Not ready to farewell Vivid? Then head to Lake Macquarie for the long-awaited return of its famous Float Your Boat light show, where dozens of boats will illuminate the calm waters and night skies over one festive weekend from dusk on 24 and 25 June.
Enjoying a cult following among passionate boat owners who turn out to showcase their decorated vessels in a glittering parade around the Lake and compete for cash prizes, Float Your Boat features two flotilla parades charting a different course each night.
The first night’s event will depart Marmong Point Marina and sail to Toronto, Coal Point, Rathmines, and Wangi Wangi, while on the second night, the luminous line of vessels will again set off from Marmong Point Marina for Belmont via Warners Bay and Valentine.
From dolphins and surfers to swans, mermaids and more, huge crowds are expected for this year’s event so the pressure is on for boat owners to take their lights to the next level to claim a share of the prize money – and foreshore cheers.
Spectators are invited to join the lakeside celebrations which will include live music performances, food, and entertainment.
Top spots for a fabulous view…
There is more than 20 kilometres of foreshore where visitors can find a front row seat to wave at the passing flotilla with BYO camp chairs and a picnic, as well as dedicated live sites offering a festive ambience and activities to enjoy the event with family and friends.
Toronto Royal Motor Yacht Club
A top spot to catch night one’s festivities, the Toronto Royal Motor Yacht Club will be at the heart of the action on 24 June with live music, roaming illuminated performers, children’s entertainment and food trucks from 5pm until 9.30pm – as well as a magical marina full of twinkling boats.
Other hotspots for a bird’s eye view of the first night’s flotilla include the Marmong Point foreshore for the 6pm launch, as well as Bolton Point Park, Carey Bay foreshore, Wombal Reserve at Coal Point, Rathmines foreshore, Arcadia Reserve and the Wangi Wangi RSL Club.
Warners Bay Foreshore
Get amongst the action on night two of this unique festival along the Warners Bay foreshore, which will host lively lit-up performers, gourmet food trucks, live music acts and family-friendly entertainment between 5pm and 9.30pm. There is a raft of spots to snag a spectacular view along the lake, including Speers Point Jetty, Red Bluff Boardwalk and Lions Park at Eleebana, Croudace Bay Park, Bennett Park and the Valentine Bowling Club in Valentine, Green Point Walk, Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, and the Belmont Baths, foreshore and Belmont 16s to cheer the participants past the finishing post.
Lake Macquarie Cruises
For those who want to get up close and personal with the passing parade, Lake Macquarie Cruises is hosting a dedicated Float Your Boat Light Parade Sausage Sizzle Cruise between 6pm and 8pm on both evenings. Departing Booragul Public Wharf at 5.45pm, guests will enjoy 5-star views, a sausage sizzle, light sweets, complimentary tea and coffee, as well as the option to buy drinks from the fully licensed bar.
Grab a bite…
In addition to the food trucks at the Toronto Royal Motor Yacht Club on the first night, and the Warners Bay foreshore on the Saturday night, the Lake is home to numerous delicious dining venues which transform into cosy havens during the winter months. Visitors are encouraged to support local businesses by booking a table for a long lunch or cocktails before the event, or dinner after watching the boats float by.
Lake Macquarie’s nationally recognised sailing club features three bars and five dining outlets offering delicious bistro favourites, light meals, fresh seafood, sizzling steaks, pizza and burgers. Featuring a range of cocktail areas and alfresco lounges, a tucked away play area for children and a sweeping deck on the water boasting 180-degree views of Lake Macquarie and prime front row seats to enjoy the parade.
The iconic Salina serves modern Italian for all tastes and dietary requirements, with standard, vegetarian, gluten free and vegan menus available, and an intimate heated courtyard perfect for enjoying winter nights.
Looking for somewhere to stay for your Lake Macquarie winter getaway? From lakeside retreats to snuggly beachside escapes, the region boasts accommodation budgets for everyone from loved-up couples to groups of friends and families.
The Brighton Hotel
Offering superb studios and apartments, just minutes from the heart of Toronto, The Brighton boasts magnificent views of the lake and is the perfect spot to watch the Float Your Boat parade light up the waterfront.
Pippi’s At The Point
Offering motel-style accommodation with a relaxed restaurant and bar – plus stunning water views – Pippi’s is a fantastic base from which to explore the entire Lake Macquarie region, as well as to enjoy a front row seat to the Float your Boat festivities.
If holiday rentals are more your style, Lakeshore Holiday and Short Stay Accommodation has something for everyone. With properties available at every corner of the Lake and pet friendly accommodation available, there really is something to suit all tastes and budgets!
Float your Boat is part of the Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival. For a full list of festival events, visit Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival 2022.
To plan your winter escape or discover more of what Lake Macquarie has to offer, go to: visitlakemac.com.au
SOURCE: Lake Macquarie Tourism