Half Moon Bay Ferry Pier and Bus Interchange Half Moon Bay Ferry Pier and Bus Interchange

The Half Moon Bay ferry pier is an important, busy public transport hub. The new ferry pier has been built and was opened on 7 April 2017.

New facilities for bus operations will be built soon, creating an integrated bus and ferry transport centre in east Auckland.

Project status: Construction
Project zone: South-east

Project overview

Auckland Transport (AT), in partnership with the Howick Local Board and the NZ Transport Agency, constructed a new ferry pontoon and pier at the end of Ara-Tai to the southern side of the Sealink terminal at Half Moon Bay. 

New bus interchange area and bus stop facilities will be built on Ara-Tai, supporting better integration of ferry and bus services.


  • Ferry and bus services located in one area, providing easy transfers between bus and ferry.
  • Upgraded ferry-bus hub connecting residents of the south-east to Auckland CBD.
  • Passenger ferry services are separated from other marina users, improving passenger flows.
  • New ferry pontoon provides enhanced levels of comfort, weather protection, and ambience.

Cost and funding

The overall project budget was $5.9m, with funding contributions from Auckland Council, NZTA, and the Howick Local Board.


  • 2012 to 2013 - Feasibility study completed and preferred concept plan identified (first stage of longer-term plans).
  • 2014 to 2016 - Design and fabrication of marine pontoon and gangway. Resource consent process.
  • 2016 - Design and construction of main wharf.
  • April 2017 - Construction of the ferry pier complete. Pier open to ferry services.
  • May to December 2017 - Design of bus interchange area; consent process.
  • Mid-April 2018 - Construction work on bus interchange starts.

New ferry pier


The new pier is located at the end of Ara-Tai. Relocating the ferry services to the end of Ara-Tai now provides suitable safety and segregation between the existing passenger ferry services, vehicular ferry services and leisure boating activities. 

Technical advisors were commissioned to review the concept plan’s proposed location and the plan was also refined following input provided by a maritime engineering specialist and the Harbourmaster. 

Sealink operates the Waiheke Island car ferry from a site adjacent to the existing Auckland Transport/Fuller’s ferry operation.


HMB pier Mar 17 5

Image: The new ferry pier (photo credit: Reuben Somerford),

Similar in concept to the Hobsonville Point ferry terminal, the pontoon and gangway was built off-site and floated into place to align with the completion of the wharf.

The width of the wharf closely matches that of the existing Hobsonville Point wharf. The pontoon is constructed to international marine standards and follows the same principals as similar locations across Auckland Harbour. 

The floating pontoon is fixed to vertical piles which project out of the water and the pontoon floats up and down with the tide and is secured with moving runners. This allows the pontoon to absorb forces of the waves and creates a stable floating structure. 

This has the added benefit where the boats have a fixed height relative to the pontoon every time it is used and this makes the boats accessible almost all year round. The position of the pontoon is best suited to deal with the effects of tidal flows and the orientation of the canopy has been designed to mitigate wind and location conditions.

The AT project team worked closely with mana whenua on the pier design and the structure incorporates elements of local interest including items which reference mana whenua values.

The collaboration with mana whenua has also produced a number of outcomes in line with the Te Aranga Principles, including storm water management, sight-lines, connection to local landscape and features, and art integration.

Reasons for not fully enclosing the pier

  • The orientation of the ferry canopy has been designed to mitigate westerly winds and location conditions.
  • The design of the pier provides shelter from the prevailing wind and rain while maintaining the connection to the sea and the vista, without obstructing the views to the sea and Rangitoto Island.
  • If it was fully enclosed, it would create a wind tunnel effect, which would cause it to be windier and uncomfortable for passengers at the pier.
  • Additionally, in summer the semi-open design will help keep the pier cool and allow summer breezes to flow through easily.
  • Fully enclosing the facility would have also created echo with the public announcement systems.

Wharf dimensions and details

  • Wharf/walkway length: approx 96m, similar to the length of the old pier.
  • Wharf/walkway width: 5m. 
  • Pontoon length: 21m which allows it to be placed in the water at sufficient depth for the ferries at all times.
  • Pontoon width: 9.5m.
  • Pontoon height: 3m.
  • Gangway length: 24.5m.

