.no-js-element { display:block; }
Print/Share this page

Ferry frequently asked questions


Photo of car ferry in distance.


The Raymond Island Ferry has many aspects to its operation. Below you'll find answers to questions that are regularly asked about the service.

Click on the heading to be taken to the relevant section.


Service and Timetable

Tickets and Annual Passes

Service Outages

Alternative Access Arrangements

General Questions


Service and timetable 

Where does the ferry leave from?

The Raymond Island Ferry leaves from the ferry terminals in Paynesville and on Raymond Island.

  • Paynesville – The Esplanade (near the intersection of The Esplanade and Victoria Street)
  • Raymond Island – Fourth Avenue (near the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Seventh Parade)

How long is the ferry ride?

The crossing takes about 4 minutes.


Does the ferry operate longer hours on public holidays or during school holidays?

Only on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.


What happens if public transport services are running late and I miss the last ferry?

Call the ferry on 0418 517 959 when departing Bairnsdale. The ferry will meet patrons at the Paynesville terminal. This service is a one way service from Paynesville to Raymond Island.

Normal patron and vehicle fees apply.


What happens if I need the ferry outside timetabled hours?

If you miss the last service or need the ferry out of hours it attracts a significant fee. You will need to contact the ferry on 0418 517 959 and pay the After Hours Service fee to access the ferry.

Emergency Services can access Raymond Island 24 hours a day.


The ferry left before its scheduled time – why?

This situation can occur for a variety of reasons including:

  • In an emergency the ferry will not operate to its timetable, it will operate in accordance with the requirements of the emergency services and will not take other vehicles or passengers;
  • During periods of peak demand the ferry may not be able to adhere to its timetable and the service may appear to leave early;
  • During peak periods the ferry may leave early as it is full.

The ferry is stationary at either Paynesville or Raymond Island – why?

The ferry is likely to be in emergency mode and the driver is waiting for an emergency services vehicle or to receive instructions from emergency services personnel. When operating in emergency mode the ferry will display a flashing amber beacon on top of each of the drivers cabins.

When in emergency mode the ferry will only take emergency vehicles and personnel. No other vehicles or passengers will be transported.


Tickets and annual passes 

Where can I buy ferry tickets?

All tickets, excluding annual passes, can be purchased from the ferry driver when boarding.


Are electronic payment facilities available?

We accept all major credit and debit cards. There are no additional fees or charges levied when using the EFTPOS facility.


How do I purchase an Annual Pass?

Annual passes can be purchased from the Paynesville and Bairnsdale Customer Service Centres, Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm.


Are pensioner or student discounts available?

No discounts apply to casual tickets or annual passes.


Are annual passes transferable between vehicles?

Yes by completing a Change of Vehicle Application Form or visiting the Paynesville or Bairnsdale customer service centres.


How many annual passes can I have?

Homeowners receive two fee-free annual passes; extras can be purchased if required.


How do I show my annual pass?

All annual ferry passes must be stuck to the bottom right corner of the vehicle’s windscreen so it can be easily seen by the ferry driver.

If you don't display your pass, you will need to pay the appropriate ticket price.


Do I pay extra if towing a trailer?

Commercial vehicles are charged for trailers. Cars are not charged for trailers or caravans that are being towed.


I work in community service. Can I get an exemption on ferry fees?

You can write to us requesting an exemption. You must clearly explain the following:

  • Why the exemption is sought;
  • The nature of the event that the exemption is being sought for;
  • The number of vehicles that the exemption is being sought for; and
  • The length of time that the exemption is being sought for.

We will let you know the outcome and how any exempt access will be granted.


Am I able to set up a payment account?

Yes. Please contact our Finance Department on (03) 5153 9500.


Can I buy a visitor pass for short term stays on Raymond Island?

We don't offer visitor passes; however we have multi-trip passes. These offer 10 return trips with no expiry period and are available for various vehicle types (car, bus, truck, etc.).

The cost of a multi-trip pass is the same as 10 return trips on the ferry.


Service outages 

Are all ferry outages planned?

No. We have planned maintenance outages, which are advertised with as much notice as possible for customers.

We also have unplanned outages when the ferry breaks down. We cannot give advance notice of unplanned outages.


How often is the ferry out of service?

The ferry has an extensive proactive maintenance program that attempts to identify and address problems before they occur.

Scheduled Outages

We have one scheduled outage where the ferry is taken out of the water for three weeks. This outage is every two to three years and is usually in October.

Unscheduled Outages

We cannot give advance notice of unplanned outages.


How long will the ferry be unavailable during outages?

Scheduled Outages

We will advertise an expected time or date that the ferry will return to service. Sometimes works take longer than expected. We will update the community as updates are received from the works crew.

