The Hobsonville Ferry

Any photos, plans, drawings, directions, helpful hints on visting places where flying boats have been operated from historically, or are being operated from today. I am always interested in receiving 'Then & Now' type photographs to assist current day visitors to these place. I'm trying to record the best places to visit before they disappear for ever.

The Hobsonville Ferry

Postby flyernzl » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:49 am

As you may know, the ex-RNZAF base at Hobsonville is being redeveloped as a residential and commercial centre known as Hobsonville Point.

As part of this redevelopment, the former maritime hard area now hosts a ferry service which runs from there to the Auckland downtown ferry terminal. This ferry operates two round trips in the morning and two further round trips late in the afternoon. The service is intended to cater for Hobsonville Point residents commute to work in the Auckland CBD, but is actually a public transport service open to all travellers.

During our 'staycation' over these holidays, we decided to patronise the service.

The new terminal utilises the bulk of the old flying boat wharf, with the addition of a covered walkway. The previous braby has been replaced by a new floating embarkation area.

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Old view

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New view

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The covered walkway features illustrated panels on one side that detail the history of the Hobsonville area

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At the end of the wharf, the crewman invites you to board

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The ferry, run by 360 Discovery Cruises, is the Discovery II

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This vessel seats 44 pax downstairs and 30 upstairs. Quite comfortable seating, and some cafe food/drinks are available

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As we start our journey, we get a different view of the newly built wharf addition

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Moving away, you also get good views of the Hobsonville marine hard area. The old flying boat launching ramp is still in use, if only for fishing

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While the hangar building sits empty. I have seen plans for a mezzanine restaurant to be constructed within this building.

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There is also a new ferry terminal at Beachhaven, the other side of the water from Hobsonville. The ferry will pick up or drop off passengers here on demand

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From out on the water, this view of Hobsonville . . .

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reminds me of this view of Hobsonville. Oh dear.

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The ferry keeps to the northern side of the upper harbour, and this gives a good view of Kauri Point. This is a navy installation, where they used to store things that might go bang back in the days when our navy had things that might go bang.

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Next up is the Chelsea sugar refinery. This has been here for well over 100 years, and the sugar boats can tie up at the wharf and unload their cargo directly into the refinery

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The route then goes under the harbour bridge, and heads across the water in towards the downtown Auckland tower blocks and the busy ferry terminal

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The end point for the run is the small wharf just to the west of the Fullers ferry terminals

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Disembarking, we can watch the Discovery II back away for the return run to Hobsonville

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A nice little trip, if you find yourself a free afternoon to enjoy it.

Trip report bought to you by this Old Salt, who travelled courtesy of a pensioners card.

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Re: The Hobsonville Ferry

Postby seawings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:06 am

Peter, what a cracking travelogue! And those comparison shots are just perfect; what I would have given to have walked around there at the time............

Thanks so much for sharing this with us; what a lovely day out you two had.
Best Regards,

Bryan Ribbans
Owner of:

The Flying Boat Forum
SEAWINGS - The Website

"I put the sweat of my life into this project, and if it's a failure, I'll leave the country and never come back".
Howard Hughes, re: the HK-1 Hughes Flying Boat, aka the 'Spruce Goose,' 1946.
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Re: The Hobsonville Ferry

Postby MrWidgeon » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:28 am

Aye, what the Boss Man said, Well Done Peter.

Bill (who looks a bit like that "Old Salt")
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: The Hobsonville Ferry

Postby sunderlandmr5 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:59 am

seawings wrote:Peter, what a cracking travelogue! And those comparison shots are just perfect; what I would have given to have walked around there at the time............

Thanks so much for sharing this with us; what a lovely day out you two had.


Peter you and your wife look like you had a very cool "Staycation".
Have yet to try the ferry, still got the rest of Summer though :D

Your photos caused the memories come flooding back :

I remember as a young fella, my Dad taking my brother and I on the RNZAF launch across to Hobby
when we lived at Birkdale prior to living at Hobby.
I do remember driving with babysitter (or someone) to drop my Mother and Father off at the wharf to catch the launch
one evening to attend a Base ball. Mom in her ball gown, Dad in his Mess jacket and Blues. Now that I think of it all
very romantic and South Seas :D
Where the ferry docks, as you mention the Braby was there, and again Dad (yes I had a cool Dad) taking
me onto the Braby with a Sunderland moored in it, and going on board (could well have been NZ4115).

Bryan - the hardstand was busy that I recall. On one day I was there, there was a Sunderland in the hangar, another
sitting outside to the right. One main thing I do remember, is on another day, seeing an Airman with this
huge cauldron and big fire to go along with it, stirring some thing inside - never did find out what he was doing :lol:

Great memories - Peter thanks for giving them a pictorial bump :D

Regards

Alan
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Re: The Hobsonville Ferry

Postby Cameraman » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:44 pm

seawings wrote:Peter, what a cracking travelogue! And those comparison shots are just perfect; what I would have given to have walked around there at the time............

Thanks so much for sharing this with us; what a lovely day out you two had.


You said it Bryan.

Now where's a time machine when you want one eh?

Regards

Reggie
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