The number of boats allowed to traverse the Tweed's idyllic waterways could be curtailed by the Tweed Shire Council as they try to cope with a pasttime dramatically increasing in popularity.
Speaking at the launch of a new marina in Tweed Heads yesterday, Tweed mayor Warren Polglase said the early popularity of a new 18-berth wharf at River Terrace showed boating on the Tweed may need restrictions in the future.
The floating finger wharf will be home to the Tweed's commercial boating industry by the end of January when sewerage-station pump-out facilities are completed.
All berths have been leased by local marine operators and two more are planned for construction to help the facility cope with demand.
Cr Polglase said interest in boating on the Tweed was so high that he expected any extra marinas on the Tweed would be leased before construction was completed.
"Berths would be leased tommorrow. This means we will have to consider how many boats there are on the Tweed River," he said.
"We have got a unique, pristine environment here and the time will come to say 'no more boats'.
"It will be a decision to be made down the track, but sooner rather than later. These facilities demonstrate what can be done."
Local waterways officer Carl Cormack has seen a massive amount of boats on the Tweed's waterways these school holidays and said it was a pasttime increasing in popularity.
"There has been an increase in compliance on the water and an increase in business. This new facility means the public can unload and be unhindered by the commerical industry, which has its own home now," he said.
The new finger wharf has attracted the praise of local houseboat operators as it finally provides them with a professional set-up to attract tourists.
Berger's Houseboats operator Robert Berger said the $630,000 investment by council to build the wharf recognised the importance of the local marine industry.
"We are the largest houseboat industry north of the Hawkesbury River," Mr Berger said.
"And it has been embarassing what we have been operating with, but we have finally turned that
"This will help put the industry on display to everyone."