Kalang







Kalang


Type :
Steel screw steamer
Launched  :
1926
Builder :
J Chrichton & Co Ltd
Saltney, England
Gross weight :
525 tons
Dimensions :
187.00 x 35.65 x 14.58 (feet)
Passenger capacity :
250 passengers/50 vehicles
Speed :
13 knots

(See Sydney Queen entry also)

By the early 1920's vehicular traffic across the harbour had increased to such an extent that Sydney Ferries Limited decided to order three big car ferries. These were Koondooloo, Kalang and Kooroongabba. The three vessels were broadly similar and all were built in England and travelled to Australia under their own steam.

After the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened and obsoleted her, Kalang was converted into a showboat. She remained in this role until 1958. When the state government took over the ailing ferry fleet, Kalang was not included in the deal, she continued to operate as a showboat under seperate ownership.

In 1958 facing mounting costs and falling business, she was laid up, out of service. Two years later in 1960 she was sold to new owners her renamed her to Sydney Queen and painted her white which gave her the appearance of looking much larger than she was. For three years she played host to jazz bands and strip shows but this did not bring in the expected cash flow and her owners went broke.

From 1963 until 1971 she was left, basically abandoned in Snails Bay to the whims of vandals and the elements. Various plans were proposed for her : re-use as a ferry in Hong Kong, a floating restaurant, a casino and even being broken up. She was finally sold to a group in the Phillipines who planned on using her in Manilla as a ferry and a showboat.

She was sold along with her running mates Koondooloo and Kooroongabba. Included in the sale was the Hobart car ferry Lugerena. The four set off on their long journey behind the tug Polaris. Everyone predicted diaster and they were right.

Shortly past Newcastle Kooroongabba sank and the other three were causing trouble as well. Polaris took the three remaining ferries into Trial Bay at South West Rocks to attempt repairs. Unfortunately all three ferries went ashore in quick succession. Polaris attempted to pull them back out again, however as one came out, another would go back in. Polaris eventually abandoned her charges and all three ferries remain  at  rest where they landed on January 12th 1972. Kalang was later burnt out deliberately to prevent vandalism.

The remains of all three vessels can still be partially seen today.



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