:  The Internet's leading website for Side-Wheeled Paddle Steamers


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Withdrawn in 1916, hulked and abandoned in Pindimar Bay, to the north of Newcastle 

Return to :

Historical database