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Australia : Historical

Port Jackson / Sydney Harbour, NSW and New South Wales Coastal Services

The first steamship to operate on Sydney harbour is believed to be the locally-built wooden hulled steamer "Surprise" which entered service between Sydney and Parramatta in 1831. Early the following year after an unsuccessful attempt to establish herself, the ship was sold for service at Hobart, Tasmania.

Steamship services to Manly developed on a speculative basis in the 1850s, with services promoted by resort developer Henry Smith who chartered, then owned vessels as well as encouraging private owners ro offer services. It was not until 1877 that a formal company was established to regularise services.

Port Jackson Steamship Company 1877-1907 (renamed Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company 1907) dominated business and saw off the Manly Cooperative Steam Ferry Company, formed in 1893, and, taking it over in 1896. The company still exists today but in a nationalised form as Sydney Ferries Corporation

Paddle Steamers


Built in 1883 by Seath & Co, Rutherglen, Scotland. 220 x 23 feet, 417 GRT
2 cylinder compound oscillating engines by A Campbell of Glasgow
Double-ended ferry
Delivered after an 89-day voyage with numerous encounters with heavy seas
In 1900 she was beached after a collision and subsequently repaired
Withdrawn in 1916, hulked and abandoned in Pindimar Bay, to the north of Newcastle

Brighton Aus John Darroch.jpg

Photograph above : Courtesy of John Darroch

Brighton at manly.jpg

Photohraph above : Brighton at Manly : source Wikicommons

Photograph above : PS Brighton, clearly showing her double-ended configuration. Photo by Henry King. Photo out of copyright (pre-1955)

Sydney harbour ANMM William Hall collection.jpg

Unidentified paddle steamer on Sydney harbour in a photo kindly made available for public use by the Australian National Maritime Museum from their donated William Hall collection

PS Newcastle Sydney ANMM William Hall Collection.jpg
Paddle steamers also sailed up the New South Wales coast to Newcastle and this is PS Newcastle (1884-1928) of the Newcastle Steamship Company. She is missing the third funnel, unusually placed astern of the paddles, with which she originally sailed. By 1889 a railway was completed between Sydney and Newcastle and this expensive to run steamer was chartered out to serve on the Tasmania ferry service for the Huddart-Parker Company later that year, but after six months was returned. She had a long life, however but her ultimate fate became to be sunk deliberately off the Australian coast in 1933. Photo kindly made available for public use by the Australian National Maritime Museum from their donated William Hall collection. Photo out of copyright (pre-1955)

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