Visitors to Port Stephens and even lucky locals who live by the blue waters and white beaches of the ‘Port’ can now explore the region on their own by bike, with the opening of the area’s first 24/7 automatic bike hire station.
The hi-tech, self-service bike hire base has been installed at the d’Albora Marina in Nelson Bay – the launch point for Port Stephens’ famous dolphin and whale cruises. Stocked with eight quality bikes but with more on the way soon, including children’s bikes, the stand-alone station is the sixth in NSW to be established by Boomerang Bikes since it was formed by NSW Central Coast entrepreneur and avid cyclist, Rod Lennon.
“This is the first bike hire service of this kind in Port Stephens which is a pristine region ideal for sightseeing on a bike,” said Mr Lennon. “Cycling is a healthy, active, affordable and very personal way to see a region and now visitors and even locals who haven’t been on a bike for years can hire one any time of the day or night,” he said.
To use the bike hire station, which is secured and monitored by a remote system, customers simply insert a credit card, select the bike and hire period and release the bike from the locks. A central computer server tracks each bicycle hire through wireless, radio frequency identification technology. Customers return the bikes to the same station.
Bike hire costs $14 per hour, $28 for up to four hours and $47 for 24 hours. Free helmets and bike locks are available for bike hire customers from The Marina Ice Creamery and also Café on the Bay in the adjacent marina restaurant and shopping complex. Each bike also comes with a local map. Bikes are also available with child seats.
Rebeca Morley from Destination Port Stephens said the new bike hire service added an exciting new way to discover the natural beauty of Port Stephens. “Visitors can now hire a bike at a time that suits them and use our waterside trails to visit Port Stephens’ many bush-framed beaches and enjoy the fresh sea air,” Ms Morley said. ‘Cycling is becoming a very popular form of sightseeing so we welcome the debut of this bike station and look forward to seeing many visitors pedalling around Port Stephens.”