Regular ferry services have returned to Lake Macquarie for a six month trial, following community demand for a ferry route to be reinstated.
The Lake Mac Ferry set off from Speers Point, heading out on a route taking in stops at Wangi Wangi, Belmont, Toronto and Booragul.
Lake Mac Ferry Managing Director, Peter Hanrahan, said interest in, and support for, the new service had been overwhelming since it was announced in December 2021, prior to a trial run coinciding with Lake Mac Carols.
“There has been demand for a long time for a ferry to be reinstated on the lake, so we’re hoping that converts to bums on seats now we’re underway,” Mr Hanrahan said.
The ferry will operate every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the six-month trial period.
Bikes, scooters and strollers will be accepted, along with dogs on leads, up to 7kg.
Lake Macquarie Mayor, Kay Fraser, said ferries had plied the lake’s waters as early as 1876, when a steam ferry operated between Cockle Creek, Speers Point, Toronto and Belmont.
“There is so much history attached to ferry services in Lake Macquarie, from those early days to the Wangi Queen, which many people still remember fondly,” Mayor Fraser said.
“It’s fantastic to see a ferry service return to the lake, and I just hope people get out there and support it.”
Tickets are $13 one-way between two stops for adults, or $26 return, with a full day, hop-on/hop-off pass $30.
Mr Hanrahan said travel times would be about 30 minutes between Speers Point and Wangi Wangi, 15 minutes from Wangi Wangi to Belmont and 15 minutes from Belmont to Toronto.
“In most cases, it will be much faster than driving, and there’s no hassle with traffic,” Mr Hanrahan said.
“Then there’s the amazing view you get being out on the lake, rather than looking at it from the shore.”