Hire Comparison Tool to search, compare and gain up to 70% savings. 

The Ferry Crossing: Picton to Wellington

  • Both The Interislander and Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry operate up to four times a day to Wellington
  • The 92 kilometre journey travels through the Marlborough Sounds, offering regular sightings of dolphins, whales and fur seals. 
  • The journey time is approximately three and a half hours. 
  • Interislander operate ferries from 1.05am to 10.30pm. Bluebridge operate ferries from 8.00am to 7.00pm.

More Information: