Other Ferries Get Attention


Auckland Transport is giving less well-known Harbour ferry services attention with an aim to start to boost services other than the popular Waiheke and Devonport services. There’s lots of potential.

It is a no-brainer that there is an untapped public transport market in services at spots dotted around the harbours but these will need regular reliable services timetabled with flexibility for those returning home and with facilities at terminals to let waiting passengers wait in comfortable without the rain in exposed areas and with secure Park and Ride facilities. I know of one person who gave up after their car was stolen from Birkenhead’s rather secluded ferry parking.

Auckland Transport this week focused on this and announced:

  • Design work is procesding for a Hobsonville ferry terminal. Construction should start in June and be finished next February
  • Tenders will be let for Birkenhead’s inner berth upgrade in late March.
  • Timetable improvements for Pine Harbour at Beachlands will mean increases in ferry sailings to and from Pine Harbour at Beachlands. Those  timetable changes are the first of two improvements for people travelling to and from Beachlands, Maraetai and Whitford.  The second is the introduction of a larger 90 seat vessel by mid-2011. Two new afternoon sailings introduced in January are expected to appeal to university students and people wanting afternoon travel to and from the CBD.

Northcote & Birkenhead have had upgrades

Changes to the existing morning timetable will mean passengers’ getting to the ferry terminal 10 minutes earlier, meaning city workers and university students can arrive at downtown Auckland by 8.30am.  The changes will benefit city workers and there will be less waiting between sailings in the mornings.

Auckland Transport Public Transport Operations Manager Mark Lambert says that the need for additional sailings and larger vessels is due to increased development in the area and the need for more transport options for outer beachside communities.

“The better ferry services at Pine Harbour are part of on-going improvements to public transport to make it a good option for getting around.”

John Hope from Pine Harbour Ferries is pleased that a new boat could be introduced so quickly into the fleet.

“We’re welcoming the extra capacity as demand for additional ferry services has been extremely high.  The ferry is a faster, safer, cheaper, more relaxing and environmentally friendly mode of transport when compared with private vehicle transportation.

“The ferry from Pine Harbour to downtown Auckland is 35 minutes, less than half the time taken by car at peak times.”

Currently Pine Harbour Ferries carry around 80,000 passengers to Auckland per year.

The timetable changes are:

  • A new 1.20pm sailing, Pine Harbour to Auckland,
  • A new 2.00pm sailing, Auckland to Pine Harbour.
  • The 8.00am Pine Harbour to Auckland sailing will now depart at 7.50am, and
  • The 8.40am Auckland to Pine Harbour sailing will now depart at 8.30am.

Until the recent flood, Brisbane’s ferry services are just one example of how popular they can be - thanks to well-run frequent services with suitable terminals dotted along the river.

Let’s hope theres a comprehensive plan on the way from Auckland Transport to find out what potential there is and not just tinker with another sailing here and there but really innovate by encouraging attractive services and well-marketed timetable options.




  1. Kurt says:

    They badly need to extend Northcote Wharf more in line with the length it was pre Harbour Bridge.

    Having the ferry dog leg into the wharf especially in choppy water takes up far too much time and diesel in the process.

  2. AKT says:

    @Kurt And its very cold and windy waiting for the ferry in winter.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Waiheke News, AKT. AKT said: Ferry services other than Waiheke & Devonport get attention. There's lots of potential http://bit.ly/haFOf5 #auckland [...]

  4. DanC says:

    Great news re the ferry’s being looked at. If only a few key area’s could have been built closer to the water like the Pakuranga Plaza.


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