Tea Gardens to Nelson Bay Ferry Troubles

Frustration for both passengers and operators of the Port Stephens Ferry Service appears set to continue.

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During the busy school holidays a number of services between Tea Gardens and Nelson Bay were cancelled due to strong winds.

“We’re governed by the authorities, the authorities being the Coastal Patrol that puts out a weather warning every hour,” ferry owner Adrian Thompson, told the News Of The Area.

Adrian Thompson’s Port Stephens Ferry Service now operates all the boats servicing the run.
Social media was quick to criticise when the ferries were cancelled.

“I’m ropeable, we provide a service 365 days a year and when we cancel due to bad weather, we get abused,” said Adrian.

But there are historic and ongoing issues which are causing commuter confusion.
The timetable board at Tea Gardens doesn’t match up with the services provided.

MidCoast Council provided the timetable several years ago, but very little of it’s information is now correct.

The timetable states that services run every half hour, they don’t.
There are 3 mobile numbers to contact to make a booking or check whether the service is running or what time the ferry is due.

Two of those numbers now don’t apply as Ferrylink is no longer operational.

“The ferry service is vital to businesses in the townships of Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest,” Mark McCormick, President of the Myall Coast Chamber of Commerce, told the News Of The Area.
“We need to have the ferries running regularly, not only for tourists, but for locals who like to go across the bay to see a movie or have lunch,” said Mark.

Media spokesman for the MidCoast Council told the News Of The Area that the new manager in that area had no intricate knowledge of the ferry service for Tea Gardens and that the person who does, was away.

By Margie TIERNEY

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