All year round, Sydney Harbour is occupied by vessels of all shapes and sizes, but in the coming weeks, the most iconic of these boats will make their final voyage. You’ve probably noticed them at some point among the flashy yachts, catamarans, dinghies and cruise-liners. They’re large, double-ended ferries with a big green hull and a sun-kissed yellow passenger compartment. But you won’t be seeing these ferries for much longer.
The only two Lady-class ferries left (of seven) are the Lady Northcott and the Lady Herron (named after the wives of New South Wales governors).
If you travel to Honiara in the Solomon Islands you can catch the Lady Wakehurst, which will still be in service, and if you find yourself in Queensland’s Tin Can Bay, you’ll find the Lady Woodward, which has been transformed into a house boat.
Transport NSW is replacing the old fleet with six new ferries this year, as well as opening a ferry station at Barangaroo. “The new inner-harbour ferries will be progressively introduced into service with all six new ferries in operation later this year to serve the increased cross-harbour demand,” a spokesperson from Transport NSW told Broadsheet.
The new arrivals will have wi-fi and phone-charging docks.
“These new vessels are deliberately similar in appearance to the First Fleet ferries, which are a popular with Sydneysiders and visitors.” One of the main differences is the addition of a wide, walk-around deck on the upper level for better views.
There was a state-wide poll to decide the names of the six new ferries. And despite considerable support for the name “Boaty McBoatface”, the first two ferries have been named after renowned Australian doctors and humanitarians: Dr Catherine Hamlin and Dr Fred Hollows. The names of the remaining vessels will be revealed in due course.
The future of the Lady-class vessels is still unclear.