Interislander passengers navigate a ton of chickens

Interislander staff have buttered 4,500 meals of chicken so far this summer.

Supplied / Interislander

Interislander staff have buttered 4,500 meals of chicken so far this summer.

Butter chicken appears to be a favorite among Interislander riders, as new figures show more than 1,000 kg of chicken, or 4,500 servings of butter chicken sold during December and January.

Passengers also ate and drank their way through 10,094 ice cream, 28,932 hot potato, 8,925 hot breakfast, 3,942 ginger beer and 3,509 sushi packs.

But it’s not just the food that keeps you entertained, “Resident Magician” Nigel Kennedy also produced 6,200 balloon animals at that time as well.

Despite this, Interislander’s CEO Walter Rushbrook said that with New Zealand’s borders closed to foreign visitors, it is not surprising that passenger numbers in December and January were 20 per cent lower than the same period the previous year.

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This, he said, did not prevent New Zealanders from enjoying their time at their “floating restaurant”.

Rushbrook said their busiest day of summer was January 3, with 6,108 passengers traveling through the Cook Strait on the Interislander ferries.

Along with more than 6,100 passengers, the Interislander took their furious pets with them, nearly 7,000 in total.

Ricky Wilson / Staff

Along with more than 6,100 passengers, the Interislander took their furious pets with them, nearly 7,000 in total.

“It’s not just people and cars traveling with us,” he said.

“During the months of December and January, we carried nearly 7,000 dogs safely across the strait,” he said.

He said crews at Picton and Wellington stations and on the Aratere, Kaiarahi and Kaitaki ferries were doing “a great job of hosting passengers and showing our capital’s harbor, the wide strait of Cook, and the sounds of Marlborough.”

The season was also crowded, he said, at Interislander’s production kitchen, based at Kaiwharawhara in Wellington.

During summer, the kitchen is open seven days and produces between 3,500 and 5,000 food items every day.

“Large quantities of chicken are prepared with butter from scratch and it remains the best-selling meal produced in Kaiwharawhara Kitchen,” said Rushbrook.

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