Mortlake Ferry

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The Mortlake Ferry, also known as the Putney Punt, is a cable ferry that runs across the Parramatta River in Sydney, connecting Hilly Street in Mortlake and Pellisier Road in Putney.

History and heritage[edit]

The vehicular ferry between Mortlake and Putney was opened on 16 May 1928. [1] [2] The service was established to serve the factory areas of Mortlake.[3] The ferry opening pre-dated the nearby Ryde Bridge which opened in 1935, and it was one of several vehicular ferries operating across the Parramatta River at the time.

The Mortlake Ferry is one of ten remaining vehicular cable ferries in New South Wales, and the only one still in use on Sydney Harbour or its tributaries. While carrying much less traffic than it has in the past, the ferry still operates daily and is protected by a heritage order by the National Trust of Australia.[4]


The Putney Approach to the Mortlake Ferry
Sign announcing the Mortlake Approach to the Ferry

The ferry is operated by a private sector operator under contract to New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), carries a maximum of 15 cars plus passengers at a time, and is free of tolls. The crossing is some 300 metres (980 ft) in length and takes approximately 5 minutes. The ferry operates on demand on weekdays from 0645 to 0925 and 1445 to 1815; on weekends and public holidays it operates every half-hour from 1030 to 1730 from Mortlake and from 1045 from Putney. The 1245 weekend service runs ten minutes earlier from Putney (at 1235), and 1300 service five minutes later from Mortlake (at 1305) to provide a short lunchtime break.[4][5]

The ferry has magenta flashing lights on the ferry and at both end points when it is in operation. Sydney Ferries services must grant right of way to the Mortlake Ferry unless they have established radio contact and agreed on priority. [6]

Mortlake Slipway[edit]

A slipway located to the south of the Mortlake approach ramp is used for the maintenance of all the RMS-owned ferries operating in the Sydney region. Besides the Mortlake Ferry, this includes the Berowra Waters Ferry, Sackville Ferry, Webbs Creek Ferry and Wisemans Ferry, all of which operate on the Hawkesbury River and its tributaries.[4][5]


  1. ^ "New Punt Opened". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 May 1928. Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  2. ^ NSW Roads and Traffic Authority. "Cable Ferry Crossing, Mortlake". Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Andrews, Graeme (1994). Ferries of Sydney (third ed.). Oxford University Press with Sydney University Press. pp. 214–217. ISBN 0-424-00202-7. 
  4. ^ a b c "Sackville Ferry". New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Vehicle ferries". New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  6. ^ New South Wales Maritime. "Code of Conduct : Mortlake Ferries and State Transit Authority Passenger Ferries" (PDF). Retrieved 9 September 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°50′11″S 151°06′26″E / 33.83646°S 151.107314°E / -33.83646; 151.107314