The vehicular cable guided ferry at Wisemans Ferry, New South Wales crosses the Hawkesbury River just downstream from the confluence with the Macdonald River. This ferry service, commenced by Solomon Wiseman is the longest running vehicular ferry service in Australia.
In 1827 emancipated convict Solomon Wiseman was granted a seven year lease giving him the right to charge a fee for people and stock crossing the river at this location on the proviso that he carried government employees and supplies with no charge. Wiseman was doing well by this time and according to the 1828 Census of NSW he owned 440 hectares of land and was earning a comfortable income from his farming and business interests. Wiseman spent his life at Wisemans Ferry and died there in 1838.
The ferry crossing links the northern and southern bank of the Hawkesbury. Once across the river, the road to the left takes the traveller north via Settlers Road to St Albans, thence through Bucketty and on to Wollombi and the Hunter Valley. Turning to the right after crossing the river, Wisemans Ferry Road follows the Hawkesbury River to the south then north through the small settlements of Gunderman and Spencer and on to Mangrove Mountain and Kulnura.
One of the vehiclular ferries pulling onto the ramp on the Wisemans Ferry side after crossing the Hawkesbury River from the northern bank. Cathy McHardy June 2020
There are two vehicular ferries at Wisemans Ferry, the main ferry was constructed by Carrington Slipways in Newcastle, NSW. This company was established in Carrington near Newcastle in 1957 by John Laverick (snr) and built 45 ships up until 1968. In 1972, the business required larger premises and moved to Tomago, not far from the Pacific Highway. The shipyard was purchased by Forgacs Engineering in 1997. The auxiliary ferry is put into service in times of hight traffic volume or when the main ferry is undergoing regular maintenance.
Learn more about Carrington Slipways
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