Auckland transport have released the timetable for the new Hobsonville and Beach Haven ferry services that start next week. As we found out a month ago, there are only two services in the morning and three in the afternoon. The biggest issue is the cost of the services, adult passengers will pay a cash fare of $12 from Hobsonville and $8 from Beach haven with HOP fares a little less at $9.20 and $6.40 respectively. One thing I do like is that the buses that will connect to the Hobsonville ferry wharf appear to have been timed to meet the boats however with passengers having to pay an additional bus fare it isn’t likely to be popular.

Hobsonville Ferry Timetable 1

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  1. the timetable seems very strange. Arriving Auckland 7.25 and 8.30! And leaving 5pm and 6.10pm. Surely Arriving 8.20am and leaving 5.10pm would be somewhat more useful, that seems to match the other ferry times.

    1. A combo of a unusual timetable and expensive cost is not a good combo. Add in a limited catchment of Hobsonville (at the moment there aren’t many houses there) and this wont be a success.

      Question is will it last long enough for the timetable to be expanded?

  2. Why is beach haven listed as an “if required” stop, I thought the whole point of spending over a million dollars in wharf upgrades was to give them a reliable service.

    1. It is an if stop as it starts at Beachhaven, goes to Hobsonville, then will go back to Beachhaven on if required by a Hobsonville passenger, otherwise it will go direct to the city. Likewise in reverse.

  3. That’s very expensive. Who’d want to commute at that price? It’d probably be much cheaper to carpool to the city and pay for parking, or carpool to near the city and then take a one-stage bus ride.

    1. There is a definite time advantage from Hobsonville, I doubt the consistent 30 min trip could be matched by car at peak times. So it’s a case of spending money to buy time.

      Plus if you’re not driving you can be productive with or otherwise enjoy your time on the ferry, time behind the wheel is lost to anything much more than listening to the radio. You could be slightly more productive and relaxed as a carpool passenger, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to work on a laptop on the ferry than in the back seat of a Toyota.

      1. Besides how many people in Auckland actually bother to carpool, it basically removes all the supposed advantages of driving. If you’re willing to carpool then you’d probably just save yourself the hassle of constantly arranging times with the driver and simply take the bus which provides you with all the benefits and much more flexibility.

        1. For sure, all who wax lyrical about carpooling probably have never tried it. You need to get a bunch of people who live near each other to coordinate trips to the same destination, leaving home at the same time and returning back at the same time too. I don’t know about others but the time I leave work can vary by two or three hours day to day.

          I would expect that all those who can carpool (like people who live together and work 9-5 jobs in the same part of town) already do.

        2. I agree, I see carpooling as having all the disadvantages of public transport (worse – only 1 service per day!) and all the disadvantages of car travel.

  4. Reading the timetable above it appears the ferry will leave town, go to Beach haven, then hobsonvile, back to beach haven if required then back to town.

  5. Why are you so opposed to ferries Matt? I think this is a great initiative, and personally saving a few dollars on a bus is neither here nor there for me, money is meant to make life easier and if that means I get to have a pleasent ferry ride on which I can work or catch up on personal emails then it’s money well spent.

        1. If they are paying that much for a house, my guess is most of their income is going straight to the bank!

    1. I’m not opposed to ferries and in some places like Devonport they make complete sense but I don’t buy into the idea that just because we have a harbour that ferries are good. This is a classic case of political will trumping good sense e.g. what happens if you need to leave work in the middle of the day when the ferry isn’t running? In the case of Beach Haven it is both quicker and cheaper using the bus so other than comfort factor of the ferry, why would you choose it?

      1. Perhaps that’s a bit harsh Matt, your second point answers your first ie you catch the bus if you want to travel outside of ferry times. And in general we hold that more choice is a good thing, of course within reason.

      2. If having the ferry encourages a few more people to use PT then that’s a good thing. If the subsidy is not over the top and the service is a success then that’s great. There were a lot of people who thought the Northern Busway was a bad idea as well and we have seen the success of that. The level of investment is not great in the greater scheme and I hope it is used by an ever increasing number of commuters. With the coming changes to the bus network it is not inconceivable that a commuter may use the bus to get to work and the ferry home or vice versa.

  6. Anybody no the costs for return Beach Haven – Hobsonville?

    If it survives this could be quite interesting when the Hobsonville development is complete.

    1. Arguably it is $4 (or more) being the difference between the two prices. Otherwise, you would catch the ferry from Hobsonville to Beachhaven, then jump straight back on again for Beachhaven to City.

      $4 seems cheap compared to the alternatives though even though it is just a few minutes across the water.

      1. Yeh, on a good day by car could be over 10 minutes. At the moment nothing to see, but when the shops are done, hopefully with some eating/drinking establishments, it could be quite good.

        Hopefully by then weekend trips and more frequency could be available.

    2. I’m happy to see that the ferry will go back to Beach Haven if requested from Hobsonville as this is what I was hoping for when I heard about the ferry service, as I live out West and work in Beach Haven. I would really like to know how much the fare will be so I can see whether it will be worthwhile for me. I’m happy if it is $4.

