Quail Island Ferry Adventures

Spend a fascinating half-day exploring Quail Island by taking our Quail Island ferry. Named after the now extinct native Quail (koreke) by Captain William Mein Smith, the island was originally used as a quarantine station and as a small leprosy colony by the early European settlers.

At the same time as the lepers were confined to their one small bay, Antarctic explorers, Scott and Shackleton took advantage of the island to train their sled dogs and ponies before setting off on their ill-fated voyages. The last polar explorer to quarantine dogs on the island was American Commander Byrd, whose huskies were interned on the island between 1928 and 1930.

From 1934 till 1975 Quail Island was leased out for farming, and then converted to a recreational reserve. Today the focus is on restoring native vegetation and the island is home to many native birds including the fantail, kingfisher, silvereye and many sea birds including the rare white flippered little blue penguins.

Take your lunch and swimming costumes with you for a great family day out.


Schedule & Prices

EASTER EGG HUNT - For more information please click here. Pre-booking by phone is essential

                                                         Depart Lyttelton                        Depart Quail Island 

Please note there is no scheduled departure on Christmas Day.

Oct - Nov & Mar - Apr 10:20am 3:30pm 7days a week
Dec - Feb 10:20am & 12:20pm 12:30pm & 3:30pm 7 days a week
May - Sept No scheduled sailings. Groups - please phone for a booking
Adult $30
Child (5-15 incl) $15

From October - April, Ferries will depart Lyttelton for Quail Island 7 Days a week. Please purchase your tickets on board the vessel. No booking required. Cash Only - No EFTPOS.

Includes return ferry transfers and walking map. Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST.