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Queenscliff to return to service for summer 2023 but Collaroy will be pulled from service

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One of the large Manly ferries will return to plying the busiest route on Sydney Harbour within the next two months after an extensive refit, but another will be pulled from service indefinitely this week, placing its future in serious doubt.

Ahead of the busy summer period, the NSW government has committed to retaining three of the four Freshwater-class ferries, which are synonymous with the Manly-Circular Quay route.

The Collaroy ferry will be withdrawn from service this week, placing its future in serious doubt.Credit: Dean Sewell

It set aside $71 million in the state budget for extensive refurbishments of the Freshwater-class ferries. The Queenscliff is undergoing its final refit at the navy’s Garden Island dry dock, and will return to service by early November.

The Freshwater ferry and the Queenscliff will be in operation over summer, while the Narrabeen will return to service in the middle of next year following a dry docking at Garden Island. The large vessels will run every hour from mid-December, up from every two hours.

But the Collaroy – the youngest of the four – will be pulled from service as early as Tuesday, ahead of its licence to operate services expiring on Friday.

The government said it would decide the Collaroy’s future following market soundings to start in October for potential electric-powered replacements for the Freshwaters, which would inform a longer-term strategy for the Manly route.

The Queenscliff will return to service for the busy summer months after a major refurbishment.

The Queenscliff will return to service for the busy summer months after a major refurbishment.Credit: Dominic Lorrimer

Transport Minister Jo Haylen said the Queenscliff’s return in time for summer would be welcomed.

“While it’s sad to see the Collaroy leave our waters, we’re excited to look to the future of our ferries … [and] plans for a zero-emission fleet,” she said.


One of the large Manly ferries will return to plying the busiest route on Sydney Harbour within the next two months after an extensive refit, but another will be pulled from service indefinitely this week, placing its future in serious doubt.

Ahead of the busy summer period, the NSW government has committed to retaining three of the four Freshwater-class ferries, which are synonymous with the Manly-Circular Quay route.

The Collaroy ferry will be withdrawn from service this week, placing its future in serious doubt.

The Collaroy ferry will be withdrawn from service this week, placing its future in serious doubt.Credit: Dean Sewell

It set aside $71 million in the state budget for extensive refurbishments of the Freshwater-class ferries. The Queenscliff is undergoing its final refit at the navy’s Garden Island dry dock, and will return to service by early November.

The Freshwater ferry and the Queenscliff will be in operation over summer, while the Narrabeen will return to service in the middle of next year following a dry docking at Garden Island. The large vessels will run every hour from mid-December, up from every two hours.

But the Collaroy – the youngest of the four – will be pulled from service as early as Tuesday, ahead of its licence to operate services expiring on Friday.

The government said it would decide the Collaroy’s future following market soundings to start in October for potential electric-powered replacements for the Freshwaters, which would inform a longer-term strategy for the Manly route.

The Queenscliff will return to service for the busy summer months after a major refurbishment.

The Queenscliff will return to service for the busy summer months after a major refurbishment.Credit: Dominic Lorrimer

Transport Minister Jo Haylen said the Queenscliff’s return in time for summer would be welcomed.

“While it’s sad to see the Collaroy leave our waters, we’re excited to look to the future of our ferries … [and] plans for a zero-emission fleet,” she said.

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