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Ecotourism reaches the shores of Lake Macquarie

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Regular whale-watching and offshore cruises will be on offer for the first time from Lake Macquarie with the launch of a sleek new CoastXP vessel.

Operating from the Swansea RSL wharf for offshore tours, and Belmont Baths jetty for inshore excursions, the 12-seat Hydro is the latest milestone for the ecotourism company.

Director Dominic May said the boat would be based full-time in Lake Mac.

“It will allow us to offer entirely new ecotourism activities in the lake,” he said.

“We’ve collaborated with local hospitality operators, including Gather & Graze, TINTA Belmont and 8 at Trinity to offer lunch and cruise packages and extraordinary experiences.”

Cruising Lake Macquarie near Blacksmiths.

Lake Macquarie City deputy mayor Madeline Bishop said council and CoastXP shared a vision for growing the city as a sustainable tourism destination.

“We’re so lucky to live where we do, surrounded by natural beauty and attractions,” she explained.

“The aim of ecotourism is to embrace these things, celebrate them and shed light on them, but minimising the footprints we leave behind.”

Tours will range in duration from 90 minutes to four-hour trips packaged with a lunch stop.

Whale-watching cruises during the peak winter season will take about 2.5 hours.

Mr May said the company would initially offer weekend tours, and weekday trips based on demand.

“We’ve created tour options and durations aimed at kids and families, as well as individuals, couples and visitors,” he said.

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