SHF – John Oxley

The current major Sydney Heritage Fleet restoration project is the 1927 coastal steamship John Oxley. This vessel was built for the Queensland Harbours and Marine Board. John Oxley steamed out to Australia under her own power and served as a pilot steamer in Moreton Bay, and also as a buoy and lighthouse tender along the Queensland coast.

John Oxley is the last remaining coastal steamship in Australian waters. Before rail and road networks were built, we relied on many coastal steamships to carry passengers and cargo around the Australian coast .

Significant features of this important vessel are the traditional forecastle, well deck, cargo hold, navigation bridge amidships and accommodation aft. The steam propulsion plant includes the triple expansion main engine and auxiliary machinery. Steam was supplied by two scotch boilers, which originally burned coal, however, a conversion to burn heavy fuel oil took place in 1946.

In 1997, John Oxley’s hull was docked on our barge and restoration in earnest commenced in 2004. Work has progressed steadily since then and refloat is planned for April 2022.


How you can join in


Your donation purchases materials and services for the restoration of John Oxley.


Your donation of materials or services will advance this important work – Support like steel, grit blasting, galvanising, equipment, inspections, industrial gases, etc. supports much of the work on John Oxley


You can join in and become part of this community project – Progress on this important work is a tribute to the hard work and engineering skills within our volunteer and paid workforce.