Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A ride on the ferry

When we are in a new area we like to have a local map and often drive around the area checking it out.  On one of the days when we were out and about we had seen a sign to Settlement Point so checked it out and decided that it would worth a second visit.  We had taken Penny along for the ride, in preparation for a walk.  She is obviously very used to travelling in a vehicle and as soon as the door is opened jumps in and climbs over the back.

The road to Settlement Point borders the Hastings River where it enters the sea.  In addition to the line of houses along the coast road there is a new shopping centre (Settlement City Shopping Centre) which has all the major retailers and there is a large Panthers Club complex.  This is in a beautiful setting on the river bank. Over the last few years many new homes have been built in the area along man made canals and these look particularly impressive especially as many have large boats tied up to personal pontoons.

However, it wasn't shops or houses that took us back to the area but the vehicle ferry which comes into a jetty at the end of the road.  There is a park in this area and also a boat house where a variety of small boats are available for hire.
Ferry building
The ferry operates twenty four hours per day, seven days a week and provides a service for residents who live on the north shore, not an island as we originally thought.  It is possible to get a regular's concession for frequent travellers - we paid the visitor's price of $3.40 per trip.  The ferry leaves with no regular timetable but when it is full or as in our case, when there is only one vehicle waiting.  The trip across the river is quick as the ferry is pulled across with a cable.
We drove a few kilometres in one direction and to our surprise found a second ferry jetty - this is the Hibbard ferry and crosses Hastings River just a few kilometres up the river further.  We were most surprised that the river crossing warranted two ferries.  I walked along the jetty to see them load the waiting truck on board and head off across the river.

We slowly made our way back to our ferry stop (we could have caught either but we wanted to further explore), with a stop to see the mussel farming.

We continued on past where our ferry was waiting and made our way to the sea coast.  Four wheel driving on the beach is allowed in this area, and the tracks along the beach made no secret of this.  We are no longer the owners of a four wheel drive so instead it was up to us to walk as the Falcon certainly wouldn't have made very much traction in the deep sand.  We started off with Penny on a lead, and soon realised that wasn't really very fair and she would much prefer to be able to run free.  She is well trained and with a call agreed reluctantly not to jump in the waves.  Instead the drift wood became a game and she just loved it and it was great to see she had had enough exercise for the day as she lay in the scrub panting.

Penny on beach

There was a lovely view of Port Macquarie across the bay and when we later drove out to near the end of the breakwater we could see where we had walked in the wind past the caravan park to Town Beach.  The beach where we walked is quite impressive - a lovely long coastline here on the Central Coast.

View of Port Macquarie and coast
So eventually we headed back to the ferry - this time we were the only ones on.  Great service, we just had to wait for it to arrive and the cars drive off, we drove on and it left immediately.
On ferry

No comments:

Post a Comment