The ferry from Tea Gardens is operated by Port Stephens Ferry Service. We rang the previous afternoon to book on the 9am ferry, but the guy was all ‘just turn up’. I think we were charged $10 each one way, and $5 for the tandem (can’t remember)… It can be cancelled due to weather conditions, so worth a call.
The Nelson Bay road isn’t that pleasant, but there’s no alternative. Marsh Rd was a welcome break from the traffic (and the westerly headwind we had to contend with that day.)
There are a couple of service stations – one we missed just south of the southern intersection of Marsh Rd, and the other at the junction of the road to the airport at Williamtown.
Best part of that ride section is once you turn off the main drag into Stockton. There’s a great shared path through parkland. We left it and crossed to the ocean side of the peninsula.
The Stockton ferry is part of Transport NSW, and so you need an opal card. They cater for bikes – there’s a bike parking bay with wheel racks. We took off our panniers but could possibly have left them on because you just wheel the bike on and off. (depending on how many bikes you had to share the space with).. Only cost a couple of dollars I think.
Our bike computer registered 58k riding … strava km have been compromised by the ferry trip. Don’t take the detour into that new housing estate at Fern Bay like we did (unless you like looking at new housing estates). A bad call on trying to find a short cut! (We were over the main road by that point, but there’s no choice.