Unscheduled Outages

The more serious the failure generally the longer the ferry will be out of service. We will update the community as updates are received from the works crew.  


Where can I park my car during outages?

Parking is available in Fleischer Street, Victoria Street, and behind the shops along The Esplanade.

For longer outages we will give customers parking option instructions.


How will I get home?

You can leave a vehicle near the Raymond Island ferry terminal or use the commuter bus.

We pay for the bus, but it is driven by volunteer residents.



Alternative access arrangements 

During outages we put the following arrangements in place:


Pedestrians are able to use a free water taxi. The water taxi leaves from:

  • Paynesville – The jetty to the south of the terminal (about 50m via concrete footpath from the terminal);
  • Raymond Island – The jetty to the north of the terminal (about 80m via a gravel footpath from the terminal).


A vehicle barge is available during extended ferry outages.

Private vehicles are only allowed to use the barge in exceptional circumstances. Requests can be made directly to the ferry operator on mobile 0418 517 959.

The vehicle barge is used for:

  • Emergency vehicles. They have priority access to the vessel at all times.
  • Commercial vehicles. Priority is given to providers such as electricity, water, gas and phone, and garbage collection.
  • Tradespeople and other commercial service providers are also able to access Raymond Island to undertake their regular business.

Where does the barge operate from?

The barge service operates from the following locations:

  • Paynesville – The Esplanade boat ramp next to the Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club (about 400m south of the Paynesville terminal)
  • Raymond Island – The Raymond Island boat ramp (about 150m south of the Raymond Island terminal)

Why are private vehicles usually excluded from using the barge?

  • The barge can only take one large or two small vehicles at a time;
  • The service must be available for emergency and commercial services if required; and
  • Access on and off the vehicle barge can present a significant challenge for drivers. The owners of the barge are not prepared to risk vessel damage for non-priority vehicles.

What if the ferry breaks down and I am stranded on Raymond Island with my vehicle?

Residents will be allowed to take their vehicle off Raymond Island to enable them to conduct their daily life.

The order that vehicles are taken off Raymond Island will be determined by the ferry operator.


Is there a fee to access the vehicle barge?

Yes, for vehicles that do not meet stated requirements for transport, a $185.00 fee will be charged per trip.


General questions 

Do I have to stay in my vehicle on the ferry?

Drivers are not allowed to leave their vehicles unless told to by the ferry operator.


What are the general rules of the ferry’s use?

Ferry patrons must observe the following conditions of use at all times.

  • Bicycles, scooters and skateboards are not to be ridden while on board.
  • The consumption of alcohol is not permitted.
  • Smoking is not permitted. This includes in vehicles.
  • Inappropriate language or behaviour towards a crew member or passenger will not be tolerated.
  • No jumping or throwing anything from the vessel.
  • Passengers must follow all reasonable directions given by crew members.

 NOTE: Under maritime law, the Master/s of the vessel operating are responsible for ensuring passenger and vessel safety and accordingly are empowered to exercise absolute discretion on vessel operations which, in some situations may result in the following arrangements being varied or temporarily suspended.


Why are there sometimes restrictions on trucks and other vehicles accessing the ferry?

If the lake water level changes, certain vehicles have trouble accessing the ferry.

There is the possibility their undersides could strike the vessel; potentially causing significant damage to both the ferry and the vehicle.

We advise all truck and long vehicle drivers to check with the ferry operator on 0418 517 959 to ensure there are no restrictions in place. This should be done before loading and driving to Paynesville.

This approach is strongly recommended as the ferry driver will then be aware of a truck arriving. The ferry operator will then give instructions to help with boarding the ferry.


How do I contact the ferry?

Call 0418 517 959 during ferry operating hours.

During busy periods The phone is not answered during busy periods will not be answered.


Can I get notified of ferry updates?

A group of Raymond Island volunteers run an SMS service that you can subscribe to for an annual fee.

Messages are sent at the ferry operator's request.

The service lets you know about unscheduled outages and service updates, it does not give reasons or offer advice.

To find out more, e-mail riemprep@netspace.net.au or speak to the Ferry driver.

*Note: Council is not involved in the information service. Although, on occasions, we may request a particular message, the timing and content of messages is controlled by the volunteers.

LED screens at both ferry terminals also provide details of ferry operations.


Can I take my dog on the ferry?

Yes, if they are on a lead and you keep them under control.


How do I raise concerns about the ferry service?

First speak to the ferry operator. If you have further concerns or the issue cannot be resolved by the ferry driver call us on (03) 5153 9500.


Who operates the ferry?

The ferry is operated by a private company via a contract with East Gippsland Shire Council. All staff operating the ferry or substitute vessels are employees of the contractor.


Who maintains the ferry?

The ferry is maintained by private contractors.


Rate this page - was the information useful to you?

Please type the code in the box below