You’ll soon be able to zig-zag from one end of Lake Macquarie to the other on board a new fast ferry service.
A 120-passenger vessel will ferry passengers on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, zig-zagging from existing jetties at Speers Point, Booragul, Toronto, Belmont and Wangi Wangi. Warners Bay was looked at for a stop, but the water is too shallow.
The trip on the water will shave almost 30 minutes off the trip by road. At the moment it takes more than 40 minutes to get from Belmont to Wangi Wangi and by ferry that will be 12-15 minutes.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the community had long called for a return to ferry services on the lake.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that a regular ferry is something people would like to see on Lake Macquarie,” Cr Fraser said.
“Connecting these beautiful lakeside spots by boat opens up the opportunity to explore our city without the need of a car, and will provide a new perspective for people who only ever travel around the lake’s shore.”
The service is the brainchild of Peter Hanrahan, Managing Director of Lake Macquarie Cruises and Nova Cruises, and has the support of Lake Macquarie City Council.
Mr Hanrahan said the vessel had been selected specifically for its new role after serving as a ferry in Queensland between Brisbane and Moreton Bay.
“We started cruises on the lake in 2018 and from that we’ve just noticed the growing demand,” he said.
“Attending tourism meetings, there is constant talk of a lack of connectivity, and with so much to do all around the lake we thought there was the opportunity for a quick link between all the sites.”
“And then with COVID, we’ve had this real boom in domestic travellers, particularly from Sydney, so I think it’s a great time to launch to capitalise on that influx that we’re all expecting.”
The ferry will initially run as a six-month trial, with plans to continue and possibly expand the service if demand meets expectations.
One-way tickets between any two stops are $13 for adults, return tickets are $26 and an all-day hop-on, hop-off pass is $30.
A soft launch will be on December 12 for the Lake Mac Carols, and the normal timetable will get underway from January 1st next year.
Go to lakemacferry.com.au for more information and the ferry timetable.