Heritage and conservation register


Name of Item Speewa Ferry Crossing on the Murray River
Item Number 4301081
Type of Item Built
Item Sub-Type ****
Address **** **** Speewa 2735
Local Government Area Wakool 
Owner Roads and Maritime Services
Current Use Vehicle Crossing
Former Use Vehicle Crossing


Statement of significance

Statement of significance The Speewa Ferry has Local significance as the only example of a ferry crossing in continuous use on the Lower Murray.
Date Significance Updated 12 May 2009



Designer ****
Builder ****
Construction years **** - 1979
Physical description Speewa Ferry is a vehicular ferry crossing the Murray River.

The Ferry is a two cable ferry running approximately N-S across the river. There is a small enclosed cabin for the operator.

Physical Condition
Archaeological Potential
Original condition assessment: 'The ferry is in very good condition.' (Last updated: 15/05/1998.) 2007-08 condition update: 'Good.' (Last updated: 17/4/09.)
Modifications and dates Concrete ramps were upgraded in 1980, extended in 1981 and overhauled in 1982. (Wakool Shire Council website)
Date condition updated 17 April 2009



Historical notes Speewa is a parish in Wakool county with a short frontage to the River Murray on the New South Wales side. In both Speewa and the neighbouring parish to the West, Puah, there is an island in the river called Speewa Island. It seems probably that it is in this vicinity that the Speewa ferry was introduced. The area was initially used for grazing and by the 1890s there were a sufficiently large population for a provisional school to be established in location upstream from Speewa parish, but still called Speewa. This school closed in 1900 after only eight months and did not reopen. With the Village Settlement just downstream at Nyah in Victoria and a burgeoning dried-fruits industry at Koraleigh to the north in NSW, interstate commerce was more vibrant and the need for a ferry at Speewa became apparent.

The Speewa Ferry is believed to have first operated circa 1914. A Tooleybuc ferry vessel, built in 1888, was installed at Speewa in 1928 when it was made available for public use. The ferry was replaced in 1979. (Wakool Shire Council website)



Heritage Listing Reference Number Gazette Number Gazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register       
Local Environmental Plan  01992  116  6937 


Assessment of Significance

Historical Significance The ferry has historical significance at a local level as one of only two ferry crossings serving the Murray River and one that has been servicing the crossing at Speewa since circa 1914.
Historical Association ****
Aesthetic/Technical Significance ****
Social Significance The Speewa Ferry has social significance at a local level as evidenced by its inclusion on the Wakool Local Environmental Plan 1992. It is probable that the significance lies more in the attachment to the crossing than any particular attachment to the ferry vessel itself.
Research Significance The ferry crossing is the only remaining on the Murray below Hume Weir and provides the opportunity to understand the type of crossing that existed before the bridges were built. The other ferry is across the river at Wymah.
Rarity The Speewa Ferry has rarity value as the only example of a ferry crossing in continuous use on the Lower Murray.
Representativenes ****
Integrity/Intactness ****
Assessed Significance Local




Type Author Year Title
Written  Government Schools of New South Wales  1993  Map of County of Wakool 
Written  Ernestine Hill  1965  Water into Gold, 


Study details

Title Year Author Inspected by Guidelines used
Murray Crossings Heritage Study  1998  Hughes Trueman Reinhold    Yes 
Oral History - Vehicular Ferries  1998  NSW Roads and Maritime Services     No 


Custom fields

Roads and Maritime Services Region South West
Bridge Number 3376
CARMS File Number 469.618
Property Number Ferry Crossing
Conservation Management Plan ****



Speewa Ferry - Murray River
Speewa Ferry - Murray River