The Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry is free and runs often, the crossing time time is about 40 minutes. Most of the island’s favorite activities are also free: Quiet walks on the beach, fishing and clamming, or strolling or biking around the village. The great thing about Ocracoke Island is what "isn't" there, not a lot of shops, etc. Ocracoke is made for relaxing. It beholds the most beautiful beaches on the Outer Banks and is great for shell hunting.
Hatteras-Ocracoke: On the Ferry System's most popular summer route, motorists who arrive at Hatteras before 10am or after 3pm will generally avoid the daily crowds, as will travelers who get to Ocracoke's South Dock before 2pm or after 7pm. In addition, the busiest summer days on the Hatteras Inlet route are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. People who make their day trips on Monday or Friday stand a much better chance of avoiding long waits. In summer, the ferry runs every 30 minutes beginning at 5am. Here is the ferry schedule. Scroll to 2nd page for Hatteras / Ocracoke Schedule.