02 October 2008

Trinity Inlet and a Manly Ferry

The Barrenjoey (later renamed North Head) was built in 1913 and spent 70 years on the Sydney-Manly ferry. In 1949 she was converted from a steamer to diesel engine and renamed. More here.

From Ferries of Sydney website:

On 12th of December, 1985, North Head made her final trip and she was offered up for sale. On the 26th of March 1987 she proceeded under her own steam to Hobart to take up a new career in that city as a floating restaurant and convention centre. There she remained until 2000 when she was taken to Cairns. After 13 years in Tasmania, where it was restored and cruised the Derwent, it was bought by an entrepreneur who wanted to turn it into a floating restaurant in Port Douglas. But his plans were thwarted by bankruptcy and debt.

The ship rotted at Cairns until 2005, when it was sold on eBay to a landscape contractor, George Fay, for about $20,000. It languishes amid debris on his property on Trinity Inlet. Locals say he wants to restore it. A lone ladder stands beside the ship. But the expensive, laborious job was made even more difficult after it was battered by Cyclone Larry. A consulting marine engineer, Peter Burge, said restoring the old ferries would cost millions of dollars - too much to make a commercial proposition, such as a floating restaurant, viable. The most viable fate, he said, was for them to end up as museum pieces. The mayor of Manly, Peter Macdonald, said the council had been involved in negotiations to buy relics from the North Head from its former owner, but they fell through.

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