Transporting the farm produce and timber of the area was vital to the
success of the development of Tuross. Like all coastal communities in
the 1900’s Tuross relied on coastal vessels to get goods to market
and to obtain supplies from Sydney.
The lllawarra Steam Navigation
Company serviced the south coast of New South Wales from 1858 but only
their smaller vessels entered Tuross Lake. In 1863 the company advertised
“Steam to the Tuross River and Gulph Diggings”(Nerrigundah).
However in the smaller print it stated you would travel to Batemans
Bay on the large Steamer “Kembla” and then transfer to the
shallower draught steamer “Mynora” destined for Tuross.
Both the Tuross sawmills
had their own boats for transporting their timber to market. The “Maid
of the Mill” was owned by the Goodin & Hicks’ Mill and
the ketch “Mary Ann” by the Goodlet and Co. Mill. These
were both typical small coastal traders of under 26 tons. The “Moses
Fletcher”, a larger vessel of 55 tons and 84 feet in length was
then built at the Goodin and Hicks Mill near Turlinjah., although a
deep channel needed to be dug to successfully launch her on the high
Negotiating the Tuross entrance
was always difficult. Occasionally the bar closed trapping shipping
vessels in the Lake and often heavy seas made it risky to attempt to
enter or exit the lake across the sandbar. Siltation of the lake from
agricultural cultivation up river finally made it impossible for the
trading vessels to continue to use the lake.
The Tuross boatshed era came into being in 1913 when the Crown gave
leases for sheds and jetties to be built. Over the years the boatsheds
have evolved from places where boat and fishing gear was stored into
various enterprises. Boat hire, supply of fishing needs and in most
recent years, waterfront meals and accommodation, have served the recreational
needs of locals and visitors to Tuross Head.