One of the many activities we have planned for the Dangar Island Historical Society’s 125th Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge Celebration (3rd/4th May, 2014) is an offering of short cruises (from Dangar Island) aboard the MV BANKSIA.
A Little of MV Banksia’s History:
This handsome, vintage ferry boat has been ferrying passengers since she was built in 1952. Originally christened Biloela, an aboriginal word meaning ‘white cockatoo’, Banksia was designed as a sturdy dual purpose workboat for transporting workers over to the dockyards on Cockatoo Island, or in turn acting as a small tug around the dockyards.
Banksia was both built and maintained by the workers that used her. Her solid construction and timber features are typical of workboats of the day. Both Banksia and her twin, Corella, have beautiful canoe sterns; both were stable, level and open performers – ready for work in any conditions. Remaining in full commercial survey, the MV Banksia is one of the few vessels of this age still plying her trade, in essence she is a working piece of Sydney Harbour’s history.
Biloela was renamed Banksia in 1965 and continued to ply the waters of Sydney Harbour during 1988–1991 as the Dockyard 3 cycle work boat. Both Banksia and Corella were sold when the Dockyard closed down. They were purchased by a Brisbane Water company that used them on a ferry service between Woy Woy, Davistown and Saratoga between 1996-2001.
Banksia was then bought by a Sydney Harbour charter business and kept in service until the Davidson’s picked her up in November 2005 from Middle Harbour in a sorry state. The Davidson’s paid attention to bringing her back to a respectable standard and continued to charter the Banksia for group outings. In 2011, the Banksia was onsold to the Stockley family of Dangar Island.
Now after a lavish and complete 8 month restoration by traditional shipwrights with paintwork by one of the original Halvorsen coach painters, the MV Banksia is in real showboat condition.
Deserving of her elegant style The MV Banksia now sedately plies the secluded coves of Broken Bay and Hawkesbury River and is perfectly at home around Dangar Island.
Charter enquiries can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 0448 101010
(The Banksia is licensed to carry 49 passengers; however the company recommend groups of up to 30 in daylight hours and up to 25 in the evenings as a comfortable number for extended cruise periods.)