Queenstown company floats passenger and cycle ferry

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Tourism giant Real Journeys is proposing a small passenger and cycle ferry across The Narrows on Lake Wakatipu.

The 10.5m ferry – using purpose-built floating jetties at Park Street and beside the Wakatipu Yacht Club base at Kelvin Heights – would connect Frankton Arm’s two walking/biking trails.

Carrying up to 30 passengers or 16 with bikes, the fully-electric ferry would operate back and forth across The Narrows – a distance of 390 metres.

Real Journeys commercial director Tony McQuilkin says the vessel would be built from scratch.

“The ferry which we are already affectionately calling the ‘Bumblebee’ because of its distinctive yellow and black stripes, would link up the Queenstown and Kelvin Heights walking and cycling tracks and effectively finish the loop with a quick three to five-minute ferry ride,” he says.

“This is an exciting and innovative initiative that will have little or no impact on our stunning Queenstown environment and deliver genuine benefits to visitors and locals alike.”

Depending on the resource consent process, the ferry could be operational by October next year.

The company has also applied for the right to operate a smaller trial ferry, landing directly on the beaches, to assess the market.

Real Journeys was recently named preferred bidder for the purchase of Cardrona Alpine Resort.