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Photo of the day: Kea

We’ve had trains and buses already today so how about some ferry love to round out the PT options. Sadly no service improvements associated with this one today though.

The trusty Kea that plies the waters between the CBD and Devonport.

Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne

10 comments to Photo of the day: Kea

  • Sam F

    One cosmetic improvement recently though – since your photo they’ve painted the prominent blue sections white (similar to what was done to Tiger Cat) so it does look a little fresher, if less classic Fullers.

  • Jonathan

    Having last visited Auckland/New Zealand from the u.k. back in 2009 can I ask if the ‘Coronation Street’ lady still works in the upsatirs bar in the evening? The one who apparently is well versed regarding divorces and the like in Devomport/North Shore as she dishes out the alcoholic bevies on what is only a ten minute crossing.

  • Bob Scott

    Devonport to CBD is not a journey I do often, so about a year ago, I thought I would take the ferry and take the opportunity of seeing the stunning view of the city. However, because it was after 4pm the ticket office at Devonport was closed (really?) and I had to seek out the lady in the bar upstairs to buy tickets. I presume this was the aforementioned “Coronation Street” lady. She was very busy serving drinks to regulars and saw my intrusion as a huge imposition on her time. She was actually so rude that I made a complaint to Fullers, received an acknowledgement from them but no more. Hope Fullers have a better staff selection and training programme in place now!

    • Bob, there is no need to buy a ticket in Devonport. You dont need one to get on the ferry to the CBD. You can just buy a ticket at the office at the Downtown terminal, which is open until the last ferry leaves. That is one of the great things about the ferry. You can just jump on with no ticket if you are heading to the CBD.

      The ticket office in Devonport is usually really just for Waiheke passengers.

      I imagine the lady was confused as to why you were so adamant to buy a ticket from her in Devonport when it is so much easier at Downtown. I think you will find (as I do every day) that the Fullers’ staff are some of the most friendly and helpful on the whole PT network.

    • mfwic

      You used to be able to board in Devonport and ride to the city for free, mingle with the return passengers and go back to Devonport free. My daughter used the ferry on Sunday and told me it is harder to do that now. In the days of the Kestrel they let you stay on and ride back and forth listening to the jazz band on Fridays.

      I used to commute daily on the Kea. I always amazed me when Orca were in the harbour the Captain would let us know and only about 20 of us would go out front to watch them. The rest of the people either didnt care or were too cool to bother. But it was always the best start to a day of work.

    • When the Devonport ticket office is closed, there is usually a sign put up telling people to board the ferry then pay downtown. Amazing how many people can’t read signs.

      (On not reading signs, this morning the QEII square door to Downtown mall was locked with a bright orange sign smack bang in the middle of it saying “Door closed due to high wind, please use the door to the right” with a big arrow. I saw several people nearly collide with the door (and the bright orange sign) because they completely failed to see it.)

  • Chris Werry (@chriswerry)

    The Devonport ferry has a surprisingly poor timetable. Half hourly off peak and hourly after 8 pm on weekdays with last ferry at 11:15 pm. Sundays last ferry is 10 pm. This makes a quick trip into town in off peak a 3 hour exercise and going out on a week night makes you a clock watcher – an hours wait on the cold wharf is not pleasant.

    Also the Devonport ferry is not part of the AT’s integrated transport network plans because it is a non-subsidised route – so no integrated ticketing.

    The 813 bus that meets the ferry doesn’t always wait if the ferry is late and stops running at 11 pm on Saturdays. No bus lanes on Lake Rd make the 813 tortuous most of the time – usually 30 minutes to Takapuna and very unreliable – sometimes 20 mins sometimes 45 minutes. Plus it doesn’t go to the busway.

    This is why the anti-density people’s first argument is always “What about Lake Rd? It can’t take any more traffic”. The local board has some pie in the sky plan for a tram that will not happen in my lifetime but no short term tactical plans. AT’s solution: millions of more $ spent on widening from Hauraki to Belmont.

    I’m not hopeful – the changes they made from Hauraki to Esmonde probably made it worse if anything. They widened the road and added a cycle way but slapped a flush median on which took up all the extra space. The cycle way is unprotected and as a result dangerous – I won’t use it and ride on the footpath instead.

    • Jonathan

      And the annoying 45 minute gap after the morning peak (from 09.15hrs until 10.00hrs from Auckland and 09.30hrs until 10.15hrs from Devonport). As it was when I last visited in 2009 and still seems to be the case. Perhapes living in London I’ve got rather too used to metro style frequencies.

  • Louis M

    Yes, definitely time to increase frequency on the ferry and on the 813 bus route. Every 15 minutes off peak and every 10 minutes peak. This would require two ferries permanently. Kea is often out of service but when another ferry is on the trip from CBD to Devonport is often very fast as the ferry turns around twice on the return journey…
    Kea is also very sloooww, the other ferries go much faster. I appreciate that the Kea is not a very a dynamic shape but surely it could pick up a little more pace?

  • Ex Kea Crew

    As an ex employe (ex for good reason) I’m worried it could have been me without realising… If it was I’d like to apologise at large to everyone. But also on behalf of those staff who genuinely couldn’t care less, and were only there to make money. The job lacks enjoyment, management, work to do, fulfilment or recognition. If the person behind the bar comes across disgruntled and unhappy to be where they are I’m not surprised at all but that is a management issue not a customer problem.. Please be patient with these poor people who are bored out of their brains and only have limited topics of conversation. Also bear in mind the number of ‘men but not the wives’ we see on that boat every single day. They probably really do have a lot of authority in their ‘coronation street’ remarks.

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