Cheap Car Rental Picton Ferry Terminal

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  • Huge choice of brands
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  • Free cancellation on most cars
  • Free amendments on most cars
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* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.

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The best deals on up to 11 car rental brands at Picton ferry terminal

Save money on your car rental like thousands of other smart travellers

Just wanted to say thank you. We had a fantastic NZ trip and saved heaps

Customer review - Cheryl Rhodes

Cheryl Rhodes

Great to deal with. We got a really good price on a Yaris that was much less than anywhere else. No complaints!

Customer review - Stu Clements

Stu Smith

This made getting around New Zealand so much easier than when I was last here.

Customer review - Jim Cook

Jim Cook

Car Hire Options at picton

There's a wide range of car hire companies available to choose from in Picton. Big-name international companies like Avis and Hertz are trusted and familiar, but there are also independent local brands, many offering very competitive prices. The good news is that you'll find them all here.

We bring together all the leading rental vehicle brands, as well as many of the independents - meaning you don't have waste time trawling the Internet for options or pay exorbitant walk-up prices. Book now and save!

For great deals on car hire in Picton it’s hard to beat MatesRates Car Hire. We have the sharpest prices around. And to maximise your savings it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods. Just put your travel details into the Quote box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.

Renting a Car at the Picton Ferry Terminal

Separating New Zealand's South Island and North Island is the famous Cook Strait. The options for crossing from Wellington are either fly to Blenheim or take one of the Cook Strait ferries from Wellington to Picton.

Most people choose to take the ferry because Cook Strait is one of the most spectacular ferry crossings in the world. The journey through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds is breath-taking.

If you plan taking a ferry across Cook Strait you'll need to book with one of two ferry companies. These are the Interislander and Bluebridge.

Many car rental firms allow you to take your car from Wellington to Picton on the ferry. This is really convenient - on arrival in Picton you simply drive off the ferry and head on your way.

But taking your rental car on the ferry can get quite expensive. The cost depends on the size of your vehicle. A one-way trip for a car, including the driver, is between $170 - $250. Campervans can cost up to $400. Then there's the cost of tickets for passengers. 

There's an alternative option which will save you money. And that's not to take your rental car on the ferry. Instead, drop off your North Island rental car in Wellington and then collect a new rental car when you land in Picton at the ferry terminal. 

Obviously, this is not as convenient because it involves unpacking and repacking your car - something that is a hassle if you're travelling with lots of gear or kids.

If this option does suit you then we have up to 11 different car rental brands you can rent from the Picton Ferry Terminal. But be aware that these book out months in advance, so early bookings are essential.

Picton Car Rental Brands

Below are some of the car rental brands in Picton you can book here:

  • Omega Rentals
  • Europcar
  • Ace Rentals
  • Keddy
  • automobile
  • automobile
  • automobile
  • automobile
  • automobile
    Apollo Rentals
  • automobile
  • automobile

Average economy rental price

  • Jan $62
  • Feb $69
  • Mar $58
  • Apr $51
  • May $46
  • Jun $46
  • Jul $44
  • Aug $43
  • Sep $43
  • Oct $49
  • Nov $49
  • Dec $55

Average rental duration

  • Jan 6 days
  • Feb 6 days
  • Mar 6 days
  • Apr 6 days
  • May 5 days
  • Jun 5 days
  • Jul 5 days
  • Aug 5 days
  • Sep 5 days
  • Oct 6 days
  • Nov 5 days
  • Dec 5 days

Great value - thanks. Definitely will recommend you to my friends.

Customer review - Phil Dwyer

Phil Dwyer

I found your site when my mother needed a rental car for her visit. Easy and quick to use, and she was very happy.

Customer review - Paula Connor

Paula Connor

Great for backpackers like us on a tight budget. Got to do more of the amazing things NZ offers with the money we saved. Awesome!

Customer review - Tim Brown

Tim Brown

Maximum Choice. Best Deals.

  • Depending on the time of the year, you'll find here up to 11 different car rental brands available at the Picton Ferry Terminal.
  • check
    Instantly compare the best deals from all the car rental companies in one place. No need to waste your time checking out multiple websites.
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    Easily filter results by price, brand, or type of vehicle.
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    And if you're finding it difficult to decide, check out the customer ratings to hear from those who've been there and done that.

Attractions around picton

A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Picton and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions around Picton you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the official Destination Marlborough website....

Queen Charlotte Track

Photo: Mike Heydon

Stretching for 70 km from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, the iconic Queen Charlotte Track is nature at its best. If you love the great outdoors, this glorious track should definitely be part of your Blenheim itinerary.

Encounter fantails, weka, and tui birdlife in the lush rainforest and native bush. You’ll walk along hills and valleys through rimu and beech, nikau palms and manuka, and every so often, the views open up to sparkling coves and beaches.

The Queen Charlotte Track takes three to five days to complete. You can camp at rustic campsites (courtesy of the Department of Conservation), go the B&B/homestay route, or luxuriate in the comfort of resorts along the way. Your luggage can even be transported from point to point via boat on your behalf so you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

There are a number of entry and exit points to the Queen Charlotte Track - many at inlets accessible by boat, adding an interesting leg to your journey - so you can hike a small section to fit your schedule if the full walk doesn’t appeal. The terrain is easy to walk and you can take your time to admire the views and scenery along the Queen Charlotte Track.

