Public Anger At Queen Mary 2 Viewing Ban


Anger spilled over along Auckland’s Waterfront Drive tonight as dozens of Aucklanders and out of town visitors got frustrated at the inability to get a close up view of the Queen Mary 2, as she was about to depart.

In fact, it’s a long time since I have heard such angry words from nice respectable looking adults -and quite rightly too.

If ever there was a day when Queens Wharf or any wharf should have been open under strict security so people could go on it, today was that day.

There was nowhere along the waterfront where people could get any sort of decent close- up look at the superliner, obscured by large stacks of containers and the high gates right along the pavement.

The largest ship ever to visit New Zealand, Cunard’s magnificent Queen Mary 2, halfway through her 101-day world voyage, was in Auckland for one day only.

It berthed at Jellicoe Wharf, because, reaching 62 metres high and measuring 345m long, the 151,400-tonne ship  was too large to dock at Princes Wharf.  No other wharf could hold her, including Queens, where a $97m cruise ship facility has been advocated.

But security staff took up positions outside the intimidating red fences along the waterfront, glaring at any member of the public who looked as if they might try to just poke their head around to get a glimpse.

"Any chance of looking around the corner, sir?"

One staunch guard told a woman pushing a large pushchair who asked where she could see the ship: “No photos, no viewing, no passes, just like the movies.”
Not sure which movie he was talking about but it would have been one set in the Stalinist Soviet Union era.

"No passes, no photos, no public viewing - just like the movies"

One angry Australian couple , discovering I was a local,asked me: “What’s wrong with Auckland?” This would be the only city in the world that doesn’t welcome the world’s biggest cruise liner?!”

Quite. Auckland just doesn’t seem to understand how to do such events. If you weren’t passing the waterfront, you may never have known the liner was here. No carnival, no excitement. Just menacing security guards waving you away - or else.

The best those walking the waterfront could do was head to Ambler lookout at the foot of Parnell to get a far away view - and one nice elderly couple ranted about how there were so many containers in the way, you couldn’t get a decent look.

The closest waterfront photographers could find

Queen Mary 2 will return to Auckland on her fourth world voyage next February, with her brand new sister, the elegant Queen Elizabeth, also to visit Auckland on her maiden world voyage.

Don’t hold your breath we’ll have any friendlier welcome then.

The view the public wanted

Your  only chance of getting close will be to book a fare yourself - they start  from $5629 for an 18-night sailing from Auckland to Hong Kong.




  1. Damo says:

    Thanks for this report & pics. It’s truly embarrassing and frustrating. Not only do luxury ships have to pull up along side a grotty old shed when Queen’s wharf is being used, the people of Auckland can’t even get a decent view from that side of the city.

    God know what other shameful incidents are ahead for the Rugby world cup.

  2. max says:

    “Queen Mary 2 will return to Auckland on her fourth world voyage next February, with her brand new sister, the elegant Queen Elizabeth, also to visit Auckland on her maiden world voyage.”

    Ah, but there will be a new car park along the waterfront for them to look at soon.

    And Rodney Hide’s new waterfront agency to welcome them, and decide what happens (“move along, nothing to see here” - how prophetic for another secretive CCO).

  3. Kurt says:

    Absolutely pathetic really.

    Given this is the second visit why couldn’t Ports of Auckland preplan and make allowances for Aucklanders to see this great ship.

  4. Matt L says:

    Just proves that it is pointless making Queens Wharf into a cruise ship terminal if it can’t berth the ships that visit us already. I still think we should lengthen Captain Cook and make that the terminal so we can also have one ship on each side of the wharf at the same time.

  5. ejtma says:

    Couldn’t agree more, we went down to Tamaki Drive to watch what I would consider to be one of the most beautiful ships in the world depart, couldn’t get over the number of people who were there, and the traffic, it was worse than at 6pm.

  6. curtissd says:

    Auckland, Auckland, Auckland… a marketing spectacular missed. Bring in the tourist dollars, who’s in charge of this operation?

  7. max says:

    Ports of Auckland.

  8. Richard says:

    Isn’t the new liner called the “Queen Victoria” not Elizabeth.?

    I think there are a couple of liners larger than these two now as well.

  9. Jon C says:

    @Richard Cunard’s local rep says its the QEliz.

  10. George Darroch says:

    Compare this with Sydney.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>