|Steel screw steamer
|J Crichton & Co Ltd
|Gross weight :
|187.00 x 35.65 x 14.48 (feet)
|Passenger capacity :
|250 passengers, 50 vehicles
Kara Kara was one of three largest vehicular ferries on the harbour.
Her sisters were the Koondooloo and Kalang. all three were broadly
similar ships. Even though the Sydney Harbour Bridge was only a few
years away from opening, vehicular traffic had increased to such a
level that these vessels warranted construction. (The same happened
with several passenger ferries of the time as well).
After the opening of the bridge none of these three new ferries were
scrapped. Koondooloo and Kalang were converted into showboats and kara
Kara was put to use by Sydney Ferries limited as a cargo carrier. She
operated on this role between 1932 and 1941.
In 1941 she was sold to the Royal Australian Navy who converted her
into a boom and gate vessel. She was sent to Darwin and equipped with a
small machine gun to allow her to defend herself. She participated in
battle during the Japanese attack on Darwin and claimed one hit on an
enemy plane. Kara Kara lost two of her crew during the attack. Kara
came under heavy air attack at Darwin on 19
February 1942, when the Japanese Admiral Nagumo's carrier borne
aircraft made the first enemy attack on the Australian mainland. She
suffered several casualties, including two ratings killed by machine
gun fire, and was lucky to escape serious damage.
On 8 December 1945 Kara Kara paid off into reserve at
Darwin. After five years in reserve she departed Darwin on 6 December
1950, arriving at Sydney on 22 December 1950. Without further sea-going
service she was transferred to un-maintained reserve at Waverton Depot
on 30 December 1960 and was later used as a Reserve Amenities Ship at
Kara Kara was sold out of the service to Marrickville
Metals, Marrickville, NSW, for breaking up on 15 Feb 1972. After being
stripped of useful material the hulk was handed back to the RAN for use
as a target. On 31 January 1973 Kara Kara was sunk forty
miles east of Jervis Bay after serving as a target for ships and
She managed to out-survive her sisters by only a few months.