Australia





Australia

Type :
Wooden paddlewheel steam ship
Launched  :
1834
Builder :
John Russell
Williams River, NSW
Gross weight :
45 tons
Dimensions :
83.40 x 12.60 x 6.80 (feet)
Passenger capacity :
unknown
Speed :
unknown

Australia was one of the early paddlewheelers of which a reasonable amount of details is known. She was owned by the Australian Steam Conveyance Company and ran a joint operation with the Experiment, owned by Eyde Manning. Both vessels ran from Sydney Cove to Parramatta.

There is an image of her in the Australian National Libray, it is believed that this is the earliest depiction of a steam vessel in Australia.

Like many other earlier ferries, she subsidised her income by operating in a tug boat role, escorting sailing ships into the harbour from outside Sydney Heads.

Australia was modified in 1844 to carry horse traffic across the harbour to Milsons Point. It is not known if she carried the traffic on her narrow decks or towed a punt.

On the 8th of October 1844 she struck submerged rocks near Milsons Point and sank. She was raised and converted into a sailing vessel. In this guise she was sold to Queensland where she was wrecked in 1863.

Australia is sometimes referred to as Australian, however they are both the same vessel.


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