Cynthia Bay Ferry

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Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 5:26 pm

Just tried to book ferry for next week,prices have gone up to $55 one way.They want $300 up front for the return journey later that week because apparently no one has booked it yet.
I wasn’t depositing $300 to them and have decided to wait until later in the week and try again.
Hopefully someday there will be some competition to these rip off merchants.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Tortoise » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 5:40 pm

Bummer. I don't think a monopoly is often good for customers, and I assume that's the arrangement with Parks.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 5:48 pm

Agree there.Even a more user friendly booking system would be a start.Lost count of how many times I’ve had my booking messed up or turned up at the ferry and wasn’t even on the list…shambles!
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby crollsurf » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 5:52 pm

Its a nice easy walk instead of catching the ferry. Maybe take the one way and walk back instead of risking the $300s.

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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 5:54 pm

Yes I know,have walked it a number of times over the years.Time constraints make the ferry a better option sometimes.Less time walking up and down the lake allow an extra day of exploring other areas.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby L_Cham_67 » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 6:26 pm

I love how at the radio in Narcissus Hut you can still see the old sign saying it was a $40 cost.

I don't think the Parks staff at LSC are all that thrilled about the ferry's service either.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Last » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 6:29 pm

While I would have to agree that the booking system is a bit ordinary sometimes I think the cost is quite reasonable. Operating and maintaining a commercial boat at a remote location is not cheap. There are many regulatory hurdles the operator must jump. Suggest you look at the MAST website if you are in doubt. Although it has worked against me more than once I support the $300 dollar minimum. It would not be worth taking the boat up the lake for less. These are private operators. They are not subsidised.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 6:40 pm

There are also many times the ferry is full(20 x $55 one way=$1100) I’m sure they would make up for the few half empty ferry trips there.The main issue is the booking system,call one day it’s $300,call the next day and talk to somebody different and it’s booked out for same sailing.Then randomly turn up to said sailing and there is 10 people on it.This is not a one off occurrence and I’m sure there are lots of others that have had this issue .Fair enough,charge what they want but at least work out a way to run it in an orderly fashion and with some consistency and reliability.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby phATty » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 8:14 pm

While I might be swayed about the fee being fair given the operating costs of the ferry, I still don't really think taking it is good value nor do I think it's a good service. Bring a kayak and paddle in honestly. The lake walk is a bit boring after the first thousand times imo.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Mon 12 Dec, 2022 8:36 pm

Agree the paddle is more enjoyable than the walk,except when the lake blows up.Got stuck over at Ida once when the waves whipped up and couldn’t paddle out until late afternoon.paddled the last hour across the bay in the dark using gps and head torch,quite the experience.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Wed 14 Dec, 2022 1:45 pm

UPDATE…..Called today and both afternoon sailings from Narcissus are booked out.
After I’d put my name down as interested if anyone else wanted to share same ferry.No phone call,no email.What a s**t show!
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby myrtlegirl » Thu 15 Dec, 2022 12:51 pm

Lostsoul wrote:UPDATE…..Called today and both afternoon sailings from Narcissus are booked out.
After I’d put my name down as interested if anyone else wanted to share same ferry.No phone call,no email.What a s**t show!



I don't think this lack of communication & service is unusual. Contact PWS Tas to give some feedback, here's hoping the number of complaints gets too high to ignore.

I had a similar experience about 4 years ago over Easter. I told them I was willing to pay the cost of the entire boat (though they didn't ask for payment up front), and I did calls every 2 days to check where bookings were at, ended up with a full boat (as would be expected at Easter) so just paid the ordinary fare.

It shouldn't be this hard.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby bumpingbill » Thu 15 Dec, 2022 2:03 pm

Yeah - far from ideal. Feel sorry for you Lostsoul. A royal pain.

It's also not ideal that there's such complexity around the end of what is supposed to be the most famous bush walk in the state. The operation of the bus system at Cradle is great and gets the job done reliably. It's sad that people are forced into such a confusing and unreliable system at the end. Probably sours the experience for some.

