The current Daintree ferry contract is due to expire 30 June 2021. Following a tender process that drew international attention, Douglas Shire Council resolved to allow the Chief Executive Officer to finalise contractual negotiations with local company, Sirron Enterprises Pty Ltd. The contractors have operated the ferry crossing since 2006.
The proposed 36-vehicle ferry would carry nine extra vehicles and operate in the main channel, while the current 27-vehicle ferry would operate downstream in a second channel to alleviate traffic congestion during peak tourist season.
Before preparing tender documents, Douglas Shire Council sought feedback from the community with regard to any enhancements to the ferry service they would like Council to consider.
Douglas Shire Council resolved to allow the Chief Executive Officer to finalise contractual negotiations with local company, Sirron Enterprises Pty Ltd. A hybrid solar-powered vehicle ferry with a greater carrying capacity is a planned addition to the Daintree River Ferry Crossing fleet under the next contract. The proposed 36-vehicle ferry, which would operate on solar power a majority of the time, would carry nine extra vehicles and operate in the main channel, while the current 27-vehicle ferry would operate downstream in a second channel to alleviate traffic congestion during peak tourist season.
Council released the tender for the next Daintree River Ferry Contract to market. Council contacted companies that made initial submissions through the Expressions of Interest (EOI) stage and advertised the tender nation-wide. The tender documents were designed to extract innovative solutions to address key issues at the Daintree River crossing.
A traffic modelling report that assessed four different options for the Daintree River crossing and the ability to reduce wait times for the next 17 years is now publicly available. Douglas Shire Council CEO Mark Stoermer presented the results from the Daintree Ferry traffic report, which analysed congestion and used micro-simulation to assess future traffic conditions, at a public meeting in Cow Bay. Read traffic report here.
Council has invited expressions of interest to gauge market appetite and solicit ideas for managing one of the last cable ferry crossings in tropical Australia. A community engagement report is available for viewing here.
Council has endorsed a community engagement plan that will feature public workshops and written submissions. An extra deck hand will also be trialled to speed up travel across the Daintree River during the peak season. Council approved a trial for an extra person to help receipting at the northern bank of the Daintree River from 1pm to 6pm daily. Read full Council report here
Before preparing tender documents, Council sought feedback from the community with regard to any enhancements to the ferry service they would like Council to consider.
A full report on the community consultation is available HERE
Detailed submissions are available below
In the News
- JULY 2018 – Daintree Ferry future in public hands
- SEP 2018 – Council to pick up tab on Daintree Ferry engineering study
- DEC 2018 – Daintree Ferry time trial a win for early birds
- FEB 2019 – EOI to spark market excitement for Daintree tourism icon
- MARCH 2019 – Interest in Daintree Ferry rolling in
- JUNE 2019 – Traffic modelling report released
- JULY 2019 – Daintree Ferry tender released to market
- DEC 2019 – Plans for Solar-Powered Ferry to Boost Ranks at Daintree River
Daintree Ferry Fast Facts
Operating Days and Hours
The Daintree Ferry operates continuously across the river from 5am through to midnight every day except Christmas Day when hours are restricted to 7.30am to 10.00am and 2.30pm to 5pm although this can vary slightly from year to year.
The current capacity of the ferry is 27 standard vehicles.
It is 43 metres long and can carry up to 450 tonnes.
There is a priority lane for locals on the southern side of the river and this operates between 9am and 4.30pm from the first Sunday in June through to early November each year. Council sets the start and finish dates of the priority lane.
Disruption to normal ferry services
The current contract allows for the ferry to be out of service for up to six days each year for repairs and maintenance. The contractor must provide reasonable notice to Council of any pending closure. During the closure, the operator must provide a passenger vessel service capable of taking at least 30 passengers.
Douglas Shire Council pays the contractor to deliver the ferry service. All aspects of operating the ferry are the responsibility of the contractor. This includes the ferry driver, traffic controllers to load and unload vehicles, and staffing of the ticket booths. The fees charged to cross the river are set by Douglas Shire Council and all revenue collected goes to Council.
EFTPOS is available at the ferry at all times with machines at the booth and on the ferry. Payment arrangements are managed by DSC.
Douglas Shire Council is responsible maintaining the channel across the Daintree River to accommodate the ferry.