Kids and big kids (a.k.a. grown-ups) loooove things that light up – so put on your thermals, pour some hot chocolate into your thermos, and line up on the shores of Lake Macquarie for this year’s Float Your Boat competition. It’s like a little bit of Vivid close to home!

So what’s it all about? Float Your Boat is an open competition for boat owners to deck out their boats in ALL the lights and take part in a flotilla parade for cash prizes. It’s held over two nights (Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19) and if you head along you can expect to see a rainbow of colour cruise past. Spectators get to vote for their favourite boat for the People’s Choice Award too.

There are also foreshore live sites, including Toronto Foreshore (on the Friday) and Warners Bay Foreshore (on the Saturday) that will have roaming magicians, LED hoola hoop show, children’s rides, jumping castles, food trucks and more.

For the full program, including the times you can expect the boats to be at each vantage point, check out the Lake Macquarie City Council website.

Here are some ideas on how you can enjoy Float Your Boat:

  • Pack some camp chairs and a picnic dinner and set up at one of the best viewing points (more on those below). Or, if it’s just way too cold, enjoy the lights from your car!
  • You could also view the boats from one of the restaurants around the lake. There are stacks of options in Toronto, Warners Bay and Belmont.
  • Use torches to light up the evening sky, or pack glow sticks for the whole fam.

And here’s the scoop on the best viewing locations:

Friday, June 18

  • Marmong Point Foreshore through to Marmong Point Sailing Club
  • Bolton Point Park
  • Toronto Yacht Club and along Toronto Foreshore – Toronto (live site)
  • Carey Bay Foreshore and Yarul Reserve – Carey Bay
  • Wombal Reserve – Coal Point
  • Rathmines Foreshore and Recreation Area
  • Arcadia Reserve – Arcadia Vale
  • Wangi RSL Club

Saturday, June 19

  • Speers Point jetty and eastern side of Speers Point Park
  • Shared pathway between Speers Point and Eleebana
  • Warners Bay Foreshore (live site)
  • Red Bluff Boardwalk – Eleebana
  • Lions Park – Eleebana
  • Croudace Bay Park and Valentine Bowling Club
  • Bennett Park – Valentine
  • Green Point Walk, foreshore and Sea Eagle Lookout
  • Lake Macquarie Yacht Club
  • Belmont Baths and Belmont Foreshore
  • Belmont 16s

Float Your Boat, Lake Macquarie

When: Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19, 6pm – 9.30pm.
Where: The Float Your Boat flotilla parade will make its way along the western side of the lake on Friday night and the eastern side on Saturday night.

Friday, June 18: Marmong Point Marina to Toronto, Coal Point and Wangi Wangi.
Saturday, June 29: Marmong Point Marina to Warners Bay, Eleebana, Valentine and Belmont.

Cost: Free.
Ages: This one is fun for the whole family – just make sure you rug up! Brr!

Looking for more awesome experiences outside of the Central Coast? Head on over to our Day Trips section for things to do in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Sydney and the Hunter Valley.

Header image via Lake Macquarie City Council