  7. The fares and journey times are same as the West Harbour Ferry, the terminal of which is 5km west. This manages to run 14 trips each way a day.
    Unfortunately this is different operator, otherwise could run a loop service a few times a day more cheaply than otherwise as patronage builds up over time.
    Initially I think the Hobsonville service will cannabalise the West Harbour one a little.
    Also very important I think to have a clear alternate bus route for those who miss the ferry.

    1. To be fair, it is only a 12k trip by boat. The trip it is replacing might be 24k. You’d be a mug to pay $12 when it only costs $9.20 with Hop, And boats are expensive to run — it’d be interesting to find out what the subsidy for this service is.

  8. I have anticipated this service for ages and am personally disappointed that it is not running on the hour right through the day until 7pm out and 8pm back from the city. I feel if it did that it would gain the patronage it requires to be viable. It may run at a loss for 6 months, but no business makes money in the first 6 – 12 months of operation. I feel the fares are ok, and that a monthly concession ticket with perhaps one return ride for free would be more than acceptable. Come on and do it right, give us a full service that runs throughout the day..I’ll support you and know many who will too. It is not all about money, but lifestyle too, of course not everyone has the money, but you pay for the gas, and park in the city for $16 a day and I’ll be surprised. Bus fares are not cheap either.

    1. Lucy, to be perfectly frank the only reason this ferry exists is because the operator can use the vessel during the day for tourism purposes, or rather the operator is a tour boat operator who runs a few commuter runs during each peak on weekdays. That’s a cost effective thing to do.

      If you want a full service, they would have to buy another ferry boat and employ several additional staff on salaries, in addition to paying the fuel and maintenance costs. It already going to be heavily subsidized by AT, demanding three times as many return services every day of the week would be a massive costs for a relatively tiny gain.

      This will have to follow a natural progression, first as a basic commuter timetable, then additional weekday and weekend sailings, then as/if patronage really builds there will be investment in a new vessel and crew training to provide a full hourly timetable. Otherwise it’s just too much money up front and for years later, mostly to move empty seats around… money that is much better used on other public transport services that are overcrowded already.

      1. Actually Nick, that’s not correct. I asked the ferry operator the other day and he said that they moor the ferry all day in between the morning / evening trips/

  9. I should have added it might be nice to run a couple of services on Saturdays and Sundays too and have a family price for say 2 adults and up to 4 children. They could run say 10am and 12 noon out and return at say 2pm and 4pm. It would encourage people to use the viaduct and the newly refurbished Tank farm area for picnics etc. Just a thought. Great lifestyle addition for people and make use of this wonderful area.

  10. It seems like quite a bit, but the lack of integrated fares is what bites properly. If you were able to HOP on and count the bus as a small extra, the whole enterprise would be fine. Even a paper ticket (50c?) that acknowledged that reality would be worthwhile.

  11. I am really excited to use the ferry even though the cost is a little higher than the bus, it will be a quicker ride to and from the city, the only problem is that the timetable back to Beach Haven is either too early or too late. It would be great if there was a ferry at around 5.30pm as I think many people finish work at 5pm and the later run is perhaps just a little too late. It would also be great if there was a ferry that arrived Downtown around 8am. We have all been waiting for this service for such a long time and it is really exciting that it has finally arrived, I’m sure within a short space of time our suggestions will be considered as best as possible and things will run a bit smoother.

    1. Is it really quicker. Timetable suggests it is about even when given the Ferry is effectively a direct service (only one other stop) isn’t a great endorsement.

      And with the Buses, the timetable is every 10m (?) during peak time.

      If people are prepared to spend a little more money, I wonder if someone should put on a Luxury Coach from Beachhaven (instead of a commuter bus) and run a direct service into Britomart. Would be quicker than the normal bus and the Ferry. With the higher ticket price and the subsidy from AT, it would probably be financially viable as the Coaches would be sitting idle otherwise (much like the 360 ferrys).

      1. that must be the slowest ferry in the world. I can’t believe people doesn’t complain more about that.
        The Pine Harbour ferry costs a bit less (11.20) but takes close to the same time to go much further.
        The Clipper 3 from Pine harbour has a true average speed of a respectable 24.5 knots (45km/h).
        That would make the trip from hobsonville in approx 15 mins. Try that in a bus.
        Unless the discovery has to respect the 12knots speed limit of the inner harbour. I think other ferries are exempt.

    1. In theory, Gold card should only be offpeak so this should have no impact (ie. they get it free as the seat would be empty anyway). Aren’t they deciding soon who Gold card will apply gonig forward as the current round ends at march???

  12. I am a Beach Haven resident and share most of the concerns above (cost, travel time, time table). The Beach Haven ferry service is not viable for me and I will continue to commute as previously – car/scooter to Birkenhead Wharf and ferry from there. Takes me less than 30 min all up and costs ca. $5 per trip (incl. petrol). I have emailed AT a few weeks ago and got a rather ‘generic’ response. Judging by the number of occupied car parks at the Beach Haven wharf last Friday, however, supports my view.

  13. Can you board the ferry at Beach Haven wharf on its way back from Hobsonville to town? I’m guessing not, but wanted to check as its the only way I could get there on time to catch it with my son.

