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Latest Ferry News

29 January 2018 - Ferry Outage

On Thursday 15 February 2018, the Raymond Island Ferry will undergo its 6 monthly Chain and Drive wheel inspection. The Ferry will stop operating from 1100 to 1400 to allow sufficient time to inspect. The water taxi will be employed to transport passengers to and from Raymond Island and Paynesville in this time.


FAQ - Why was this not completed during the slipping?

The Chain and Drive wheel inspection can only be performed when the Ferry is connected to the chains to allow a visual of the chain feeding through the drive wheel. It also ensures the chains integrity for wear and tear is inspected thoroughly by allowing the Ferry to stop at various points in the strait to inspect. These ongoing 6 monthly inspections are essential to the maintenance of the Ferry.

View our weekly video update on the works to bring the ferry back in service.  


20 December 2017 

Ferry back in service.




30 November 2017

Severe weather warning 

We are encouraging residents to stock up on perishables and groceries ahead of this weekend's severe weather.

Up to 200mm of rain is expected over three days with possible thunderstorms.

We are providing this advice to help residents plan ahead and avoid unnecessary travel across the strait during the expected poor weather.



14 November 2017

Media release on progress of ferry works



Ferry outage

On Monday 23 October, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority advised council the Raymond Island Ferry needed additional critical maintenance to the underside of the hull before being recommissioned.


This was due to excessive pitting and corrosion under the hull following removing the paintwork and completing thickness testing.


Council had the option of:

  1. Temporary double plate the pitted areas, antifoul and repaint then slip the ferry within 12 months to fully cut out the affected areas and replate. (Estimated to extend the current outage a further four weeks, then potentially 6-8 weeks within the year);
  2. Completely cut out the pitted areas and replate, antifoul and paint (estimated to extend the current outage a further six weeks).

Council decided on Option 2 with the ferry being recommissioned in December. This is the cost effective option and means residents will not have to deal with two extended outages within a year.


Council's public meeting was well-attended and gave residents an opportunity to raise any concerns, provide suggestions, and learn more about the outage arrangements.


Change to car park - 2 November

Council has looked at other parking arrangements in the Paynesville CBD, as requested by residents, to alleviate pressure on the water taxi.

The car park has been moved from Slip Road boat ramp, to the Paynesville CBD.

The car park is on the corner of The Esplanade and Victoria Street.

The water taxi will now only travel on a route similar to the ferry - it will not pick up from Slip Road.


Arrangements during ferry outage

The ferry is taken out of service for an extended period every two years for major maintenance.


The following services will be in place during the outage:

  • Pedestrian water taxi travelling to Paynesville CBD and Raymond Island
  • Barge for emergency and commercial traffic
  • Commuter bus on Raymond Island
  • Fenced car park at opposite ferry terminal in Paynesville

Vehicles such as concrete trucks, heavy trucks with trailers delivering building materials etc. will not be able to travel to the island during the ferry outage.


Raymond Island Ferry Outage - Frequently Asked Questions

Raymond Island Ferry Outage - Transportation of Bikes


Wednesday 7 June 2017

Following a routine inspection of the ferry, an unplanned outage will occur today from 2pm for around 90 minutes.

This maintenance will allow a component to be fixed with minor disruption to patrons, rather than requiring a longer outage in the future. 

The water taxi will be in operation during this time.


Wednesday 5 April 2017

The Raymond Island Ferry is due for its major maintenance slipping in October 2017. The dates for the outage are not known at this stage as the scope of work is yet to be finalised, however, the outage will be for a period of at least two to three weeks. The normal outage provisions will apply with provision for pedestrians and emergency and essential services vehicles to access Raymond Island. Further information will be posted as it becomes available.


Further information regarding the provision of ferry outage services is available on the Raymond Island Ferry FAQ page.


Wednesday 1 March 2017

Ferry patrons will notice in the coming weeks a campaign to ensure that people are aware the Raymond Island Ferry is a smoke free zone. Patrons are reminded that people are not permitted to smoke (including e-cigarettes) in any place or at any time on the ferry. This ban includes vehicles and all open air areas of the vessel. To remind patrons of this requirement ferry drivers will be handing out information to all passengers.


Tuesday 13 December 2016

The Raymond Island Ferry will be operating an extended timetable on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. The ferry will operate until 1:00am on Sunday 25 December 2016 and Sunday 1 January 2017 to allow patrons to attend celebratory events.


