Speewa Ferry across Murray River

Speewa Ferry in Action

Located on the Murray River on Speewa Road, approximately 16kms from Swan Hill and in owned & maintained by the NSW RTA.

The first Speewa Ferry is believed to have operated in about 1914. The Tooleybuc Ferry, built in 1888, was installed at Speewa in 1928 when it was made available for public use.

The ferry was replaced in 1979 at a cost of $100,000. Concrete ramps were upgraded in 1980 for $90,000, the ramps extended at a cost of $20,000 in 1981 and a $130,000 overhaul undertaken in 1982.

The Ferry has a load limit of 8 tonnes,  with greater than 5 tonnes only during daylight hours and not on weekends. No oversized vehicles allowed. Width of the ferry is 3.5m.

Time Table of Operating Hours:


Mon 7.00am to 9.00pm

Tues 7.00am to 11.00pm

Wed 7.00am to 9.00pm

Thurs 7.00am to 9.00pm

Frid 7.00am to 12.00pm

Sat 7.00am to 12.30pm

Sun 8.00am to 9.00pm

Lunch Time is 12.00 to 1.00pm Closed Tea/Dinner Time 6.30pm to 7.30pm Closed

The costs for funding are shared between the Victorian and NSW Governments as the Ferry provides a vital service to both sides of the River.

The Speewa District is a community which straddles the Murray River, with residents in Vic & NSW and is known as 3 areas being Speewa Vic, Speewa Island & Speewa NSW mainland. The Speewa Ferry is the last ferry in the Shire in operation on the Murray River and is owned by NSW RTA. There is no other crossing point between Swan Hill and Nyah.

During 1995, controversially the RTA was considering the closure of the Ferry service, citing high maintenance & repair costs, which as you can imagine prompted a huge public and local Govt outcry, which was successful in keeping the ferry in operation. This was not the first time the Ferrys operation has been under threat of closure, previously in 1977 and again more recently in 1999. The fact that the Ferry is still in operation today is a sign that the community and local councils on both sides of the river can work together on a worthwhile cause.

The Ferry provides a vital transport link for:

  • People & commodities  
  • Tourists, with many tours incorporating a trip on Ferry
  •  School bus services
  •  Mail services
  •  Sport
  •  Recreation opportunities for community & children
  •  Labour markets for harvest etc
  •  Maintenance by Telstra, and other like services, eg Inland Energy

Wakool Shire Council received notification on 8th December 1986 from the National Trust that Speewa Ferry was successful in being Classified and included in their register. Although this carries no legal requirements, the Heritage Trust does play an important role in various Government Departments decisions on heritage listed items.

Speewa Ferry is a vehicular ferry crossing the Murray River. The ferry is a two cable ferry running approximately North/South across the River. There is a small enclosed cabin for the operator.

Speewa is a parish in Wakool county with a short frontage to the Murray River. The area was initially grazing and there were sufficient children around by the 1890s for a provisional school to be established upstream from Speewa. This school closed recently.

Council has placed the Ferry as a heritage item under its Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

A schedule of statistical information on the use of the Speewa Ferry is attached below in the downloadable document box at bottom of page.

Contact Details

  • Wakool Shire Council - Engineering Dept
  • Phone: 03 58875007
  • Fax: 03 58875103
  • mail@wakool.nsw.gov.au


Statistics for Speewa Ferry (PDF 53KB)