Former Lucky Bay ferry on its way back to Australia

RETURN: Aurora V is on its way back to Australia. Photo: supplied
RETURN: Aurora V is on its way back to Australia. Photo: supplied

The ferry which used to operate between Lucky Bay and Wallaroo is finally departing from South America and is expected to return to South Australia at the end of September.

Spencer Gulf Searoad announced on Monday its car and passenger ferry 'Aurora V' had cleared the drydock in Columbia after being caught up in the COVID-19 crisis for months.

The company says the vessel had made its way through the Panama Canal and was now in the Pacific, on its way to Wallaroo.

Spencer Gulf Searoad manager Sue Cassidy said it would be exciting to have Aurora V back in South Australia, which was sure to have tourism benefits.

"We're looking foward to it, in these days of limited access to tourism it will encourage people back to the regions, here on the Yorke Peninsula side and on the Eyre Peninsula side," she said.

There has not been a ferry service between Lucky Bay and Wallaroo since 2017 with a number of factors coming into play. Aurora V had been leased for use in Venezuela however political upheaval in the country had prevented the vessel from leaving the country.

Ms Cassidy said a start date for the ferry service would be assessed.

"We'll know more in about five weeks, we'll see what progress the vessel is making and go from there," she said.

"We look forward to seeing everybody on board."

Franklin Harbour District Council has welcomed the news of the Aurora V's impending return.

Mayor Robert Walsh said it would be timely to have the service return and would hopefully bring more visitors to Cowell.

"With restrictions on travel I think it will be very well received," he said.

Mr Walsh said the council hoped there would be government support for a proposed zone change that would allow for accommodation to be provided for people who could not get to a ferry trip on time and have to wait for the next one.