The historic Shed 10 on Auckland's waterfront will be opened today after a 10-month, $12.5 million refurbishment and restoration.
But the public won't get a look for two more months.
Waterfront Auckland chairman Sir Bob Harvey and chief executive John Dalzell invited dignitaries and the media to join Mayor Len Brown for the opening this morning and said the building would be used for a number of events in the next few months as well as functioning as a cruise ship terminal.
The public will be first allowed in on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, when the shed will be a key part of Heritage Week 2013 celebrations.
A spokesman said the first cruise ship passengers would arrive on October 11.
The job appears to have come in under budget and on time.
But the work did not go smoothly: the head contractor, Mainzeal Property & Construction, went under this year and a new builder, MacRennie, stepped in.
The building has a capacity of 3000 people and one of its most distinctive features is a new 4.7m by 4.7m bay window in which a 3m waka carved from puriri is suspended.
The southern end has been turned into a modern entrance foyer with a staircase and lift to the first floor.
The shed is 94.5m long and 24.4m wide and is the last remaining of five cargo sheds built on Queens Wharf between 1909 and 1914.
As well as the $12.5 million spent on the upgrade, $3.6 million had already been spent preparing Shed 10 for the Rugby World Cup and Ports of Auckland paid for a new $2.5 million gangway.
Sea Princess will be the first cruise ship to dock alongside and passengers will disembark into the first level of the shed, on to its old matai floor.
Queens Wharf can take ships up to 294m long and neighbouring Princes Wharf up to 320m long.
A century-old mechanical cargo hoist, comic strips, lockers and old items from customs offices were found during the restoration and transformation, which was designed by Jasmax.
*Dates back to 1910.
*Former cargo shed for export and import goods.
*Class 1 registered heritage structure.
*Capacity of 3000 people.
*Sea Princess will be the first cruise ship to dock alongside.
Queens Wharf can take ships up to 294m long.