Brightside (left), Courier (right)

Emu (II)/Brightside

Type :
Iron paddlewheel steamer
Launched  :
Builder :
A and J Inglis
Glasgow, Scotland
Gross :
270 tons
Dimensions :
170.80 x 22.10 x 5.10 (feet)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
10 knots

Emu II was one of the numerous early vessels that were built overseas but assembled in Australia (in this case, in Brisbane).

From 1865 to 1877 she operated with the Queensland Steam Navigation Company between Ipswich and Brisbane as a cargo vessel. After the opening of the railway line between the two towns, her owners sold her to the Port Jackson Steamboat Company. They renamed her Brightside and between 1877 and 1891 she was one of the mainstays of the trade. However, due to her shallow draught and relatively slow speed she was not really suitable for her new role. By 1891 she was mainly being used as a spare boat.

On the evening of the 24th of February 1885 at around 11.20pm Emu was leaving her berth at Circular Quay when she struck and sank the inner harbour ferry Waratah. Fortunately no passengers were hurt and Waratah was raised.

In 1897 she sank at her mooring at Neutral Bay.

In 1902 she was retired from passenger service and worked as a cargo vessel to Manly until gutted by fire in 1908. The next year she was broken up and her engines were sold to a sawmill on the New South Wales south coast.