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Our COVID-19 Safety Plan requires our crew and passengers to observe social distancing while waiting to board and for the duration of the trip. If you wish to move around the vessel, we ask that you please wear a face mask. BYO mask, disposable face masks are also available on the vessel. We thank you for your co-operation and look forward to welcoming you on board. 😊😷

Daily Ferry Services in Port Stephens

We provide daily ferry cruises 7 days a week between Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens. With informative commentary from the crew, along with panoramic views of beautiful Port Stephens, crossing the bay is a must for visitors to this bluewater wonderland.

Dolphins sighted on 95% of cruises!

  • Return Fares :
    Adult $26  Student (16 to 18yrs) $16  Child (4 to 15yrs) $13
    Infant / Toddler Free  Family (2 adults + 2 or 3 children) $70
  • Carriage Fee : Golf Bags $3 | Bikes $3
  • Prams / strollers please fold for embarking + disembarking
  • For wheelchair access please book by telephone 48 hrs in advance
  • All prices listed are in Australian Dollars and include GST

Ferry service is subject to weather conditions. Follow us on Facebook for daily timetable updates.

Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park

The one hour ferry ride between Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens will take you straight through the heart of Port Stephens Marine Park. The park’s diverse marine life is abundant with dolphins, green sea turtles, fish and seabirds. Bird watchers will delight in the vast array of shorebirds that live and forage along the shores of the Myall River, such as little egrets, great egrets, little black cormorants, royal spoonbills, white faced herons, bar-tailed godwits, sea eagles and osprey – to name just a few!

Built in 1944 during WWII for the RAAF Marines division, MV Tea Gardens has a long and colourful history. Her original commission was as a cargo vessel, transporting munitions for Catalina flying boats. She was built at the Slazenger shipyard in Putney on the Parramatta river, overseen by legendary shipwright Bill Fisher. When the war ended in 1945, she was converted into ferry.

Built in the 1950’s, MV Jesse started out life on Lakes Entrance in Victoria. Back then she was known as “Bluebird”, and along with her sister vessels “Bluebell” and “Blackbird”, did river cruises and a milk and postal run to North Arm Cove. Jesse is constructed of Tasmanian huon pine and is one of only two well deckers still operating in a traditional ferry role in New South Wales.

Golfer Transfers

Hawks Nest Golf Club is a championship 18 hole course with modern club facilities. Enjoy a morning cruise on the 8:30am from Nelson Bay to Hawks Nest, where the Club courtesy bus will pick you up. They will return you to Tea Gardens pub after your game for your return ferry trip at 5pm. Bookings essential, call Teresa on 0412 682 117.

Cyclist Transfers

Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens are popular transfer points for cyclists journeying up or down the east coast. We can carry small or large cyclist groups, if you’re looking for a quick and easy transfer across the Bay, please ensure you book in advance. Bookings essential for 8:30am transfers.

Attractions & Things to Do!
Tea Gardens

Cruise across the bay and up the Myall River to Tea Gardens, spot dolphins, hire a kayak, visit the local art gallery, browse bohemian boutiques, and enjoy lunch at one of the eateries along the waterfront. You can also call ahead and catch the courtesy bus to the Country Club. Tea Gardens is a lovely destination with a long and rich history.

Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay is a central hub for entertainment with weekend markets, a cinema, restaurants and cafes, and a local hotel and bistro. Swim at the beach, hire a runabout boat, visit the lighthouse museum, explore the marina, or link to the many tour operators such as whale watching, sand boarding or jet ski’ing. During summer, the kids will love the giant Splash water park!

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