The ferry will operate to its regular schedule during the extended timetabled hours leaving Raymond Island on the hour, 20 minutes past the hour and 20 minutes to the hour. The final service from Raymond Island will be at 1:00am and the final service to Raymond Island will be 1:05am.


Monday 1 August 2016

The Raymond Island Ferry will be out of service for three hours on Thursday 25 August 2016 to allow for the first periodic wear check on the new chains. The outage will commence at 11:00am and the ferry will return to service once the checks and measurements have been taken.


The water taxi will be in operation during the outage period for foot passengers.


Thursday 14 July 2016

The Raymond Island Ferry returned to service as normal this morning following the high water event.


Tuesday 12 July 2016

The Raymond Island Ferry will not be taking vehicles from this morning until further notice. Existing high water levels in the Gippsland Lakes as a result of last weeks floods along with the current weather conditions have caused water levels to reach a point where vehicles will have problems accessing the ferry. The ferry will continue to operate for pedestrians only.


Once water levels fall to a safe level the ferry will renter service as normal, however, this timeframe is entirely weather dependent.

Friday 8 July 5.00 pm

The ferry situation remains the same, with nothing new to report.


The ferry will remain out of service until water levels in the Gippsland Lakes allow a safe return to service.


Depending on the weather conditions this could be several days.

The pedestrian water taxi will continue to operate to the current ferry timetable and there is a commuter bus on Raymond Island to take people to their houses.


Thursday 7 July Additional Update

As of 6:30pm tonight (Thursday) the Raymond Island Ferry has ceased operation due to the water levels in the lakes. The return to service timeframe of the ferry will depend on water levels and how long it takes for the lake to return to more normal levels. Further notification will be provided once the ferry is again available for use.

The pedestrian water taxi service is currently operating and the barge services is operating for emergency vehicles only.


Raymond Island Ferry – flood advice - Thursday 7 July


High water levels in McMillan Strait will cause the Raymond Island Ferry to stop operation in the next 12 to 18 hours.


Any Raymond Island resident who needs a vehicle on the Paynesville side of the strait is advised to move their vehicle across on the ferry by late evening tonight (Thursday 7 July).


However, due to floodwaters DO NOT PARK:

  •  In Victoria Street between The Esplanade and Fleischer Street
  • Anywhere on The Esplanade (including all of the foreshore car parks)
  • Anywhere on Raymond Street

The water taxi will be in operation to transport pedestrians on and off the island.


Flooding on the foreshore of both Raymond Island and Paynesville will require makeshift access points to be constructed to allow pedestrians to reach the water taxi.


From the Incident Control Centre

 Standard Advice to Occupants

Areas likely to be impacted Gippsland Lakes Flood event


To all residents residing on the shoreline of Raymond Island, your premises may have the potential to be impacted by rising floodwater from the above event.


The SES Incident Controller has issued a recommendation for residents and occupants of areas likely to be inundated to voluntarily re-locate.

Re-location is not compulsory but if you choose to stay you may place your life and that of your family at risk.


A relief centre has been established at the Bairnsdale Football Ground, Dalmahoy Street and MacArthur Street, Bairnsdale, or with family or friends.

Stay in touch with community messages when and how to return from the relief centre as soon as it is available.


If you need assistance relocating or have special needs for support to shelter in place, please advise us what those needs are.


Where possible, take the following items:

  • Any important medication
  • Identity documents
  • Cash/credit cards
  • Clothing and toiletries for 24 hours
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Small pets (food, medication, collar/lead, transport cage)

Secure your premises and follow the directions of the agency personnel.


Friday 13 May 2016

The works to replace the passenger side chain went well yesterday with the actual chain replacement works being completed late yesterday. Today work to finalise and test the ferry will be undertaken along with mechanical work that was scheduled to be completed during the outage.


The ferry is planned to return to service at midday today ahead of schedule.


Thursday 12 May 2016 and Thursday 19 May 2016

The carpark area that has been used historically for parking when the ferry is out of service will not be available for either of the upcoming outages. Significant additional unrestricted parking was created as a result of the Fleischer Street extension and upgrade and is available for use by Raymond Island residents that require a vehicle on the mainland during the outages.


