Float Your Boat

Next date: Friday, 21 June 2024 | 04:30 PM to 08:30 PM

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Rug up this Winter and enjoy Float Your Boat; an open competition for boat owners to dress their boats with lights and take part in a flotilla parade for cash prizes.

Ahoy Boaties! 

Enjoy the other side of Float Your Boat this year, from your boat! This is an open competition for all boat owners to join in on the fun and dress their boats with lights to take part in a flotilla parade. You will not only be part of entertaining the community, you will also have the opportunity to meet and connect with fellow boat owners. Lake Macquarie City Council will provide you with guidance and the money and materials to create a display. Anyone can do it!

Held on beautiful Lake Macquarie, spectators will line the shores to watch boats in a rainbow of colour cruise past before casting their vote for the People's Choice Award. We will have three (3) live site activations as part of the event at Toronto Foreshore on Friday night and at Belmont and Warners Bay on Saturday night. The live sites will run from 4pm – 8pm and include live music, roaming illuminated performances, family-friendly entertainment and food trucks.  

Friday 21 June 2024 – The flotilla will travel from Empire Marina Lake Macquarie to Toronto, Coal Point and Wangi Wangi 

Saturday 22 June 2024 – The flotilla will travel from Marks Point, Belmont to Valentine, Eleebana, Warners Bay, and finish at Empire Marina Lake Macquarie. *Note that the flotilla will start at Empire Marina Lake Macquarie with light displays off as the boats travel towards Marks Point.

Get Involved
We are calling all boat owners to take part in the flotilla parade for 2024. We hope to get 30 boats in this year's flotilla making it the biggest and best yet! The only requirement to enter is that your boat must be a minimum of 5m in length and a maximum of 18m. You must also be over 16 years old and your boat is to be driven by a captain with a current RMS boat license.

We are seeking the help of our boating communities to reach this target. All boaties who refer a friend or who are ‘first-time’ Float Your Boat entrants will be placed into a prize draw to win one of two prizes.  The Refer a Friend prize is a 2-night stay at Sails Holiday Park in any available accommodation for up to 2 adults and 2 children. The prize is valued at up to $410 recommended retail price (RRP).  

The First-Time Entrant prize is a 2-night stay at Wangi Point Holiday Park in any available accommodation for up to 2 adults and 2 children. The prize is valued at up to $560 RRP.  

In addition to these prizes, there is the Mayor's Best Boat Award and the People’s Choice Award. The Mayor’s Best Boat Award is judged by Councillor Kay Fraser Mayor of Lake Macquarie and there is a winner for the 5-10m boat length category and over 10m. The two winners will be awarded a perpetual trophy and $400 prize money. Mayor Fraser judges the winners on Friday evening with the winners announced and presented their prizes at the pre-flotilla briefing and BBQ at Empire Marina Lake Macquarie on Saturday afternoon.  

The People’s Choice Award is judged by the public with voting opening on Friday evening June 21 and closing on Sunday 30 June 2024 at 11:59pm. The winners are announced on Monday 1 July 2024 on Lake Macquarie City Council’s Facebook page and event website. The public casts their vote via the event website. The website will have images of each light display and their boat name. There will be three winners – first prize will receive $1000, second prize will receive $600 and third prize will receive $400.  

Light display workshop 

If you are keen to enter the flotilla but not sure what to do for your light display or how to get started, never fear! We’re here to help! We will be running a workshop on building a light display with David from Empire Marina Lake Macquarie and Steve Upton who is an experienced Float Your Boat entrant! Details to come.

Register your interest in the flotilla

You can check out the image gallery below from 2023 for some inspiration! We can connect you with previous entrants and provide you with tips and tricks. Please get in touch with the Events team at [email protected]

Live Site Contractor Expressions of Interest

As part of the Float Your Boat experience Council will be hosting live sites at Toronto, Warners Bay and Belmont to activate our foreshore and encourage attendance at key viewing points to watch the flotilla pass by. This is a free family event that will bring our community together in celebration. Lake Macquarie City Council is seeking suitably qualified local event management professionals to manage all of our Float Your Boat live sites. 

Each live site will need to include food, music, family friendly entertainment and illuminated elements such as up lit trees and roving performers. 

If you are interested in applying, please complete the Expression of Interest form available via the link below. 

Register your interest 




  • Friday, 21 June 2024 | 04:30 PM - 08:30 PM
  • Saturday, 22 June 2024 | 04:30 PM - 08:30 PM

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