Ferry FAQs

Questions about travelling on Northland Ferries, buying tickets or getting a Resident/Frequent User Card? We’ve got all the answers here.

Buying Tickets & travelling

Our Vehicle ferries operate on a shuttle basis so no need to book. 

Yes, our crew can accept cash payments on board. 

Yes, if you pay by EFTPOS you will get a receipt. If you pay with cash you will be given a ticket which will act as a receipt. 

Yes, you can pay by cash, EFTPOS and credit card (except Diners Club).

Hokianga: Additional passengers travelling in vehicles are $2 per person. Foot passengers are also $2 per person. 

Bay of Islands Vehicle Ferries: There’s no charge for passengers travelling in vehicles. Foot passengers are charged $2 for adults and $1 for children.

If you are ready to board the ferry at the advertised departure time and the ferry is not there, it is most likely shuttling (i.e. the operating schedule has been temporarily abandoned and the ferry is running continuously to increase departures) due to heavy demand. The ferry will return shortly.

Please check our Bay of Islands or Hokianga ferry Facebook pages for updated service information.

Yes, dogs can travel on our ferries. On our passenger ferry services dogs must be on a lead and restrained throughout the trip. On our vehicle ferry services dogs must remain inside the vehicle throughout the trip.

If you are driving a large vehicle such as a bus or truck and trailer unit, we recommend travelling within 2 hours either side of high tide. If you are unsure please contact us for assistance.

Bay of Islands Resident/Frequent User Cards

You can register online, or if you are having considerable difficulty completing the application online you can call our admin team on 0800 222 979 or email us at bayofislands@northlandferries.co.nz

Please Note: our workshop facility in Opua is closed to the public and unable to assist with renewals.

A resident card is only available to residents of postcodes 0200, 0202, 0204, 0272 or 0184; proof of address will need to be submitted online during the application process.
Frequent users are available to all users without submitting proof of address.

Our crew will scan your card and deduct the appropriate fare type from the credit on the card.

Residents who live in one of the following postcodes: 0200, 0202, 0204, 0272 and 0184, can apply for a Resident Frequent User card.

The easiest way to show us a copy of a utility bill or a rates demand. If this is not possible please speak to our team about what evidence you can provide.

Yes, Rawhiti is within the postcodes that qualify for resident fares.

A frequent user card may be a more suitable option, but please contact us and tell us about your situation.

Yes you can top up on the ferry using cash or card.

Yes but we encourage members to top up online.

You can manage your Resident/Frequent User Card credit online by logging in here and topping up or setting up an auto-top-up. Please email us if you have difficulty.

It’s easy to set an auto top-up on your account by following the below steps:

  1.  Log into our secure portal
  2. Click on ‘Top Up’
  3. Make a standard top-up payment, but check the box marked ‘Remember this card and auto top up.’ This will allow our payment provider to securely store your credit card details for future payments.
  4. Open your profile at the top right of the page.
  5. Enter your preferred auto top-up amount. This is the dollar value at which your auto top-up will be applied – for example, if you enter $20, each time your account drops below $20 an auto top-up will be made.
  6. Select ‘save auto top up details’ to confirm your settings.

Yes you can have more than one card. The second card will be set up as an affiliate card. Please email bayofislands@northlandferries.co.nz to set this up.

Adults living at the same address and children under the age of 18, or who are studying can have an affiliate card on a Resident Frequent User Account.

Yes, you can access both services with one card.

No, sorry. We operate the Hokianga ferry on behalf of the Far North District Council, which has a different payment system from the Bay of Islands ferries. 

Frequent User cards do not expire. Resident cards expire every three years.

If your card is lost or stolen, please call our admin team on 0800 222979 as soon as possible during our operating hours 8 am-4 pm, or email us at bayofislands@northlandferries.co.nz. Please note there may be a $10.00 charge for a replacement.

If the system goes down, we’ll manually record your Frequent User card number and deduct the fare from your card when service is restored.

We offer a significant discount for residents. In the past many non-residents have tried to access these discounts – a photo ensures that only those who are eligible get the discounts.

No, personal information and photographs will not be shared. Once your photo has been downloaded to your card it will be deleted.

other ferry questions

No, Northland Ferries receives no funding from either local or central Government. We pay Far North Holdings (a council-owned company) a considerable sum for the infrastructure required to operate the service.

No, sorry. The Hokianga and Bay of Islands ferries operate with different payment systems. 

Unfortunately SuperGold card discounts on transport services do not extend past Whangarei.

You can view our privacy statement and policy here.