Sydney by ferry

Church Point and Scotland Island

There are many places that are extensively developed for tourism around Sydney - but Scotland Island is not one of them - it consists entirely of people's homes.  Its ferry service is mainly used by the people who live there, with small ferries that take about 60 people, operated by a crew of one.  There is no shop and nowhere to get a meal on the island, which makes it a quiet place to get away.

The ferry company recommends that as a visitor, you go to Tennis Wharf, on the north side of the island, because there's a picnic area right at the wharf.  If you haven't brought food with you, you can buy lunch at the Church Point general store, which is alongside the wharf.  A great alternative is to get table service lunch at the general store (where you order lunch from the supermarket checkout) while you watch the ferries come & go, and then head out to the island with some afternoon tea.  Alternatively, during summer time, you could get dinner here watching the ferries.

On the way back from Scotland Island to Church Point, on most trips the ferry will call in to the isolated villages of Lovett Bay and Elvina Bay on the western side of Pittwater.  Although these villages are on the mainland, their only road access is along the Ku-Ring-Gai National Park fire trails, so everyone living there has to use the ferry as well.  It's not mentioned on the ferry company's website, but there are also walks that you can do between Lovett Bay and Elvina Bay, see the Wildwalks Elvina Bay Circuit map for details.

The Scotland Island ferry leaves Church Point wharf roughly hourly, on either the L Duck or the Amelia K.  You pay your fare direct to the skipper.  On weekends, the ferry leaves Church Point on the half hour; on weekdays you'll need to check the timetable.

Church Point is a long way from just about everywhere.  If you drive, then you'll find that the car parking is both expensive and frequently full; you might have to park kilometres away.  By public transport, you get to Church Point on the 155 or 156 McCarrs Creek bus from Manly Wharf.  This makes it viable as a day trip from the city, starting on the Manly ferry, but you do need to be aware that the 155/156 is a slow (all stops) trip - it takes one hour, and runs only once per hour - some parts of the bus trip are close to the shore and rather nice, but the majority is not.  You may prefer to catch the faster L90 bus from the city (or the 197 from Gordon) to Mona Vale Junction and change there, using or your favourite trip planner app to plan the trip.

This page was last modified on Fri Jul 1, 2016
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