Get from one side of Lake Macquarie to the other in under 15 minutes. That’s what a new fast ferry service is promising for lakeside residents early next year.
The 120-passenger vessel will ferry passengers to and from Lake Mac Carols at Speers Point Park on Saturday, 12 December as a soft launch, ahead of its normal timetable getting underway on 1 January 2022.
Cutting almost 30 minutes off travel times between key points on either side of the Lake the ferry will operate on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, zig-zagging from existing jetties at Speers Point, Booragul, Toronto, Belmont and Wangi Wangi.
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.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that a regular ferry is something people would like to see on Lake Macquarie,” Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay 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.”
Currently, it takes more than 40 minutes to drive from Belmont to Wangi Wangi. But the ferry is expected to transport passengers between the two stops in just 12-15 minutes.
The five stops were selected for the variety and diversity of attractions, cafes and outdoor activities within walking distance of each.
Warners Bay was considered as one of the stops, but the bay was unfortunately too shallow to allow access for a public ferry.
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.
TheLake Macquarie ferry will initially run from 1 January 2022 as a six-month trial, with plans to continue and possibly expand the service if demand meets expectations.