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Hovercraft tours on Lake Burley Griffin?

By 12 January 2014 135

 I have a friend who is looking to expand his business by offering Hovercraft tours around Lake Burley Griffin.  It is felt that it would be a wonderful attraction for tourists and family outings.  A small Hovercraft will also add an interesting backdrop to the lake, which arguably can be perceived as fairly bland to a proportion of residents.  The Hovercraft is extremely quiet, as not to be intrusive to citizens not interested in such a form of entertainment, plus it will help utilize a fairly under used attraction of Canberra that is the lake.  It is felt by many that Canberra could use far more attractions than what is currently available, as long as they don’t impact on the day to day lives of other Canberra citizens.  As a result, such a venture can only make a percentage of Canberra citizens happier, and help tourism, bringing money into the capital, all of which is positive.  As for environmental impact, the same company has been approved for use at the Great Barrier Reef, one of the most beautiful and delicate natural structures in the world.

What do people think about the concept of Hovercraft tours on the lake? I’m very interested in people’s opinions plus  any opinion on adding even more eclectic forms of entertainment within the nations capital, so that a wider range of our citizens have the ability to enjoy themselves.  Over the years family events have been cancelled, but never replaced with an alternative.  Replacing said events can only make people and families happier, which can only benifit the city and people’s outlook on life!

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135 Responses to Hovercraft tours on Lake Burley Griffin?
#1
Mr Evil11:25 am, 12 Jan 14

Great idea – but if the ACT Government won’t allow jet-skis or private motorised boats (apart from the ferries) on the lake – I’d be surprised they’d allow a hovercraft anywhere near it either?

Apparently noise is the big issue – and the toffs of Campbell and Reid don’t like noise…..

#2
farnarkler11:26 am, 12 Jan 14

I reckon the red tape involved with operating a powered vehicle on the lake would sink your friend’s idea. How about hovercraft racing on Lake George.

#3
Deref11:44 am, 12 Jan 14

I’ve never been on a hovercraft – I’d try that!

#4
maxblues12:19 pm, 12 Jan 14

Je suis un Rock Star…

#5
Benaresq12:28 pm, 12 Jan 14

Mr Evil said :

Great idea – but if the ACT Government won’t allow jet-skis or private motorised boats (apart from the ferries) on the lake – I’d be surprised they’d allow a hovercraft anywhere near it either?

Apparently noise is the big issue – and the toffs of Campbell and Reid don’t like noise…..

I head that it was boats causing a wake that was the issue (excuse), and that apparently hovercraft were specifically allowed.

Once upon a time, they even used to race them on the lake:
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/home-made-hovercrafts-race/query/canberra

#6
BimboGeek12:37 pm, 12 Jan 14

At the end of the day, for me, it’s more about the service than the technology used to deliver it. What can a hovercraft do that the ferries can’t? What’s your USP?

#7
MERC60012:47 pm, 12 Jan 14

Deref said :

I’ve never been on a hovercraft – I’d try that!

I’ve been on one. A big fullah one from Dover to Calais back in 73. Very weird riding experience as there was a bit of a swell running in the channel..
Here I reckon it would be a good idea. I don’t think the lake is utilised enough. But as Mr Evel mentions noise would sink it.
But Farnarkler mentions Lake George. Now that could be worth a look at. Even I might be talked into parting with some of the hard earned to skim across it. Would need a bar though.

#8
kingcosworth12:49 pm, 12 Jan 14

Your right, the red tape is proving ridiculous. ‘Visit Canberra (Department of Tourism)’ and ‘National Capital Attractions Authority’ is all for it, but the Lake Authority (NCA) is not. Reading through the act after the application was submitted, the only clause that seemed to go against the concept was a discretionary clause that states that any venture must be in keeping with the look and serenity of the lake. As for the vessel being petrol powered, private vessals can not be powered, but comercial vessals can be, thus the powered ferry. Regarding noise, we have conducted extensive sound testing in Melbourne and the noise level is 78dB, quiter than a whipper snipper. The lakes in Canberra are grossly under utilised, with a population of about 400,000 people, a tiny percentage of the population actually utilise the lake, as most forms of water sport are banned for use. I feel Canberra needs more attractions, and I beleive I’m not the only one who thinks this, but with Government bodies stonewalling ventures that are outside the norm is not fair for the citizens of Canberra and there needs to be a change!!!

#9
gooterz1:20 pm, 12 Jan 14

I thought nca only did LBG lake t and g should be out of their scope. Have you spoken with groups like the Tuggeranong community council?

#10
wildturkeycanoe1:34 pm, 12 Jan 14

kingcosworth said :

The lakes in Canberra are grossly under utilised, with a population of about 400,000 people, a tiny percentage of the population actually utilise the lake, as most forms of water sport are banned for use.

