People are fascinated and attracted by ferries of all kinds. This is especially true of cable ferries.  Tourism would thereby benefit as the ferry will be unique in New Zealand. What is a cable ferry?  It is a ferry guided by two (sometimes only one) steel cables along which it pulls itself. Originally chains were used, and some examples of chain ferries still operate, as you can see below in the British example..


Most of the time the cable lies on the bottom: only in front of the moving ferry does it reach the surface, so there is very little disturbance of other river traffic.  

The ferry trip is a welcome break on a journey.

There is only one cable ferry in New Zealand, the Clutha flow-operated ferry, but there are many in Australia, Canada the UK and the USA and also in Sweden and Finland. Tourism would benefit as the ferry will be unique in New Zealand.  Cable ferries are taken as a fact of life in many countries, as may be seen on the Internet. In Canada, conventional ferries are being converted to cable operation: see below.

The advantages of cable ferries over conventional ones are lower capital cost and much lower running costs, because a comparatively small engine is used, with about the power (and therefore the fuel consumption) of a medium sized truck.


No steering is required and radar is hardly needed. Many cable ferries overseas operate on a crew of one, the driver doubling as deckhand.

But what is a Cable Ferry?

Click here to see how a cable ferry works!

Turn up your sound

We know of at least 163 working cable ferries throughout the world, and there are probably more

See some Ferry Plans

Chile (not on the above map!)


The Difference to You


Contact Us

Ferry from Kohukohu

A Shorter Route

About the Ferry








Changing to Cable Operation