GMV Aranui

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Aranui in Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand
New Zealand
Name: Aranui
Owner: New Zealand Railways Department
Route: Interislander
Builder: Vickers Limited of Newcastle, England
Cost: $NZ 4 million
Yard number: 183
Launched: 26 June 1965[1]
Completed: 1965
Identification: IMO number: 6517067[2]
Fate: scrapped at Chittagong 1994
General characteristics
Tonnage: 3,281 GT; later 4,160
Length: 112.2 m (368 ft)
Beam: 18.6 m (61 ft)
Draft: 4.78 metres (15.7 ft)
Installed power: 6 × English Electric 16-cylinder 4-stroke turbocharged 16 CSVM diesel 10" x 21" design 900rpm, service 700rpm. [3]
Propulsion: Electric drive to 2 shafts
Speed: 19 knots (22 mph)
Crew: 90

GMV Aranui was a roll-on roll-off train ferry operating across the Cook Strait between 1965 and 1983.


Government Motor Vessel (GMV) Aranui was built in 1965 for the New Zealand Railways Department for the service between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. She was built by Vickers in England.[4] In February 1965, she sailed via the Panama Canal, arriving at Wellington on 28 May[4] and entered service with her sister GMV Aramoana. In 1977 she was rebuilt at Dunedin[1] to carry 950 passengers to meet the increased traffic, following the company's main competitor, the Union Company's withdrawal from the route.[5]

In 1983, Aranui and Aramoana were replaced by the significantly larger MV Arahura. Aranui was laid up at Wellington in June 1984 and sold four months later to the Najd Trading & Construction Company of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.[4] Renamed Aranui A and then Nui, she commenced service carrying Moslem pilgrims on the Red Sea.[4]

In 1986, she was renamed Najd III. Five years later, following an engine failure, she was laid up at Singapore.[1] In 1992, her owners were unable to make progress payments for a repair/refit. She arrived at a Chittagong breaker's yard on 3 November 1994.[4]


Aranui was slightly larger than Aramoana. She had a higher bridge and funnel than her older sister ship.[6]

A combined vehicle deck could carry 70 cars and 30 rail wagons.


Aranui was built to provide a railway service between Wellington and Picton, later known as the Interislander.


  1. ^ a b c "M/S Aranui". Fakta om fartyg. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Aranui - IMO 6517067". Shipspotting. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Stott, Bob (1981). The Cook Strait Ferry Story. Southern Press. p. 44. ISBN 0908616015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "NZ Rail Ferry Aranui". NZ National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "New Zealand's Cook Strait Rail Ferries". NZ National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Aranui Cook Strait ferry". New Zealand History Online. Retrieved 26 February 2012.