Cover Photo

Steamship Cartela Limited

SteamShip Cartela

SteamShip Cartela

Cartela is the last Australian River steamer surviving. Part ferry, part coastal cargo carrier. From the turn of the last century, these vessels built the economy and community we cherish today.  At just 18 months old Cartela was leased by the Royal Australian Navy to protect and train during the First World War. She has generated national headlines on numerous occasions.

Cartela has been donated to a trust to the benefit of her community.  She will be preserved and refurbished to close to her original specification as a steam ship.  Cartela will return to service on the picturesque waters of Southern Tasmania as an excursion passenger vessel offering an unparalleled tourism experience.  For over 100 years Cartela has served her community in a variety of roles that have evolved with every generation.

"Every Tasmanian has a Cartela story"

As a timber vessel her state of preservation is remarkable.  That she has survived is rare, that she is fit for continued use, unique.  This will be no static display.  Cartela's refurbishment will be a catalyst for training, education and regional development benefits around Tasmania's renown maritime heritage preservation industry.  A group of trainees will be engaged alongside professional shipwrights to ensure those essential skills are passed to the next generation. 

The Plenty & Sons steam engine specifically created for Cartela in England in 1912 is being refurbished to better than new standard.  It will retain all the appearance of the original because it will be on show to all passengers in the heart of the vessel, but in recognition that this machine is being prepared to be used in a vessel working every day, additional attention is being paid to ensuring it will remain perfectly reliable for the next 100 years.

You can help us prepare the heart of this icon by contributing to this fund dedicated to refurbishing the Plenty & Sons engine.  Outstanding works on the Plenty engine are budgeted at $130,000.  We will use your donation to match dollar for dollar funding grants.


A receipt will be emailed on receipt of your donation.  We welcome personal contact via phone or email to discuss other options such as;

  • Corporate sponsorship
  • To give a one-off donation personally.
  • To give a regular donation online.
  • Donate by phone.
  • Donate by mail.
  • Leave a bequest.

"Rowitta" and "Reemere" two similar vessels of the same class were lost only recently.  Don't let Cartela, the queen of the fleet suffer the same fate.

Contact Details

P.O. Box 511


Are donations tax deductible?


Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.

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