HMAS Koompartoo

HMAS Koompartoo was a Royal Australian Navy boom defence vessel, converted from a Sydney Ferries Limited K-class ferry.

Name: Koompartoo
Namesake: Aboriginal word meaning new beginnings
Owner: Sydney Ferries Limited
Port of registry: Sydney
Route: Circular Quay-Milsons Point
Builder: Walsh Island Dockyard and Engineering Works, Newcastle
Yard number: 53
In service: 1922
Out of service: 1941
Name: HMAS Koompartoo
Owner: Royal Australian Navy
Acquired: 18 June 1942
Commissioned: 23 December 1942
Decommissioned: 8 June 1962
Identification: Z256
General characteristics
Type: Harbour ferry
Length: 191 ft (58 m)
Beam: 38.3 ft (11.7 m)
Capacity: 2,089


Built in 1922 by the Walsh Island Dockyard and Engineering Works in Newcastle.[1] Koompartoo was constructed with 18 watertight compartments, regarded as being unsinkable and therefore was not required to carry life saving equipment.[2][3] It entered service on the Circular Quay to Milsons Point route. Made redundant by the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932, Koompartoo was laid up, later being made available for tourist cruises on the harbour.[4]

In 1941 it was purchased by the British Ministry of War Transport for service in the Middle East and taken to Mort's Dock for conversion. However with the outbreak of the Pacific War it was never deployed, instead being taken over by the Royal Australian Navy on 18 June 1942 and converted to a boom defence vessel. Commissioned on 23 December 1942, it taken to Darwin in January 1943. Held in reserve in Darwin from 1945 until 1950, it returned to Sydney and laid up at Athol Bight. It was sold in 1962, stripped of her superstructure and towed to Launceston in 1966 for use as a bauxite barge.[4][5]


  1. Prescott, Anthony (1984). Sydney Ferry Fleets. Ronald H Parsons. ISBN 0909418306.
  2. The Koompartoo Sydney Morning Herald 13 April 1922
  3. "The Kuttabul. New Ferry Steamer.". Sydney Morning Herald. August 1922. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. SS Koompartoo Ferries of Sydney
  5. HMAS Koompartoo Royal Australian Navy
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