Type :
Steel screw steamer
Launched  :
Builder :
Morts Dock & Engineering Co Ltd
Balmain, NSW
Gross weight :
295 tons
Dimensions :
149.20 x 31.70 x 10.90 (feet)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
13 knots

Kirawa was one of two identical sister ships - the other being Kanangra. By the early 1950's the two sisters were the largest inner harbour ferries still in regular use.

Both sister ships survived the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 and the subsequent downturn in traffic. Kirawa was able to remain in service as the Great Depression bit in and people were unable to afford their own modes of transport. World War II also gave the remaining ferries a further lease on life. Fuel was rationed and expensive but the coal required by these vessels was cheap and plentiful.

But Kirawa's time was limited. In 1951 the NSW state government took over Sydney Ferries Ltd and handed control of the fleet over to a subsidiary of the Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company. This subsidiary (the Sydney Harbour Trust Board) rationalised the ferry service and severely culled the remaining ferries. A number of the last coal burners were being converted to diesel but unfortunately Kirawa was bypassed - she was laid up at the time in need of a new boiler. There was also no need for two large ferries so Kirawa was sold to be broken up in 1953.