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

Australia :  Clarence,  Richmond and Macleay River Steam Navigation Co.  (NSW)
Paddle steamers and, increasingly, screw steamers maintained a service linking Sydney with communities in northern New South Wales for cargo and passengers with both vessels for up-river transit and for coastal running

Grafton Steam Navigation Company (1857)
Clarence & Richmond Steam Navigation Company (1860)
Clarence, Richmond & Macleay River Steam Navigation Co  (1888)
North Coast Steam Navigation Co (1891) after merger with John See & Co
The company made several acquisitions in the interwar period before going into liquidation in 1954.

Above : City of Grafton, the last major paddle steamer built for the company was delivered by Alexander Stephen & Sons of Pointhouse, Govan in 1876 - the only passenger (and cargo) paddle steamer built by the company at their Clydeside home despite their being major shipbuilders for other sectors. They had recently completed four small cargo paddle steamers for South America but otherwise had no experience of paddlers and produced no more paddlers in a further ninety-three years of operation.

Grafton (1854-1860) 140.9 ft : 316 GRT built by W & J Laird of Birkenhead

Urara (-1866)  180.5 ft : 382 GRT built by W & J Laird of Birkenhead. Wrecked in 1866

Duncan Hoyle (1858-1860) 139.6 ft : 188 GRT built in 1853 by J Scott & Sons of Greenock for owners in Sydney

Fenella (1860-1862) 159.4 ft : 261 GRT built in Liverpool in 1846. Latterly on the Sydney & Hunter River run before purchase. Sold to China in 1862

Agnes Irving (1862-1879) 203.5 ft : 440 GRT  built by C Lungley & Co, London

Rainbow (1863-1864) 149.8 ft : 110 GRT built by Corcoran on the Macleay River in 1860. Bought in 1863. Sank in a storm in 1864

Florence Irving (1864-1867) 206.8 ft : 453 GRT  built by C Lungley & Co, London. Sold to Australasian Steam Navigation Co. Wrecked in 1877

Ballina (1866-1879) 179.4 ft : 300 GRT built by C Mitchell & Co of Low Walker, Newcastle. Engine by Stephenson & Co of Newcastle. Wrecked

Fire King (1870-1873) 148 ft : 221 GRT built locally on Macleay River by J Stewart and owned by W Marshall. Wrecked in on Manning River in 1873

City of Grafton (1876-1913) 207.4 ft : 825 GRT built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Govan.  Hulked in 1920 and scrapped in 1930

Small river paddle steamers

Nautilus (1864-1891 ) 55.5 ft : 22 GRT built in 1854 by Randolph, Elder & Co at Govan  for owners at Sydney NSW. Used on Macleay River
Ulmarra (-1862) 85.3 ft : 50 GRT built at Balmain, Sydney. Wrecked
Uloom (-1909) 102 ft : 115 GRT built by ASN in Sydney. 

Ramornie (1869-1893) 92.9 ft : 86 GRT built by ASN in Sydney.
Irvington (1887-1892) 70.4 ft built by J Piper of Balmain, Sydney. Used on the Richmond river

The northern New South Wales rivers area became a major producer of sugar and the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (still extant as a diversified industrial corporation, CSR) transported its output to its sugar refining mills in Sydney and Melbourne. The area under plantation expanded into Queensland in the 1880s and the company gradually took over the plantations from individual farmers
Paddle steamer Terranora was built in 1878 by D&W Henderson of Glasgow (141.5 ft : 349 GRT : 2 cylinder diagonal engine 30 and 30 x 54 in) and operated on the coast to and from Brisbane between 1878 and 1890 when it was sold for use in New Zealand.
In the same year the company took delivery of the paddle tug Iluka, which towed barges down the Clarence River, from the same Glasgow shipyard. It served the company until 1911

Above : Terranora carrying passengers in New Zealand.  Image : Auckland Libraries Sir George Grey collection

Return to

Historical database