Life & Style

Lake Macquarie has something new for you to jump aboard this summer.

Launching on January 1 the Lake Mac Ferry is bringing locals and visitors a super quick hop-on, hop-off travel service that’s all about making it easy to explore some of Lake Macquarie’s best attractions.

lake macquarie ferry

Carrying up to 120-passengers the five stop ferry service will be zig-zagging from existing jetties at Speers Point, Booragul, Toronto, Belmont and Wangi Wangi and will be operating each Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Aside from having the opportunity to cruise along Australia's largest salt-water lake there are a number of highlights along the way, and worthy of jumping off at to spend a little more time exploring starting with;

multi arts pavilion lake macquarie nsw
Photography credit - Paul Foley

Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima (MAP mima)

Designed in collaboration with the University of Newcastle the Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima, an Awabakal word meaning ‘cause to stay’, is Lake Macquarie's newest cultural space. The striking shape has been designed to offer a high-tech canvas for contemporary art, visual, digital and at times interactive artworks. 

While you're here, take some time out to explore the grounds and relax at Harry & Lola's where you can enjoy a specialty coffee, grazing bowls, or a toastie; or time your visit to coincide with the Homegrown Markets, on every first and third Sunday in the month in Speers Point Park.

lake Macquarie ferry
Emerge by PluginHUMAN at MAP mima. Photography credit - Paul Foley
To celebrate the official launch of Multi-Arts Pavilion mima PRESS PLAY: a week long festival of arts, dance, live music and much more will be happening from January 15 – 21. Here's what you can expect;
multi arts pavilion lake macquarie
Image: 'Ocean Garden’ by Goldberg Aberline Studio photo by Cassandra Hannigan

18 Dec - 30 Jan: Emerge by PluginHUMAN
15 January: The Big Bang with Andy Firth
16 January: Artspace Pop-Up Workshop
16 January: Drift by Catapult
17 January: Yoga for Kids
17 January: Meet the Illustrator and Author of “What If…”
18 January: Junior & Senior Catapult Dance Workshop
19 January: Emerge Artmaking Workshop 
19 January: School Holiday Story Quest Adventure in the Ocean Garden
13 February: The MIMA concert by Lake Macquarie Philharmonic Orchestra
For more details about each event visit Lake Mac Arts.

From Speers Point get back on board the ferry and make your way to Booragul to explore the beautiful grounds of the Museum of Art and Culture yapang. 

lake macquarie art and culture centre

Museum of Art and Culture, yapang

Situated within 5 hectares of leafy waterfront grounds, Lake Macquarie's award winning Museum of Art and Culture, also known as yapang which is an Awabakal word meaning “journey or pathway”, the Museum was first established in 1980.

lake macquarie art and culture museum

In 2019 the gallery underwent a $2.3 million transformation resulting in more exhibition and collection space, a new name, brand, and the establishment of yapang, a dedicated Aboriginal program and space. The Art Museum hosts a year-round calendar of fascinating exhibitions, events, and artmaking workshops: and is home to Three Bears Cafe, and shop MAC, a retail space with a collection of high-quality handcrafted jewellery, glassware, ceramics, and more.

Surrounding the Art Museum is the Sculpture Park which features works by local and international artists. The Museum of Art and Culture yapang calendar is full over the summer months, and here is a taste of what you can expect;

The inaugural yapang Emerging Art Prize is a major Indigenous Art Prize and MAC yapang is hosting an exhibition of works by the finalists
When: 4 Dec - 20 Feb
More Info: click here

Another major exhibition running over the summer break is Truth in Fire by Tim Georgeson, which responds to the Australian bushfires of 2019/2020 and the significance of First Nations knowledge and fire practices.
When: 4 Dec – 20 Feb
More Info: click here

Lake Macquarie Arts and Cultural Centre
yapang Emerging Art Prize

Paper People Pledge for the Planet asks visitors to contribute when they come to MAC yapang by creating their own ‘paper people chain’ and adding it to the exhibition.
When: 4 Dec - 20 Feb
More Info: click here

A storytelling adventure is happening in the MAC yapang Sculpture Garden, have your kids search for clues, solve problems and create something beautiful.
When: 9 & 16 January
More Info: click here

Create your own art work inspired by Contemporary Aboriginal Art on display in the Art Museum.
When: 12 & 13 January
More Info: click here

Grab a beer or wine and enjoy the local tunes and art making at the MAC yapang's Sunday Sessions.
When: 16 Jan, 20 Feb, 27 Mar, 24 Apr & 15 May
More Info: Link

The ferry will initially run as a six-month trial, with plans to continue and possibly expand the service if demand meets expectations.

One-way tickets between any two stops are $13 for adults, return tickets are $26 and an all-day hop-on, hop-off pass is $30.

For more information and the ferry timetable visit lakemacferry.com.au.

When attending events in Lake Macquarie, remember to stay COVID safe - keep your distance, practice safe hygiene and if you are feeling unwell stay at home. Please note that events may be subject to change at short notice.

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