For ferry schedules and prices, visit the Church Point Ferry Service website.
The Church Point Ferry is an integral part of island life, and has been since its inception in 1924. It has transported islanders and western foreshore residents to and from their offshore homes on a daily basis, in all sorts of weather, for 90 years now. In its role as school ferry, taking children to Newport, it also plays an important role in the education of offshore kids.
Stories abound on the island about ferry adventures, and in particular about the beloved Elvina, which was at one time the longest-serving passenger ferry in New South Wales, and about the beloved Curlew, which was finally retired from active service in 2011. The fondness that offshore residents felt for this historic ferry was such that a special art exhibition was held at the time in the Gone Fishing gallery in the old Pasadena building. The crowd was entertained by Nettie Lodge’s poem about the Curlew, and the island choir of the time ‘Last Ferry Home’ sang songs commemorating her many years of service. The Curlew found a new home when Church Point Ferry Service owners Penny Gleen and Simon Wastell donated the much loved ferry to the Tribal Warrior Association. This is a community based, not for profit group established and run by Aboriginal Elders. Mentors of the organisation train disadvantaged Indigenous youths, typically from 16 years and older, preparing them for careers in the maritime industry.
Lenny Duck was the ferry master at the time when three ferries plied the waters between the island, the western foreshores, and the mainland. In 1967 he hired Laurie Duff, and shortly after that began the famous ‘Ferry Wars’, provoked by a rival ferry service, Pittwater Ferry Services. For the full story of this rivalry, and of the days when the ferry wars featured in the Manly Daily and the Sydney Morning Herald, click here.
Today two vessels, the the Amelia K and the L Duck, provide dependable transport services for up to 67 people at a time. The Amelia K, the so-called ‘Tin Can’ is a hearty girl. She dependably plows through the worst of Pittwater swells. She provides safe passage for children, dogs, groceries… and fridges, and truck tyres, lamps, not a few unnerved chooks, and wait for it, … a motorbike.
At one point cargo became so curious the owners relate that they advised one of the drivers: ‘If passengers cannot load their cargo themselves, it shouldn’t be on board. No helping. And further, no elephants or giraffes onboard. Ever.’
The L. Duck was named after the much loved ferry driver of over 33 years (1962 – 1995), the late Lenny Duck. It was custom-built in 2011 to serve the needs of the Pittwater community and its visitors.
The L. Duck is an environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art vessel. Its professional design is ergonomic with the most recent developments in collision and stability safety. The Duck seats 80, with 8 outside foredeck seats.
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