The Wangi Queen, a beautiful traditional wooden ferry, was launched on the 22nd of September 1922, only 20 days after Australia’s greatest literary giant Henry Lawson was laid to rest. No better accreditation could be applied to any historical artifact than to be linked in some way to this much beloved Australian author.
Built by Gordon Beattie from timber cut from the Watagan Mountains and transported to Empire Bay on the Central Coast by bullock teams, the teak timbers of the Wangi Queen’s upper deck joinery were recovered from the decking of a sailing ship wrecked on North Head several years earlier and were reputed to have ‘been at sea’ for sixty years before that. Her grey ironbark scantlings and beech planking shows very little deterioration to this day, due to the constant and devoted attention of her successive owners.
Originally, the Wangi Queen was known as The Ettalong and operated as a ferry service on the Central Coast’s Brisbane Water. In 1938, she was purchased by Norman Hegarty and became “The Ettalong Star” and ferried Sydney-siders around the harbour.
In 1951, she was sold to Nicolson Brothers and became The Profound before being bought by Graham Burgess in 1974 to become the Wangi Queen and cruise around Lake Macquarie. Bill and Sue Gibson purchased her in 2003 and continued to operate her as Lake Macquarie’s favourite charter vessel.
In 2011, the “Queen” acquired new owners and caretakers, Marmong Point Marina, owners and operators of Lake Macquarie’s premier full service marine facility.
The Wangi Queen has always proven to be a desirable subject for oil painters as well as water colour artists and arts school sketching groups. Her unique lines and old world design attract model builders and boating enthusiasts to copy and admire her wherever she plies. Her charming presentation remains a remnant of a former age when craftsmanship was paramount.
In September 2012, Dynamic Experience Group welcomed the return of the Wangi Queen to Sydney Harbour and her new berth at the historic Campbell’s Cove, The Rocks. The Wangi Queen will play host to thousands of visitors, as she once again ferries people across Sydney Harbour, this time to discover the fascinating stories and convict history of Goat Island for the Convicts, Castles and Champagne Tour. This classic ferry is also available as a brilliant charter option as the “Queen” play’s host to parties and events on Sydney Harbour.
No expense has ever been spared in preserving and maintaining the Wangi Queen to the best possible standards, so that future generations will see and appreciate the finer boatbuilding craftsmanship of that bygone era.