This is because half the year the water is too cold to use and the other half the government stops us from going in because of the green algae.

As for the hover idea, wouldn’t the craft also be restricted to a certain speed, making it a pretty ordinary ride? Unless you could zoom around at a rate of knots….boring.

#11
kingcosworth2:14 pm, 12 Jan 14

BimboGeek said :

At the end of the day, for me, it’s more about the service than the technology used to deliver it. What can a hovercraft do that the ferries can’t? What’s your USP?

Purely the novelty of the hovercraft, it’s more of a joyride as apposed to a means of transport. There are thousands of brands of cars out there, but they all do the same job and get you from A to B, just some of them appeal more to some than others.

#12
kingcosworth2:16 pm, 12 Jan 14

gooterz said :

I thought nca only did LBG lake t and g should be out of their scope. Have you spoken with groups like the Tuggeranong community council?

That’s interesting, thanks for that advice, I will look into it!!

#13
kingcosworth2:21 pm, 12 Jan 14

maxblues said :

Je suis un Rock Star…

I am a rock star, thankyou!

#14
maxblues2:33 pm, 12 Jan 14

kingcosworth said :

maxblues said :

Je suis un Rock Star…

I am a rock star, thankyou!

The song was possibly the first (and last?) to refer to a hovercraft.

#15
c_c™2:41 pm, 12 Jan 14

There’s absolutely no chance of this happening. Hovercraft are not quiet, its operations would be restricted to central basin for obvious reasons and central basin has mostly formed shoreline above the water level designed for conventional boat traffic.

#16
gooterz3:06 pm, 12 Jan 14

kingcosworth said :

gooterz said :

I thought nca only did LBG lake t and g should be out of their scope. Have you spoken with groups like the Tuggeranong community council?

That’s interesting, thanks for that advice, I will look into it!!

http://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=315&Itemid=284

Everywhere else looks fair game to me.

#17
maxblues3:14 pm, 12 Jan 14

maxblues said :

kingcosworth said :

maxblues said :

Je suis un Rock Star…

I am a rock star, thankyou!

The song was possibly the first (and last?) to refer to a hovercraft.

“We could go on the hovercraft
Across the water
They’ll think I’m your dad
And you’re my daughter”
I always thought this verse referred to Bill Wyman’s relationship with Mandy Smith, but I have done the maths to find that Mandy would have been 10 or 11 when the song was released in 1981. Even though their relationship began when she was 13, and Wyman has admitted that their sexual relationship began when she was 14, I think I shall give Bill the benefit of the doubt and say that the song is about a (Brazilian) girl he met in Trafalgar Square. It does show that he had a predilection for young females before Mandy.

#18
knuckles3:37 pm, 12 Jan 14

kingcosworth said :

maxblues said :

Je suis un Rock Star…

I am a rock star, thankyou!

Yes, but Bill Wyman is no longer a rock star.
Although apparently he is, by marriage, his own grandfather.

#19
Deref3:47 pm, 12 Jan 14

MERC600 said :

Deref said :

I’ve never been on a hovercraft – I’d try that!

I’ve been on one. A big fullah one from Dover to Calais back in 73. Very weird riding experience as there was a bit of a swell running in the channel..
Here I reckon it would be a good idea. I don’t think the lake is utilised enough. But as Mr Evel mentions noise would sink it.
But Farnarkler mentions Lake George. Now that could be worth a look at. Even I might be talked into parting with some of the hard earned to skim across it. Would need a bar though.

:-) You lucky bastard! I had a model of that when I was a kid.

And yeah – Lake George – with a bar – WIN!

#20
HOVERFUN_TOURS3:48 pm, 12 Jan 14

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for taking the time and interest to read my friends post. The NCA who govern the lake haven’t closed the door on me at this stage, they’re being extremely thorough%u2026 which i guess we’d complain about if they weren’t.

My hovercraft is to commercial specification. It seats 6-people: just enough to be economically viable, and not too big to be too noisy or financially unviable. I produce 78dB of noise – comparative to a loud conversation. I have set a self-imposed speed limit of 20kts (approx 36km/h) on my operations. Fast enough to not be boring and not too fast to be perceived as reckless or dangerous.

I will offer patrons a view of more of the lake than can be seen on any ferry tour currently operating, and i will do this while offering customers a historical tour of the lake’s history and icons%u2026 or come along for a shorter trip and simply be ‘wowed’ by a hovercraft. Like fairy floss, they’re nothing new, but they are most definitely a novelty item.