And that's not to mention people trying to access that end of the park out of the Overland system. As as been said, shouldn't be this hard.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Thu 15 Dec, 2022 3:10 pm

myrtlegirl wrote:
Lostsoul wrote:UPDATE…..Called today and both afternoon sailings from Narcissus are booked out.
After I’d put my name down as interested if anyone else wanted to share same ferry.No phone call,no email.What a s**t show!

Surely with all the technology these days they could have a simple book and pay online system,like there is with most transport/accommodation services.Maybe PWS needs to take over the ferry service?
It just shouldn’t be this hard


I don't think this lack of communication & service is unusual. Contact PWS Tas to give some feedback, here's hoping the number of complaints gets too high to ignore.

I had a similar experience about 4 years ago over Easter. I told them I was willing to pay the cost of the entire boat (though they didn't ask for payment up front), and I did calls every 2 days to check where bookings were at, ended up with a full boat (as would be expected at Easter) so just paid the ordinary fare.

It shouldn't be this hard.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby headwerkn » Fri 16 Dec, 2022 6:20 am

myrtlegirl wrote:I don't think this lack of communication & service is unusual.


It isn't. Based on, ahem, extensive experience on the matter, you've got about a one-in-six chance of getting someone on the other end of the phone who has any idea of what's going on.
And that's after your one-in-fourish chance of actually getting someone on the phone in the first place :-/

I don't doubt it's an expensive service to operate, especially with fuel prices like they are and the cost of keeping competent staff in Derwent Bridge. I understand the operator's POV and conundrum. But the ad-hoc, "maybe yes, maybe no", indifferently unreliable way it is run, particularly in shoulder seasons, just isn't acceptable as a "ferry service"... rather than a "tourist boat", which seems to be the prevailing attitude.

It needs to be running earlier in the morning, latter in the afternoon, more often during summer to keep up with demand and only be cancelled if the weather makes running actually unsafe... not just if they don't think they've got enough bums on seats to cover costs. Though you have to wonder how many more paying customers they'd get it if they stuck to a regular, consistent, reliable timetable. I know there's been more than one occasion where I've been told "no, not running today", only to see the #&$%ing Ida Clair buzzing past as we round Echo Point...
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Nuts » Fri 16 Dec, 2022 7:09 am

I've always liked the idea of the NPS offering all these 'services'. Maybe blundering and costly but at least non-profit.
Hide the fee. Add $xx to the Overland pass and over-service the ferry?
The Cradle- shuttle bus gets a mention, but costs a fortune, and still hasn't been without question for eg. their lack of late runs.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby CBee » Fri 16 Dec, 2022 7:12 am

I visited the area as a day tourist and hiker multiple times in the last few decades. The management of the ferry service to Narcissus is on par with the service provided at the "resort", catering, accommodation, reception, booking system and camping ground, no one excluded. Money making objectives, cheap and amateur operations. Shame, because obviously they couldn't care less about hikers, as they don't bring a substantial amount of gold coins, but it is one of Tasmanian tourist attraction and they don't do a good publicity to Tasmania. The right spot into to the right hands and the scenario could change in a matter of days. The only people doing a fantastic job in that place, as far as I'm concerned, are the rangers.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Fri 16 Dec, 2022 8:35 am

CBee wrote:I visited the area as a day tourist and hiker multiple times in the last few decades. The management of the ferry service to Narcissus is on par with the service provided at the "resort", catering, accommodation, reception, booking system and camping ground, no one excluded. Money making objectives, cheap and amateur operations. Shame, because obviously they couldn't care less about hikers, as they don't bring a substantial amount of gold coins, but it is one of Tasmanian tourist attraction and they don't do a good publicity to Tasmania. The right spot into to the right hands and the scenario could change in a matter of days. The only people doing a fantastic job in that place, as far as I'm concerned, are the rangers.

