Bay of Islands Ferries

The new Fullers GreatSights Ferries electronic ticketing system allows you to pay by credit card, eftpos or cash, and prepay for tickets online or in our retail spaces.

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Download our flyer to read more details about the recent changes and check out the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Feel free to contact us on with any queries.


How do I apply for a Frequent User Card?
You can register online and pick up your card at our Paihia or Russell offices, or alternatively just head into our offices and complete the whole process there.  

What is the difference between a Frequent User Card and a Resident Frequent User Card?
When setting up your account you will be asked to choose which type of card you are applying for. The Resident Frequent User Card is only available to residents of postcodes 0200, 0202, 0204, 0272 or 0184, and proof of residence (see below) is required at the time you pick up your card.

How will the Frequent User Cards work on board?
The clippy will scan your card and deduct the appropriate fare type from the credit on the card.

If I buy a ticket online, how will the crew know I've paid?
When completing an online purchase you will get a PDF ticket to print out. This ticket will include a unique bar code which will be scanned on board the ferry.

Do I need to book a specific time/departure?
No, the ferry operates on a shuttle basis so there is no need to book.

Can I still pay with cash on board?
Yes, the crew will be happy to accept cash. Please ensure you get a ticket from the crew.

Will I get a receipt?
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. If you are using the online portal you can print your receipt from the portal.

What if I want to buy online, but don't have access to a printer?
If you don’t have a printer please buy your ticket on board or at the office.

Can I pay with EFTPOS or Visa?
Yes, the system allows you to pay by cash, EFTPOS and credit card (except Diners Club).

Can I pre-purchase tickets?
Yes, you will be able to pre-purchase tickets online. Tickets are valid for 6 months after date of purchase.

Who is eligible for Resident Fares?
To access resident fares you will need to live in one of the following postcodes: 0200, 0202, 0204, 0272 and 0184, and apply for a resident frequent user card.

What do I need to prove residency?
The easiest way to prove residence is a copy of a utility bill or a rates demand. If this is not possible please speak to our retail team about what evidence that you can give of your residency.

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

What if I don't live within the above postcodes, but I work in Russell?
We understand some people will be impacted by these changes. If you believe you are one of these people please e-mail us at and tell us about your situation.

Can I use my Frequent User Card on the passenger and vehicle ferries?
Yes, the system is designed so you can access both services with one card.

What if I lose my Frequent User Card?
If your card is lost or stolen you should report this to us as quickly as possible (our office hours are 8am-5pm). We will place a stop on the card so it can't be used. At your convenience you can then obtain a new card at one of our offices. We'll transfer any remaining credit to your new card.

Do Frequent User Cards expire?
Yes, the cards will need to be reissued every three years.

Can I top up my Frequent User Card on the ferry?
Yes, you can top up on the ferry, however there will be a small fee to cover credit card fees. If you top up online or in one of our offices there will be no fees.

Who is eligible for an affiliate card on a Resident Frequent User account?
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.

What happens if the system doesn't work on the ferries?
If the system goes down we have a manual backup. We will record your Frequent User card number and debit your account when service is restored.

Why do we need a photo on a Resident Frequent User Card?
We offer a significant discount for residents. In the past many non-residents have tried to access these discounts.  A photo will ensure that only those who are eligible get the discounts.

Will passengers have to pay?
Passengers travelling in vehicles will no longer be charged. Foot passengers will be charged the same as in the past.

Why are the fares going up?
The fare changes are designed so that the average passenger will pay no more than they have in the past. They have been adjusted to compensate for the removal of passenger fares only.

Can I leave my Frequent User Card on board the ferry?
No, you will need to keep your card with you.

Can I have more than one Frequent User or Resident Frequent User card?
Yes, you can have more than one card. The second card will be set up as an affiliate card on your profile. This way you can keep one in the car and one in your wallet. The second card will cost $10 to set up, but this fee will be waived during the initial set-up period.

Can I set up affiliate cards online?
No, you will need to visit us in one of our retail offices.

Will the clippies have time to process all the transactions?
This is the reason for simplifying the fare structure and removing passenger fares. We will also be encouraging people to pre-purchase tickets online or at the Opua store.

Will clippies be able to cope with the additional work processing EFTPOS and credit cards?
We are confident that this system will simplify things for our clippies.

Can I set an auto top-up on my Frequent User Card?
Yes, similar to the Northern Gateway Toll accounts you can set an auto top-up so that once your credit gets below your pre-determined limit your credit card will automatically be charged.

Will my personal information or photo be shared with anyone?
No personal information will be shared. Once a photo has been downloaded to your card the file will be deleted.

Does the vehicle ferry from Opua to Okiato receive central or local government funding?
No, Fullers GreatSights receives no funding from either local or central Government. We in fact pay Far North Holdings (a council owned company) a considerable sum for the infrastructure required to operate the service.

Why do you not have Super Gold fares on the ferry??
The entire budget ($40k) for Super Gold services in Northland was allocated to the Whangarei Bus services. There has been a moratorium on new services joining the Super Gold scheme until the 1st of September this year. Now the moratorium has been lifted we are working with the Northland Regional Council again to see if we can be included in the scheme in the future.

What is your privacy policy?
You can view our privacy statement and policy here.