How much does the ferry trip cost?
Return fares are $26 for adults (please note, no concessions while COVID restrictions are in place) $16 for students aged 16 to 18yrs, $13 for children aged 4 to 15 years, and under 4yrs travel free of charge. We also have a Family Special rate, which is 2 x adults and 2 or 3 children for $70 (please note, the Family Special is only available for return trips).
How long is the ferry trip?
The journey takes approximately 1 hour each way – 30 minutes across the bay, and 30 minutes up the Myall River.
Does the ferry service run on Sundays?
Yes! In fact, we run every day, 7 days a week. Check our timetable for daily departure times.
What if the weather is really bad?
Our crew watch the daily weather forecast very closely. If it looks like conditions are unsuitable for crossing the bay (ie very strong westerly winds), the Captain will make the call first thing in the morning around 7:30am. We will cancel the service in the morning rather than half way through the day, to avoid having people stranded on one side of the Bay. We publish daily announcements on our Facebook page, if you are uncertain as to whether we are running because of weather conditions please check our Facebook page for daily updates.
Do you run the ferry in the rain?
Yes! So long as the wind forecast is okay, the ferries are fully enclosed and protected from the rain, so we will still run.
Can I travel on one day, then return the following day?
Yes! You can either purchase a one-way fare, or purchase a return fare, and let the crew know what time you would like to book your return for the following day.
Is the ferry wheelchair accessible?
MV Tea Gardens is the only wheelchair accessible boat in the Bay! If you require wheelchair access, please call our booking line and let us know in advance (preferably 48 to 72 hours).
Can I bring a pram or stroller on board?
Yes. Our crew will assist you in collapsing your pram or stroller to get it on board. Please speak to the crew if you wish your child to be able to rest in the pram or stroller along the way.
Do you serve drinks and snacks on board?
No. But there is a great cafe at the Nelson Bay public wharf called Dolphin Watch Cafe, where you can purchase a beverage or snack to bring on board. (PS Dolphin Watch Cafe make the BEST coffee in the Bay – not biased at all ! Tea Gardens Hotel and The Boat Shed also serve up amazing brews!).
Will I see dolphins?
Probably! It is estimated that there are between 130 to 160 dolphins that live in the waters of Port Stephens. While we can’t guarantee we’ll see them, more often than not we do – (95% of cruises!) Best bet is to keep your eyes peeled for fins, they can pop up anytime, anywhere, and if close enough will usually join us on the bow or surf the wake alongside us.
Do you do group bookings discounts?
Yes. If you’re planning a large group of 20 people or more between Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens, call our booking manager Teresa on 0412 682 117 to discuss.
I’m travelling as a carer, is there a concession?
While we are a private business (ie not government funded), we are happy to provide half-price fares for carers who present a Companion card.
Where do you pick up from?
From Nelson Bay, we depart from the Public Wharf alongside the Dolphin Watch Cafe (40 Victoria Parade). Our Pre-Boarding Waiting Area is located in front of the cafe – please check-in with our crew on your arrival.
From Tea Gardens, we depart from the Ferry Wharf just down from the Tea Gardens Hotel.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes! Assuming your pooch is well-behaved, we most certainly welcome dogs on board.
Can I bring my bike?
Yes. There is a small $3 carriage fee, our Captain will secure your bike on the roof of the vessel, and you can store any packs / luggage inside the vessel.
Can I bring my golf bag?
Yes. There is a small $3 carriage fee for golf bags. Please advise on booking.
What is there to do in Tea Gardens or Nelson Bay?
Lots! Check out this page on our website for a list of suggestions, you can book ahead for any activity / restaurant, details are provided.
Are the ferries available for private charter?
If you wish to charter one of the ferries for a private occasion, please contact our booking manager Teresa on 0412 682 117 to discuss your event.