As the outage is only for one night in both cases residents are encouraged to consider the need to travel on either day or to car pool if at all possible. Residents are also reminded that parking restrictions exist along The Esplanade which are expected to be obeyed to ensure that the regular commercial life of Paynesville can continue throughout the outages.


Thursday 12 May 2016

The Raymond Island Ferry will be out of service from 9.00am Thursday 12 May 2016 until its return to service on Friday 13 May 2016. The outage is to replace the drive chains and drive wheels along with the guide modules. The replacement of these items will give the ferry a renewed drive system.


Due to the nature of the work the outage will split into two parts with a further two day outage on Thursday 19 May 2016 until Friday 20 May 2016 to complete the works and install the second drive chain.


The normal outage provisions will be in place with the water taxi operating for foot passengers, the vehicle barge for emergency and commercial vehicles and a commuter bus on Raymond Island.


Tuesday 8 March 2016

The Raymond Island Ferry by numbers in January 2016.

  • 3,598 - The number of trips crossing McMillian Strait
  • 116 - The average number of trips per day
  • 25,916 - The total number of cars carried by the ferry
  • 836 - The average number of cars carried per day
  • 281 - The total number of trucks carried by the ferry
  • 9.5 - The average number of trucks carried per day
  • 67,924 - The total number of people carried by the ferry
  • 2,191 - The average number of people carries per day

Wednesday 2 March 2016

The ferry will be out of service for a period of three hours from 11.00am to enable a scheduled periodic wear and condition inspection of the chains to be undertaken. The water taxi will be in operation during this outage period.


Tuesday 22 December 2015

The ferry will be taken out of service from 8:00pm to enable the urgent change over of the passenger side drive module following unexpected and significant wear of the pocketed drive wheel. The ferry will operate its normal service on Wednesday 23 December 2015. The water taxi will be operating to the regular ferry timetable during the outage.


Friday 18 December 2015

The ferry will be taken out of service for around one hour from 11:00am to change over the power supply from the temporary generator to the new unit that has been installed below deck. A total shut down of all systems is required to complete this work. The water taxi will be provided for pedestrian traffic for this short period. The barge will be on standby for emergency vehicles only.


Wednesday 9 December 2015

Thursday 10 December and Friday 11 December there is going to be works occurring in the vicinity of the Raymond Ferry. The works include:

  • The construction of additional kerb and channel at the ferry landing;
  • A concrete slab is to be constructed to provide a working and pedestrian area surrounding the recently installed chain anchor pit;
  • In the ferry vehicle loading lane a new side entry pit will be installed to address a problem with drainage; and
  • A drop kerb and small concrete slab will be constructed that matches with the recent Gippsland Ports boardwalk works to allow people easy access from the carpark at the end of The Esplanade to the boardwalk and their boats.

It is not expected that these works will cause significant disruption to the operation of the ferry or the passage of traffic on The Esplanade.

Monday 14 December and Tuesday 15 December Council Contractors will be undertaking asphalting works in the vicinity of the ferry landing along with the Esplanade, ferry vehicle parking lane and the carpark at the end of The Esplanade. This will complete the works that were undertaken as part of The Esplanade upgrade project. It is expected that these works will cause significant disruption to the ferry service and general vehicle traffic on The Esplanade. The disruption will be managed through normal traffic management processes, however, people should be prepared to expect some delays.


Wednesday 2 December 2015

The ferry will be out of service for a period of three hours from 10.00am to enable a scheduled periodic wear and condition inspection of the chains to be undertaken. The water taxi will be in operation during this outage period.


Wednesday 18 November 2015

The Ferry is out of service due to an electrical fault. There is no estimated time of return to service at this stage.

The water taxi should be operational by 12.15pm and the barge is on standby.


Friday 23 October 2015

As at 4.30 pm the Ferry is still out of service. The job to install the new parts hit unexpected hurdles that have added a number of hours to the job.

At this stage it looks like the ferry will be back in service later this evening, around 8.00 pm.


Wednesday 21 October 2015

Work continues on repairs to the ferry. Below are photos of the new parts being fabricated in the workshop. The parts will help to better support the drive system into the future.



 The drive module with the new steel plate and face bearing to support the drive system.



The new drive plate being machined to ensure an exact fit.



 Checking of the drive module to ensure that it will go back together as required.



The finished drive plate - it fits exactly.



The finished drive plate - it fits exactly.




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