Being a harbour city - whether you live on 'the north shore' or in 'the Shire' or in God's own country' - Sydney needs water transportation, and it's provided daily by the fleet of green-and-yellow painted ferries that scuttle back and forth across the deep harbour. There are also catamaran and 'river cats' that ply the shallower waterways, but this photo essay is a tribute to the grand old green-and-yellow ladies of the harbour.
Their names conjure their beach destinations: Collaroy, Queenscliffe, Narrabeen and Freshwater; and the names of vessels in the First Fleet of 1787: Alexander, Charlotte, Borrowdale, Fishburn, Friendship, Golden Grove, Scarborough, Sirius, Supply.
Wiki tells us:
Sydney Ferries is an agency of the New South Wales Government Department of Transport, providing ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia.
Having operated on Sydney Harbour and its related waterways since 1875, today Sydney Ferries carry over 14 million customers each year to destinations in and around Sydney.
Sydney Ferries can trace its roots as far back as the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove where in 1789, the first ferry service was established from the Cove to the farming settlement of Parramatta.
The first ferry, officially named the Rose Hill Packet (otherwise known as 'The Lump'), was crafted by convicts and powered by sails and oars. Trips inland from Sydney Cove to Parramatta typically took up to one week to complete. As time progressed, a series of rowboat ferrymen set up small operations to transport people from either side of Sydney Harbour.
In 1861, the North Shore Ferry Company was established which operated the very first commercial ferry service across Sydney Harbour.
In 1899, ferry services were integrated into Sydney Ferries Limited, which became the world's largest ferry operator by fleet size. After the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened on 19 March 1932, ferry patronage dropped almost overnight, decreasing from 30 to 13 million passengers per year.
In 1951, the NSW Government intervened in response to the financial difficulty of the operator and agreed to take over Sydney Ferries Limited.
|Docking at Circular Quay|
|A contemplative passenger.|
|Official Ferries Logo|
|Red and yellow.|
|Names echoing the First Fleet.|
|Red, green, yellow.|