You just have to read a few reviews on the place on Trip Advisor to get a general feel of what is going on in the place .
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby tastrax » Sat 17 Dec, 2022 11:07 am

I strongly suggest that anyone who has a poor experience write to the folks that manage the leases and licences in Parks - [email protected]
Cheers - Phil

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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Sat 17 Dec, 2022 11:30 am

tastrax wrote:I strongly suggest that anyone who has a poor experience write to the folks that manage the leases and licences in Parks - [email protected]

Thanks for the link,will definitely make use of that
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 02 Dec, 2023 9:34 am

So a couple of years on from this original post and it seems not much has changed with the level of service provided by the ferry operator.
2 attempts to book on-line and no response after 8 days.
3 phone calls to a recorded message and no response despite leaving details every time.

I can only assume that the Ida Clair has sunk taking all staff to an icy grave at the bottom of the lake.........
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A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby matagi » Sat 02 Dec, 2023 12:43 pm

Mechanic-AL wrote:So a couple of years on from this original post and it seems not much has changed with the level of service provided by the ferry operator.
2 attempts to book on-line and no response after 8 days.
3 phone calls to a recorded message and no response despite leaving details every time.

I can only assume that the Ida Clair has sunk taking all staff to an icy grave at the bottom of the lake.........


Lots of similar complaints on Facebook from Overland Track walkers trying to get a booking. Same story, on line booking fails, phone calls not answered, emails ignored. It is the reason we walk out when doing the Overland Track.

Thinking of going into Pine Valley as a separate trip and am not looking forward to trying to organise the ferry from Cynthia Bay to Narcissus, not sure about the return trip.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Roadtonowhere » Sun 03 Dec, 2023 2:11 am

Lostsoul wrote:
tastrax wrote:I strongly suggest that anyone who has a poor experience write to the folks that manage the leases and licences in Parks - [email protected]

Thanks for the link,will definitely make use of that


And when you email, ask them why the operator is not required to have a proper online booking system as part of their contract.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Roadtonowhere » Sun 03 Dec, 2023 2:11 am

Lostsoul wrote:
tastrax wrote:I strongly suggest that anyone who has a poor experience write to the folks that manage the leases and licences in Parks - [email protected]

Thanks for the link,will definitely make use of that


And when you email, ask them why the operator is not required to have a proper online booking system as part of their contract.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Lostsoul » Sun 03 Dec, 2023 7:39 am

I just paddle up and back now to avoid the whole sh*#show that it is.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby north-north-west » Sun 03 Dec, 2023 10:35 am

Lostsoul wrote:I just paddle up and back now to avoid the whole sh*#show that it is.


Yep, I walk or paddle. They're useless.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby wander » Mon 04 Dec, 2023 12:14 pm

Likewise had issues booking online.

It doesn't help there are two websites.

Did manage to get someone to answer the phone and sort a booking out.

We are going in with full packs and saving a day on the start gives us another day up the sleeve for weather. Will be walking out.
Last edited by wander on Mon 04 Dec, 2023 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby wander » Mon 04 Dec, 2023 12:18 pm

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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Tortoise » Mon 04 Dec, 2023 4:34 pm

tastrax wrote:I strongly suggest that anyone who has a poor experience write to the folks that manage the leases and licences in Parks - [email protected]

Thanks for the link, Phil. It still works. I sent an email yesterday, and got a response today from the Senior Property Officer. He said they will follow it up with the operator. I suspect it will carry more weight if more people send emails with their negative experiences. Send 'em in, folks!
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Re: Cynthia Bay Ferry

Postby Mechanic-AL » Mon 04 Dec, 2023 6:39 pm

I hear you loud and clear Tortoise. Email sent on Saturday with similar promise to follow it up with the operator.
Total of 4 on-line attempts, 5 phone calls and 1 email so far and still no booking.
I dont mind the walk. I've done it quite a few times now. But as others have said the ferry trip means another potential day somewhere new rather than retracing old footsteps.
How hard can it be ?
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