Auckland Transport

Half Moon Bay ferry pier

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 to the southern side of the Sealink terminal at Half Moon Bay. 

There was strong demand to build a modern ferry pier at the Half Moon Bay Marina. Passenger ferries currently operate from a wharf leased from the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club.


  • 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 will be separated from other marina users, improving passenger flows.
  • New ferry pontoon provides enhanced levels of comfort, weather protection, and ambience.
  • The upgraded pier will be functional, safe and accessible.

Cost and funding

The overall project budget is $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. Design and construction of bus terminal (subject to funding approval).
April 2017 - Construction of the ferry pier complete. Pier open to ferry services.

Project details


The new pier is located at the end of Ara-Tai Road, south of the current ferry wharf.

The location provides direct access to the marine channel for ferry vessels. It also provides better segregation and safety between ferry services (passenger and vehicular) and other boating activities.

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


Construction is taking place in phases:

  • 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.

Construction images

March 2017: Construction of the ferry pier’s wharf structure is nearly complete.

Photo credit: Reuben Somerford,

HMB pier Mar 17 5

HMB pier entry Mar 17

HMB pier Mar 17

HMB pier Mar 17 night


Similar in concept to the new 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 location and orientation of the new pontoon, gangway, and wharf structure were reviewed by specialist technical advisors and the Harbourmaster. 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 wharf structure incorporates elements of local interest including items which reference local mana whenua values.

Wharf dimensions

  • Wharf / walkway length: approx 96m.
  • Wharf / walkway width: 5m.
  • Pontoon length: 21m.
  • Pontoon width: 9.5m.
  • Pontoon height: 3m.
  • Gangway length: 24.5m.

Bus facilities

The new pier provides safer, more convenient connections between ferry services and existing bus services, and plays a pivotal role in supporting future bus services following the launch of the new bus network for east Auckland in 2018.

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.


  • A dedicated bus bay with waiting space for 3 buses at a time.
  • New bus shelters.
  • A covered walkway providing a direct pedestrian link and continuous cover for passengers moving between ferries and buses.

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.

See a plan of the new bus facilities and parking areas (PDF 280KB)

Customers can use existing bus services 565 and 575 for connections to Botany Town Centre, Gossamer Drive, Burswood, Howick, Middlemore, Otara and Highbrook.


The proposed bus turn-around area, bus stop and shelters will segregate buses from the rest of the car park area. This is expected to reduce the current congestion.

AT will need to remove approximately 20 on-street parking spaces on Ara-Tai Road to accommodate the bus turn-around area and bus stop facilities.

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 is in the process of informing leaseholders about potential relocation.

Project background

The proposal for the Half Moon Bay ferry pier is stage 1 of a wider re-development plan for the marina area. Stage 1 is aimed at making immediate progress on a modern and safe terminal within the available funding.

A number of investigations into the most appropriate solution for issues in the Half Moon Bay marina area have been carried out.

This resulted in a concept plan adopted in 2012 following an extended period of consultation with stakeholders including the Howick Local Board, the Harbourmaster, Bucklands Beach Yacht Club, Half Moon Bay Ferry Users Group, Half Moon Bay Residents and Ratepayers Group, marine operators and residents and passenger ferry users.

Unfortunately, the estimated $35-45 million cost (excluding a multi-story car park) made it difficult to proceed with the wider concept plan.

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport