Harbour Ferry

  • Scenic Ferry Cruises between Portobello, Port Chalmers and across Otago Harbour

Cross Otago Harbour in style and comfort with a ferry transfer on Port To Port Cruises & Wildlife Tours' boat MV Sootychaser. Whether you're visiting cafes, picnicking at Back Beach, visiting local sites or just want to go for a cruise, catching the ferry is a great way to get you where you need to go.

The MV Sootychaser offers exceptional viewing opportunities where you can enjoy seeing wildlife on your ferry. The boat can quickly and safely transport people across the harbour, and is fully equipped with a heated, enclosed cabin, modern bathroom facilities and comfortable seating inside and out.

Ferry & Water Taxi Service

Hop aboard our ferry in Portobello or Port Chalmers and get across the harbour with ease. Our boat can take you between the following locations:

  • Portobello
  • Port Chalmers
  • Carey's Bay Historic Hotel
  • Quarantine Island

The ferry between ports typically takes 10 minutes. Tickets are one way only.

Prices are as follows (each way):

  • $20 per adult and $10 per child, each way between Portobello/Quarantine Island and Back Beach, Port Chalmers. (See below, for Quarantine Island group discount.)
  • $23 per adult and $12 per child, each way between Portobello and Careys Bay.
  • Bikes $15 each
  • Dogs $6 each, each way (dogs must be kept on outer deck on a short leash. (Please let us know if a long haired breed.)
(Prices are plus up to 3% in each booking and credit card fees)
(By buying a concession ticket.)
Instead see www.dunedincycleway.co.nz

Departures From:

Back Beach (Port Chalmers)

  • 9:30am *busy periods
  • 12:55pm
  • 3:00pm
  • 3:30pm *busy periods

Portobello (Otago Peninsula)

  • 12:35pm *busy periods
  • 1:15pm
  • 3:15pm
  • 6:10pm *busy periods

Carey's Bay

  • 1:15pm *minimum numbers may be required.
  • On demand 

Quarantine Island

Passengers can depart from either Port Chalmers or Portobello and get dropped off at Quarantine Island along the way, as the island is between the two ports.

Bathrooms are available on the island. And shelter is usually available in the married Quarters and Chapel.

The two houses are private. Please do not enter them unless invited by the residents.

Please donate to the island community, if you can. By taking some coins with you to put in donation boxes to help with maintenance of tracks and facilities.

For groups of 15 people or more we can offer a discount, making it $20 per adults and $15 per child, return.

The quickest, easiest way to book is ONLINE- Click Book Now button below-

--- Ferry Crossing Booking Time Table

What can I expect on the ferry between ports?

Your journey

You will meet your friendly skipper on board our warm, comfortable boat, that seats up to 20 people. The ferry between Portobello, Quarantine Island and Port Chalmers typically takes 10 minutes. During the trip you can informative commentary through our PA system, highlighting main points of interest. On cold or winter days, most passengers will be warm and dry in the shelter of the cabin. On full capacity ferry trips, some people may experience some sea spray if they choose to stand out on the outside (partially sheltered) deck. For comfort reasons we do not fill to capacity on longer trips to allow all passengers to be warm and dry the duration, should they choose.

Interesting sights on the way

During the journey, we’ll cruise past various points on the harbour. From the boat, you’ll see Quarantine Island, the historic quarantine station, shipwrecks on the shore and any animals or birds that pop up along the way. You will get a full comentary along the way.

Some people choose to stay on the ferry without getting off at the other side, making this a Mini Tour!



Our ferry timetable differs dependent on the season. You can book a ferry transfer between ports or a sightseeing tour to Quarantine Island or Carey's Bay online. There are plenty of waterside cafes, restaurants and pubs for you to visit once arrived, as well as picnic areas, play grounds and gift shops. There are also many nearby bus stops at George Street-Port Chalmers, Carey's Bay and Portobello. See here for the full bus timetable.

A special, personal experience

Our wildlife tour operators go out of our way to ensure you have an amazing experience with us. Check out Trip Advisor and Facebook for reviews from our happy customers. We hope you'll join us soon.

Bus Timetable

See this link for bus timetable to connect with ferry.
(Please book beforehand, to ensure the ferry is running).

Forsyth Barr Stadium Event Ferry

We offer transfers between Steamer Basin, Dunedin to get you to Forsyth Barr Stadium events, and back.

Drop off point is a few minutes of flat, easy walking to the stadium.

Parking is plentiful and free near Steamer Basin so you wont get stuck in the traffic jams.

If you're looking for a great place to have some refreshments before your ferry, try Harbourside Grill Restaurant right next to the departure point.

See here to book and view upcoming ferries and departure times.

Cycle "The Loop"

There are plenty of cycling tracks dotted around both sides of Otago Harbour, including the popular "Loop" track. From Portobello to Port Chalmers its 31 kms and takes an average of around 2 hours on manual or electric bikes. Allow more time for stops. There are scenic, easy cycle tracks for people wanting to sightsee, or more mountainous tracks great for experienced riders looking for a challenge.

We can take groups of cyclists, up to 15 manual or 12 electric bikes and their riders at a time aboard our ferry. (Multiple trips available for groups.)
You can plan your cycle trip to fit in with scheduled ferry trips on the ferry timetable or contact us for special transfer times.

On board, you can relax and enjoy the harbour scenery, be treated to a mid ride, short harbour tour on route to the other side, before continuing on your cycle journey. With Port To Port Cruises & Wildlife Tours you get a ferry and mini tour all in one. 

Our boat is fitted out with custom made bike racks that can cater for electric bikes and manual bikes.

Bring your own or hire a bike from nearby locations, including Dunedin Ebike Hire.

See the full bike map here.

Ferry prices for bikes $15 per electric or manual bike (up to 25 kgs).

Dunedin locals discount available by buying a concession card.

1) Purchase the card by clicking on BOOK NOW, then select CYCLE FERRY. Select the product 'Locals Discount-5 trip Concession'.

You will be charged $140 (plus booking and credit card fees).

2) Please allow up to 48 hours and you will be sent an email that shows that we have added free credit to your voucher to make it $175 in credit.

3) When booking your ferry crossing online, use the voucher code, starting with the letter 'V' and the amount of $35 will be deducted from your vouxher card every time you use it, giving you 5 ferry trips for the price of 4.

(Only valid for adults)

CycleFerry Crossing Booking Time Table


We look forward to welcoming you aboard and ferrying you across the harbour. For any questions about our ferry, please get in touch with us. 

If you would like to know more about our other services, including fully commentated penguin tours, a Dunedin wildlife tour, or private boat hire for groups or parties, please contact us.