MV Kanangra

The MV Kanangra (formerly SS Kanangra) is a ferry formerly operated by Sydney Ferries Limited and its successors on Sydney Harbour from 1912 until 1985. It is the last remaining "K-class" ferries built by Sydney Ferries Limited in the early twentieth century pre-Sydney Harbour Bridge peak. 45 metres in length, Kanangra could carry over 1,000 passengers and mainly served the Cremorne and Mosman routes.

Name: MV Kanangra
formerly SS Kanangra
Operator: Sydney Ferries Limited
Sydney Harbour Transport Board
Public Transport Commission
Urban Transit Authority
Port of registry: Sydney
Builder: Mort's Dock
Launched: 14 August 1912
Out of service: 1985
Fate: Under restoration
General characteristics
Tonnage: 295 tonnes
Decks: 2
Propulsion: Crossley (from 1959)
Capacity: 945

It is now part of the Sydney Heritage Fleet and is moored at Rozelle Bay undergoing restoration.


Unlike the previous K-class ferries that were timber-hulled, the Kanangra and her near identical twin sister, Kirawa were riveted steel hull vessels with timber decks and superstructures. Built by Mort's Dock, Woolwich for Sydney Ferries Limited, Kanangra was launched on 14 August 1912.[1]

In 1959, it was converted from steam to diesel power with a single direct coupled eight cylinder Crossley engine driving a fore and aft propellor, the last of the Sydney Harbour fleet converted. The ferry's re-entry to service allowed the last of the coal-fired steamers, Kubu, to be retired.[2] Her near identical sister ship, Kirawa, was retired in 1953 without being converted to diesel.[3]

As one of the largest ferries in the fleet, it primarily operated on the most heavily patronised services, initially the Circular Quay to Milsons Point services until the Harbour Bridge opened in 1932, and then on the worker's services to Cockatoo Island and later Mosman and Taronga Zoo services.[4][5]

In June 1964, the Kanangra collided with the Japanese freighter Awata Maru off Kirribilli.[6] In November 1984, it collided with the North Head off the Opera House.[7]

One of the longest serving ferries on Sydney Harbour,[3] Kanangra was withdrawn from service in 1985 and moored adjacent to the Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbour. After plans to restore it as a Bicentennial project were dropped, it was donated to the Sydney Heritage Fleet in 1987. It is currently moored in Rozelle Bay.[4] It has been placed on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels.[8]

See also


  1. Steel Ferry Boat Kanagara Launched Sydney Morning Herald 15 August 1912 page 3
  2. Andrews, Graeme (1982). A Pictorial History of Ferries: Sydney and Surrounding Waterways. Sydney: AH & AW Reed Pty Ltd. p. 21. ISBN 0589503863.
  3. Andrews, Graeme (1982). A Pictorial History of Ferries: Sydney and Surrounding Waterways. Sydney: AH & AW Reed Pty Ltd. p. 98. ISBN 0589503863.
  4. SS/MV Kanangara Ferries of Sydney
  5. Sydney Ferry Kanagara Afloat Magazine August 2012
  6. Ferry Damaged In Harbour Collision Canberra Times 24 June 1964 page 29
  7. Passengers in panic as ferries collide Sydney Morning Herald 6 November 1984
  8. Kanangra Australian Register of Historic Vessels
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