    1. I think it only calls back at beach haven if someone from hobsonville requests it. Otherwise it will go direct from hobsonville to the city.

  14. I am amazed that after the opening and during Feb March that they couldnt have had a Saturday to and from for the summer you could have gone over to the viaduct for dinner if you could get a ferry home at about 8.30pm. Start as you mean to go on not on a budget from the start if you want people to get the ferry you do need to have a weekend service and longer than communter hours. We had the Chinese New Year in Albert park but you cant get a ferry as they dont run in the evening or the weekend bit of a joke to just provide a commuter situation we could pop over to the new art gallery anything but not on weekends.

  15. I’ve been catching this service from Beach Haven most days for almost a year. In that time the patronage has slowly increased from roughly 8 to 30+. Not massive numbers but can only continue upwards as the development in Hobsonville progresses. The bus is indeed cheaper, quicker and more regular but there seems to be quite a few people prepared to pay a premium for the relative luxury of a ferry commute. Ordering a coffee in the morning or a beer in the evening, catching up on emails or chatting to the other commuters – going under the bridge is a lot nicer than going over it.

    Most on the ferry would like the times tweaked a little, that 6:10pm downtown departure is indeed a little too late. I personally would like a 5:30pm sailing and then a 6:40pm (or later) last one for drinks/dinner in town. The ferry captain has said AT are aware the timetable is not ideal but changing the timetables of the linking buses is a complication. More services in the evenings and on the weekends (Hobsonville Farmers Market!) are common requests but probably not financially viable until numbers pick up considerably. Possibly with a smaller, more economical boat? Pine Harbour punters are keen for a weekend service too:

    To answer a few questions:

    @Patrick D $2.40 on Hop card each way between Beach Haven & Hobsonville
    @Nick R As far as i’m aware this ferry is still not used for tourism during the week, it rests at Hobsonville wharf in the middle of the day. I’ve seen it going into Auckland for tourism duties on the weekends over summer though

    1. Thanks for the update. Is the increase from 8 -> 30 from Beachhaven ( that sounds too small to be the combined). If combined, how many from beachhaven?

      Does anyone do the hop from beachhaven to hobsonville or v.v.?

      Has there been any hairy sailings or is th boat big enough. The wharfs are more sheltered than Northcote point so maybe not an issue?

  16. That number is a combined average for Hobsonville & Beach Haven. Beach Haven would be half (if not slightly more than half in the evenings) but expect that ratio to change as Hobsonville houses go up. The last few weeks have been mid 20s but this week with everyone back it has been over 40 in the mornings. Enclosed seating capacity on the boat is 49. The evenings are quieter probably because the 5pm and 6:10pm sailings are too early or too late for most who instead just catch the bus.

    Very few do the short hop between Beach Haven to Hobsonville and vice versa but there’s 1 or 2 people that come out from the CBD to Beach Haven every morning (who knows where they go from there!)

    Only once has a sailing been cancelled and that was for a forecast massive storm that never arrived – captain probably just wanted a sleep in 😉 Had a few strong south westerlies but the chop doesn’t get too big when it’s just coming from Pt Chev and the big catamaran can handle it easy. Seen the West Harbour mono hull bouncing around quite a bit though on a number of days. Envy them for the faster boat but we get the smoother ride plus full bar service.

  17. Shame no weekend ferry trips over summer – although a temp service for the Market! It would have been excellent to avoid parking in the inner city (viaduct and Wynyard quarter) and promote more use of the ferry service on weekends. We have family on the other side who would love to ferry over on weekends than commute by car. How awesome for this weekend to boat to the city, hike to Lantern Festival then boat home watching the fireworks. I guess there must be a reason for the lack of services but I don’t think its because there aren’t punters wanting to use it.

  18. As a student living in Beach Haven, commuting to Lincoln Rd for Study with my bike, I’d like to see more ferries from Beach Haven to Hobsonville and back.

  19. I work in the city and live in Hobsonville. I would love to see weekend ferries so I could bike one way and ferry the other on weekends.

  20. So time the naysayers had a look at what is happening with this. This service is growing in patronage consistently with roughly equal numbers from Beach Haven and Hobsonville. The timetable is still a bit thin and everyone is wanting a Friday night and weekend service. However you can see that over time this will come. No question about the demand for extended hours on a Friday. This will generate city bound traffic in the afternoons, returning in the evening from the city. They still need to fix the stupid practice of going from BH to HP and then to the city. Like any bus run it should stop at each stop in order – not backtrack.

  21. I think it is expensive compared to some other areas and very limited service. Do they offer a monthly pass which would help?

  22. Hi, we are considering moving to Beach Haven, but I wondered, what is the ferry like? My husband wants to use it to commute to the city. Also, can I easily take my stroller on board if I were to use it to get into the city?……I just wondered if that is possible/easy? Panic not city-folk! This would only be occasional…I know how annoying strollers can be 😉

  23. Hi, the ferry timetable is out of date. The ferry shown to be leaving Auckland at 8.40am has been rescheduled to 9.00am

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