New bus facilities

The new pier provides safer, more convenient connections between ferry services and existing bus services, and plays a pivotal role in supporting new bus services that form part of the new bus network for east Auckland.

The Half Moon Bay Ferry timetable has changed to improve reliability and to provide better connections to the new bus services. View the new timetables

  • The 734 bus service to Botany, via Highland Park and Botany Road, meeting every ferry sailing*.
  • All-day 735 service to Howick, meeting every ferry sailing*.
  • New trial bus service 714 from Bucklands Beach, meeting every ferry sailing (including last sailings on Fri and Sat nights).
  • For travel towards the City Centre by bus, passengers can catch the 712 from Bucklands Beach Rd, and transfer to trains for Waitematā Station (Britomart) at Panmure Station.

*Timed to meet every ferry except last sailings on Friday and Saturday night.

To support better integration of services between ferries and buses, AT will build a new bus turn-around area and bus stop facilities on Ara-Tai Road, within a short walking distance (less than 100m) of the new ferry pier.

Bus interchange area

The design of the bus interchange area is now being fine-tuned by AT to comply with requirements for east Auckland new bus network.

Construction is expected to start around the middle of April 2018 and will take up to four months to complete (weather dependant). The hours of work will generally be 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

The new bus interchange area and bus stop facilities will support better integration of ferry and bus services.


  • Ferry and bus services located in one area, providing easy transfers between bus and ferry.
  • Upgraded ferry-bus hub connecting residents of the south-east to Auckland CBD.
  • Other features include pick up/drop off parks, a covered walkway between bus stops and the ferry terminal and a HOP card reload machine.

In addition to the improved amenity and convenience of having bus services close to the new pier, the new bus facilities will provide for much safer pedestrian connectivity between services, eliminating the need for pedestrians to cross vehicle routes or filter through traffic.

Proposed location and layout

Half Moon Bay Ferry Pier map v3.0_9Apr18

Proposed bus shelter design

Half Moon Bay bus shelter


19 car parking spots will be permanently removed on the south side of Ara-Tai to accommodate the bus interchange, bus stops and other facilities.

During construction, the contractor may need to temporarily cordon off additional car parking spots for construction activities. AT will return the temporarily cordoned off car parking spots for public parking once construction is complete.

There will be some noise due to construction and we will endeavour to keep this to a minimum. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

There will be a ‘drop and ride’ area and dedicated mobility ‘drop and ride’ spaces at the new facility.

Cycling facilities

AT plans to install cycle racks close to the new wharf.

Changes to moorings

AT anticipates some changes to the operational marine zone. Currently, studies show that a limited number of swing moorings may be relocated and owners of the affected moorings have been notified of the changes. Auckland Council has informed leaseholders about potential relocation.

Project background

There was strong demand for a modern ferry pier at the Half Moon Bay Marina.

Passenger ferries used to operate from a wharf leased from the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club. This lease was due for renewal in 2018 and AT took the opportunity to provide a new facility with increased services and future-proofing for anticipated growth in patronage.

A number of investigations to find the best possible public transport solutions for the Half Moon Bay area have been carried out since 2003, initially by the former Manukau City Council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, and from 2010, by AT.

We considered several options and refined these into the single preferred design – the concept plan. The concept plan was adopted in 2012 following an extended period of consultation with various local stakeholders including the Howick Local Board and mana whenua. The decision to build the new pier forms part of the concept plan.


Construction of the new pier took place in phases and included:

  • Piling work for the fixed wharf.
  • Floating and securing the pre-manufactured pontoon and gangway into place.
  • Land-based construction work on the bus stop and turn-around area.

Future developments

The new ferry pier is the first stage of a wider redevelopment plan for the Half Moon Bay marina area. Stage 1 was aimed at making immediate progress on a modern and safe ferry pier within the available funding. 

A wider developed concept plan for the marina area includes reclaiming land and creating a new ferry terminal building for AT passenger services.

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport