will close on Feb 27th.

Please save any personal content and exchange contact info with other members you?d like to stay in touch with. Thank you for your contributions to the VirtualTourist community.

"Britomart - the Transport Centre" Top 5 Page for this destination Auckland Transportation Tip by Kakapo2

Auckland Transportation: 91 reviews and 81 photos

  The Britomart building in Queen Street.
by Kakapo2

Britomart – full name: Britomart Transport Centre (B.T.C.) is the Downtown Bus and Railway Terminal, located at the harbour end of Queen Street between Costums and Quay Streets. In the meantime it has become a huge development.

Some years ago there was just the slightly hidden bus terminal behind the massive former post office building on Queen Street which you accessed via Galway Street, a narrow side street between Customs and Quay Streets. It was good if you knew about it, otherwise you would not have found them – and you needed to get there for getting on a bus to Kelly Tarlton’s ;-)

Now a modern extension has been built behind the historic terminal building on Queen Street. Behind that there is a spacious and longish square which is not only used for departing buses but also for a weekend farmers market.

The transport centre was completed in July 2003 and cost 211 million NZ$.

Britomart is the first port of call if you want to explore Auckland by public transport. By far not all bus lines end at Britomart, some do in Victoria Street (near the Sky Tower), others in Customs Street, and so on. Before getting annoyed or wait at the wrong stop I go to Britomart and get the information plus a timetable – although the latter does not help a lot at peak (and traffic jam) time…

The name Britomart goes back to a ship named HMS Britomart that was built in Portsmouth in 1820, and named after the Cretian goddess Britomartis, or a Welsh princess (Britomart) of the 1500’s who had been named after the goddess…

In June 1840 the HMS Britomart sailed from Sydney to the Bay of Islands, from there to Akaroa on Banks Peninsula where it arrived on 10 August (you will find a Britomart Memorial down there) right in time before the French could claim the land, and then back to the North Island. In Auckland which became NZ’s capital in 1841 they set flag at Britomart Point and established a fort at the site of a Maori Pa (settlement). Later land was reclaimed from the sea, so the shore moved away from Britomart.

Britomart sits at the site of the former Queen Street railway station which was opened in 1885. The beautiful historic white Oamaru stone building which houses Britomart now is the former General Post Office, opened in 1912. You must imagine it as the hub of the city, sitting at the confluence of the city’s important transportation systems, which was then not just railway and ferries, but also tramway. They should have kept the latter, and Auckland would not have its transportation problems… The railway station was transferred to Beach Road in 1930 – and that had always been criticised as too far away from the CBD.

When Post NZ was restructured at the end of the 1980’s and the Queen Street site given up, the building fell into a state of decay, with street kids, homeless people, and pigeons moving in and causing quite a lot of damage, including fire.

Transport information on

Type: Bus

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jul 28, 2008
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


Kakapo2 Visits Here Frequently!


“Visit dream destinations but keep your eyes open”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 0 6
Forum Rank:
0 0 6 5 7

Have you been to Auckland?

  Share Your Travels