Putney Punt (or Mortlake Ferry)

This diesel powered punt, running between Mortlake and Putney, is the sole remaining example of this relatively unusual means of river crossing in the Sydney Metropolitan area and, although comparatively recent in installation (c 1927) is a direct descendant of the first established passenger service in Sydney – the Bedlam cable ferry situated a little way downstream.

An earlier Ryde punt, used before 1896, was man powered.

A punt, crossing the river between Uhrs Point and Ryde Bank opposite, began in the 1830s and survived until the bridge opened in 1935.

It was established to provide a convenient form of transport for gasworkers and factory employees who worked at Mortlake and lived on the northern side of the river.

As well as being a significant element of the riverscape to generations of Australians, it also has considerable potential as a tourist attraction and transports approximately 300 vehicles per day.

There were rumours that the ferry would cease when the Ryde road bridge doubling was completed, but happily this did not happen.

Adjacent to the punt is Punt Park, a Council Bicentennial project, which has a building housing a model of the punt. Steps lead down to a serene, east-facing sandy beach.


My Grandfather Peter Whittaker rendered valuable assistance in obtaining the Punt Punt. For his work for the Municipality a street was named after him, “Whittaker Street” between Hilly and Tennison Road Mortlake. I can send copies of letters from Municipality of Concord to you dated 23 June 1928 and 13 March 1929. Ada

You mention in Origin of Streets Names against Whittaker Street, “Mr N H Whittaker was Secretary of the Concord Citizen’s Band which performed regularly at Cabrita Park and elsewhere” This is correct, however Norman Herbert Whittaker is one of the son’s of Peter Whittaker to whom Whittaker Street was named.

Flex Bennett

The Punt is a Jewel in the Putney’s unique appeal and open spaces. Gives a more layback easier going village feel and outlook, in my view , contrasting it next to the adjoining suburbs. Putney Punt is both a treasured and iconic landmark. I hope it kept in perpetuity unlike the wanton reckless destruction of nearby Weemala! And Ryde Pool. Consumed in the development frenzy greedily gobbling up our amenities and land marks everywhere. Putney Punt deserves protecting and preservation of its unique character