A Waiheke resident snapped pictures of the longest queue for the ferry she's seen in 38 years, and feels others should be warned of the chaos.
Oneroa local Lynette Reed said on Thursday the queue for Fullers' 11.30am trip to Waiheke stretched from the boarding point at the terminal out to Quay St and along it.
"It was at least until Princess Wharf."
Reed said she'd lived on the island for 38 years, coming into Auckland to do her chores once a week, but this was the longest queue for a Waiheke ferry she had seen.
"I thought: 'you poor sods'. It's such a gross introduction to Waiheke for travellers."
Reed said she felt frustrated Fullers appeared to have little consideration for Waiheke residents.
"There's people going in for appointments and missing them."
The Waiheke local added that she'd heard of tourists having to reschedule bookings on the island due to arriving late.
"It takes 40 minutes for sailing and they're running every 30 minutes. It's causing delays on the buses too."
Reed said when travellers arrived at the ferry terminal in Matiatia Bay, buses were inundated with queues.
"It's causing delays too. Last summer the poor drivers and [ferry] crew must have been pulling their hair out."
The retired resident said she'd noticed queues were longest at the Auckland City terminal from 10am to 12.30pm, and at their peak coming back from Waiheke in the late afternoon to early evening.
"Waiheke's an eco-area. You go to see beaches, trees, the birds, but you get here jam-packed with people and it makes for a difficult start and end to the day."
Fullers marketing communications manager Steph Bell said like any other island destinations in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke had seen an unprecedented increase in visitors to the island.
"This has meant we have experienced larger than normal queues to the island, especially over the busy holiday period."
Bell said the queues had been as expected for vessels carrying 650 passengers at this time of year, but they had employed extra staff to help manage.
She said ferries to Waiheke Island did not have a set number of tickets sold per trip, as the service was not capacity managed. They operated on a 'walk up' basis.
The Fullers spokeswoman said if travellers couldn't get on their ferry due to it being too full, their summer timetable had services operating every 30 minutes which meant there was a vessel not too far away.
"We also operate backup vessels where we can during the busy holiday period."
Bell recommended travellers to Waiheke should plan ahead.
"The holiday period is traditionally our busiest time so public holidays and weekends are very popular. Where possible try to catch a ferry outside of peak time, or arrive at least 20 minutes prior to departure for your preferred sailing."