Flashback Friday | Back to the future with ferries to resume between Kurnell and La Perouse

Commuters were offered savings in time and money when the ferry service between Kurnell and La Perouse recommenced in 1965 after being discontinued several year earlier.

The 20-minute trip across the heads of Botany Bay cost two shillings (about 20c) and a bus from La Perouse to the city cost another two shillings, the Leader reported.

This was nearly half the cost of catching a bus from Kurnell to Cronulla and a train to the city.

It was also a much quicker option.

The new ferry service targeted workers at Kurnell oil refinery as well as local residents.

Kurnell Progress Association, which had been campaigning for a resumption of the service, said a survey found the population of the suburb had risen from 200 in 1957 to 3000 in 1965.

The new service operated on a split timetable - from 6.15am to 10am and from 2pm to 6pm.

It ended permanently in 1974 when both the Kurnell and La Perouse wharves were destroyed by storms.

Forty-five years later, preparations are under way for new wharves to be built at Kurnell and La Perouse to allow ferries to operate again - although this time the target market is expected to be visitors and tourists.

The wharves are among works costing $50 million, to be jointly funded by the federal and state governments, to upgrade Kamay Botany Bay National Park in conjunction with the 250th anniversary in 2020 of Cook's arrival.

Thomas Holt ran Kurnell's first ferry, but the first public service across the heads began after the state government established the Captain Cook Landing Place Reserve in 1889 and built a new wharf in 1902.

A variety of vessels were used over the years, including the Camfisher, later renamed Lady Eucumbene, which had a capacity of 45 passengers, Erina, James Matra and the Kurnell, which could accommodate 150 passengers.



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