Getting Here

You are welcome to visit in your own boat and moor temporarily at the jetty.  However, other boats may need to tie up too, including the ferry or charter boat. Check with the Keeper. Please do not tie up on the Keeper’s boat line or to the wrecks.

Charter Boats

For events organised by the QI/KT Community, we organise the boat transfers and collect the money for the boat. We can sometimes subsidise transport, related to particular grants, for example for weed control work, biodiversity monitoring, or for those with financial hardship.

The usual departure point is from the jetty at Back Beach, Port Chalmers (see map below), but pickups are also possible from Portobello Pontoon. A one-way transfer from either direction takes about 10 minutes, and charter boat operators can do multiple trips if needed.

Below are details about different charter boat options for transfers to the island if you are organising for a group. NB: the costs may be different if you are arranging independently for your group stay or event.

East Coast Charters: The Vivienne J 

The usual cost (for QI/KT Community-arranged events) is $10 per transfer ($20pp return) for adults and children over 12 (secondary school-age) and $7.50 per transfer ($15pp return) for primary school-age children. Free for under 5’s. Minimum charges may apply. The Vivienne J can take 30 people at a time. Contact John on 027 681 4778 or

Port To Port Cruises and Wildlife Tours

Port To Port can collect and return passengers to various locations around the Harbour including Portobello, Port Chalmers, and Carey’s Bay. Surveyed for 20 people, and can conduct multiple transfers for larger groups. Minimum charges may apply in quiet periods.

The group cost (for QI/KT Community-arranged events or groups of 15 people or more) is $12.50 for adults ($25 pp return) and $10 for children (aged 5-15 years) ($20 pp return).

See website for pricing for smaller groups or individuals.

No luggage charge applies to groups larger than 15 people, but a small charge may apply for luggage when travelling individually, on the public sailings.

Port To Port runs a year round scheduled timetable as well as on demand crossings and wildlife and school holiday cruises. Full professional commentary provided, modern bathroom onboard and enclosed and heated cabin.

Contact: 020 416 24 250 or email For further information check here.

Natures Wonders

This service operates a catamaran, the Albatross Express, which is another option for large groups (26 – 50 ppl). Usual departure point is the Portobello Pontoon or fisherman’s wharf at Careys Bay.
Contact 03-478 1154 or

Wildlife Cruise to Taiaroa Heads

Both East Coast Charters and Port To Port Cruises and Wildlife Tours offer additional tours to the Heads. Contact them directly for further information.

Otago Water Taxis & Tours Ltd

Otago Water Taxis and Tours are a new transport option for 2023 to and from the Island.

Group pricing (for QT/KT Community arranged events) is $20 per person return or $15 for primary school aged children. For groups of 10 or less the price is $30 per person return or $20 for primary school-aged children. Pick up from Back Beach, Port Chalmers or Portobello. 

Our Water Taxi is surveyed for 11 passengers but can do multiple trips if there are more than 11 in your group. 

Call Rob on 0274444279, or email – or check the website for more info.

Otago Water Taxis and Tours provide fast, safe and comfortable transport on Otago Harbour. We can pick-up and drop-off anywhere with a jetty or floating pontoon.

Pickup Point One – Back Beach

Via Port Chalmers, Back Beach by the Port Chalmers Yacht Club. Please use the single parks on the road outside of the Back Beach Yacht Club carpark if coming for the day or overnight.

Pickup point Two – Near Portobello

This alternative pickup is at the floating jetty. Park there or by the hall.