Please look over my website if you are still curious, and please support my business by sharing this thread with a friend and ‘like’ my Facebook page:

http://www.hoverfuntours.com.au

https://facebook.com/profile.php?id=399175860183031

Regards,

HOVER-FUN TOURS

#21
Mr Evil4:58 pm, 12 Jan 14

Ah that’s right, National Capital Authority (not the ACT Government), control the lake – so apologies for blaming the wrong mob for putting restrictions on the use of LBG.

I reckon if you give your company an Aboriginal name, appoint a disabled, bi/gay/lesbian/gender-fluid person with a troubled childhood to run the tours, then you’ll have no trouble getting the operation approved! ;-)

#22
Masquara5:09 pm, 12 Jan 14

How quiet? As quiet as a row-boat or a yacht? If yes – maybe. If not – NUH!

#23
Roundhead895:53 pm, 12 Jan 14

maxblues said :

Je suis un Rock Star…

“They’ll think I’m your dad and you’re my daughter”. Not PC nowadays…

#24
johnnycash7:25 pm, 12 Jan 14

I’d go for a ride…with my family. Sounds like fun. Segway around the lake and then hovercraft over it. Cool!

#25
Masquara9:05 pm, 12 Jan 14

kingcosworth said :

Your right, the red tape is proving ridiculous. ‘Visit Canberra (Department of Tourism)’ and ‘National Capital Attractions Authority’ is all for it, but the Lake Authority (NCA) is not. Reading through the act after the application was submitted, the only clause that seemed to go against the concept was a discretionary clause that states that any venture must be in keeping with the look and serenity of the lake. As for the vessel being petrol powered, private vessals can not be powered, but comercial vessals can be, thus the powered ferry. Regarding noise, we have conducted extensive sound testing in Melbourne and the noise level is 78dB, quiter than a whipper snipper. The lakes in Canberra are grossly under utilised, with a population of about 400,000 people, a tiny percentage of the population actually utilise the lake, as most forms of water sport are banned for use. I feel Canberra needs more attractions, and I beleive I’m not the only one who thinks this, but with Government bodies stonewalling ventures that are outside the norm is not fair for the citizens of Canberra and there needs to be a change!!!

78 decibels is NOT quiet. According to a google search it is the equivalent of heavy traffic. I don’t want a hovercraft on the lake disrupting everyday people’s quiet activities, thanks! There’s a place across the border on the water for motorboats!

#26
johnboy9:07 pm, 12 Jan 14

Never mind Masquara, she hates everything.

#27
Masquara9:08 pm, 12 Jan 14

HOVERFUN_TOURS said :

I produce 78dB of noise

‘ang on, ‘ang on. Is that the motor noise only? Or can you confirm that youhave included the propellor noise, which is the subject of many complaints about hovercraft disrupting people’s water leisure pursuits, and apparently is the source of most hovercraft noise?

#28
Masquara9:12 pm, 12 Jan 14

johnboy said :

Never mind Masquara, she hates everything.

except Barcham

#29
c_c™10:13 pm, 12 Jan 14

Masquara said :

kingcosworth said :

Your right, the red tape is proving ridiculous. ‘Visit Canberra (Department of Tourism)’ and ‘National Capital Attractions Authority’ is all for it, but the Lake Authority (NCA) is not. Reading through the act after the application was submitted, the only clause that seemed to go against the concept was a discretionary clause that states that any venture must be in keeping with the look and serenity of the lake. As for the vessel being petrol powered, private vessals can not be powered, but comercial vessals can be, thus the powered ferry. Regarding noise, we have conducted extensive sound testing in Melbourne and the noise level is 78dB, quiter than a whipper snipper. The lakes in Canberra are grossly under utilised, with a population of about 400,000 people, a tiny percentage of the population actually utilise the lake, as most forms of water sport are banned for use. I feel Canberra needs more attractions, and I beleive I’m not the only one who thinks this, but with Government bodies stonewalling ventures that are outside the norm is not fair for the citizens of Canberra and there needs to be a change!!!

78 decibels is NOT quiet. According to a google search it is the equivalent of heavy traffic. I don’t want a hovercraft on the lake disrupting everyday people’s quiet activities, thanks! There’s a place across the border on the water for motorboats!

That noise rating does depend on range, I presuming that’s 78db a 25m but would be helpful to know. None the less, 78 is getting very close to the threshold at which it can cause hearing damage.

It’s nice that the NCA is humouring the operator by supposedly considering it, but we can be quite certain they won’t allow it on LBG. Thank goodness.

#30
CrankyGit10:19 pm, 12 Jan 14

“The Hovercraft is extremely quiet, as not to be intrusive…”

Hahahahahaha… That’s funny.

But, during sane hours, I think it should be allowable. I’d give it a go.

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