18 September 2018
Major refurbishment set for Newcastle icon, the Hunter
Another key milestone has been reached in Newcastle’s journey towards a world-class public transport network, with the first of the Stockton ferries, Hunter, about to undergo a major refurbishment.
Director of Corporate Affairs, Andrew Fletcher, said the makeover was part of the commitment given by Keolis Downer and Transport for NSW to improve Newcastle’s transport services.
Fletcher said that Hunter, with a crew of four Keolis Downer employees on-board, started the epic 17-hour journey to Birdon’s Port Macquarie shipyard on Monday night.
“Not only are the vessels Newcastle icons, they are a critical part of the transport network and a popular choice for residents, workers and visitors.”
After more than 30 years of service on Newcastle Harbour, Fletcher said the time was right for an overhaul of the ferries.
“This is much more than a lick of paint and a spruce-up.”
“All the internal seating is being replaced and new seats will be added to the back deck so that customers can better enjoy the journey across the harbour”
“Brand new floors, ceilings, windows, lighting and bike racks are also being installed.”
Fletcher said there was one final improvement that would make Hunter authentically Novocastrian.
“For the first time, our ferries will have surfboard racks, matching those on the new trams and helping to create a truly multimodal network”
“The refurbishment will certainly improve the customer experience and with the increased frequency of services, we expect the growth in patronage to continue.”
The new-look Hunter will return to port before the Newcastle 500 Supercars event in November.
Shortland will make its own journey up the coast for a similar refurbishment early in 2019.