The Queen Charlotte Track also lends itself perfectly to riding, and in the warmer months hikers find themselves sharing the trail with eager mountain bikers. It is one of New Zealand’s designated Great Rides, and it’s also one of the longest stretches of continuous single track in the nation.

Wondering how to get to the Queen Charlotte Track? Many companies offer sea transport to various points along the trail. Driving to Anakiwa is just half an hour from Picton.

Sailing The Sounds

Photo: Ivor Wilkins

Combined, the Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds make up the Marlborough Sounds. All up, its extensive waterways comprise a full fifth of New Zealand’s total coastline!

Charter a sail boat, book a day or overnight cruise … whatever option you pick, seeing the sounds from the water is an unbeatable experience. You’ll pass amazing coastal landscapes and share the ocean with all sorts of birds and sea creatures. There’s an abundance of marine wildlife to be found around the Marlborough Sounds, from dolphins to fur seals, and even orca occasionally. There are also countless species of seabirds to be seen.

Another popular tourist option aboard local vessels is a cruise that includes a stop at Ship Cove. Originally named by Captain James Cook, Ship Cove is where his ship - The Endeavour - anchored to stock up on supplies. Cook favoured this spot so much he returned a further handful of times. A monument has been erected here in his honour, and the area is recognised due to its historic significance as a place where two cultures met during early times - settlers and local indigenous people.

In the outer parts of Queen Charlotte Sound lie four untouched islands - home to endangered wildlife like the brown kiwi and the green gecko. Many eco tours will take you to these sanctuary reserves to see the local conservation efforts in action.

The fishing is rich here if you wanted to try your luck at catching snapper. Or visit a mussel farm via a Greenshell Mussel Cruise, including sampling the local delicacy first hand (this is the mussel capital of the world, after all).

Another unique sightseeing option in the Marlborough Sounds is the internationally famous Pelorus Mail Run. What’s that all about? On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays tourists can join this boat run, which delivers mail and supplies to rural homesteads dotted around the bays and inlets. It’s a little slice of history that lives on today.

The Marlborough Sounds enjoy a surprisingly sheltered outlook, which means cruise tours are rarely affected by adverse weather. Most cruises leave from Picton, with further departure options from bases at Havelock or Waikawa (just a short drive away in your rental car).

National Whale Centre

A relatively new addition to the Picton tourism scene, the National Whale Centre is an educational hub dedicated to all things whales. Thoroughly modern, it’s not a traditional bricks and mortar museum but a technology focused information hub, complete with iPads, focused on these majestic creatures of the sea and designed to engage younger visitors in particular with marine biodiversity issues.

The National Whale Centre features books, static exhibits and interactive displays - a step back into the past and an insight into the natural, cultural and social impact of the whaling industry within the Marlborough Sounds.

The Marlborough Sounds in particular were central to early New Zealand whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tory Channel - one of the valleys in the Marlborough Sounds - was the heart of the country’s most intensive whaling operations - that is, until commercial whaling came to a halt as late as 1964. In fact, the whaling station near Tory Channel was recently rejuvenated by the Department of Conservation, in conjunction with several former whalers.

Can’t get enough? You’re in luck - the centre also has a selection of cetacean themed merchandise for sale. There are books written by local experts available, as well as posters, knick knacks, crafts, and t-shirts (plus you can pick up the latest copies of New Zealand Geographic magazine).

Perhaps best of all, it’s entirely free to visit the National Whale Centre, which you’ll find at London Quay in central Picton. In winter, the centre’s opening hours are reduced to Wednesday to Sunday, afternoons only.

Victoria Domain

Photo: Richard Briggs

Located between Picton and Waikawa, Victoria Domain enjoys an elevated outlook, overlooking Picton’s harbour and picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound. Its forested grounds cover 200 hectares and offer lots of recreational opportunities. Pick a spot (any spot) for a picnic, go stargazing at night from the lookout, stroll through the reserve or make use of the network of biking tracks.

If you’re taking on Victoria Domain on foot, you’ll be richly rewarded by stunning scenic views of sparkling sea and rolling hills. The Harbour View Track will take about an hour, and you’ll no doubt want to pause for photo stops at every opportunity. The Marina to Marina trail is another track with an easy grade, running between Picton and Waikawa Marina. Conveniently, the trail begins at Picton Marina, close to the ferry terminal and our rental car depot. Climb to the top of a ridge and watch the ferries come and go. Or spend a bit more time ambling along the Snout Track - perfect for whiling away an afternoon. Weaving through native bush, it ends at the headland, with panoramic views over Queen Charlotte Sound.

Happen to have brought your own set of two wheels? You can ride on many of the same tracks, sharing them with walkers and joggers. There are several mountain biking trails along the bottom of Victoria Domain as well as within it. Generally they are suitable for all ages and riding skill levels, so the whole family can enjoy it regardless of experience.