Floating Christmas tree to be moved closer to spectators

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Council has given its approval for Geelong’s iconic floating Christmas tree to be repositioned closer to the shore, to allow for the new Geelong to Docklands ferry to berth safely nearby in all weather conditions.

The move is expected to give spectators a better view of the tree, which will be in place for a sixth year.

Councillors have also agreed to the installation of mooring piles at Steampacket Quay for the state government’s trial commuter ferry service, which begins this December. 

The three-year trial service is expected to deliver Geelong a big tourism boost and give commuters more options when travelling to Melbourne.

More than 6,000 people a month have used the Portarlington Ferry Service, with this figure doubling during the peak summer season last year, and it’s anticipated the Geelong service will attract similar numbers. The ferry has been purpose-built to be larger than the Portarlington ferry, in anticipation of higher passenger take-up.

The City has extensively investigated all options for berthing the ferry within the Geelong waterfront precinct. Steampacket Quay is the only suitable and cost-effective option available.

Installation of the mooring piles will enable the tree and ferry to co-exist during the busy Christmas period.

The $90,000 cost of the mooring piles and associated infrastructure will be funded through the City’s 2019-2020 Capital Project program.

The floating Christmas tree will be launched on Friday 8 November 2019 with a special, one-night only event.

Councillor Bruce Harwood - Mayor

This is a good outcome for a clever and creative city. I have no doubt the popular floating Christmas tree will again be a huge success, with its new position giving visitors a closer view than ever.

Since its arrival in 2014, the floating tree and light show have brought more visitors to the waterfront and CBD, and added excitement and variety to the City’s Christmas program.

It’s fantastic we’ve been able to find a solution so the tree and ferry can co-exist at Steampacket Quay during the Christmas period. The economic return from the service and tourism will far outweigh the initial minor cost.

Councillor Peter Murrihy - Co-Chair, Social Infrastructure Planning portfolio

The mooring infrastructure will allow for our iconic floating Christmas tree to not only co-exist with the upcoming ferry service, but it will further enhance the viewing experience for excited visitors.

The ferry will have impressive benefits for our region. The service is expected to bring 55,000 visits here, the creation of 43 local jobs and $9.5 million in revenue for our local economy.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 14 August 2019