This is Woolloomooloo Wharf (The Finger Wharf) which celebrated its 100th birthday earlier this month.
This photo is courtesy of State Records NSW titled “Building Finger Wharf, Woolloomooloo”, dated c 1 January 1912.
The Finger Wharf is the world’s longest timber-piled wharf standing at 410m long and 64m wide.
Built during a boom time for maritime and wool industries it has seen a number of different purposes over the years. From facilitating wool exports, to troop deployment and finally a landing point for post-war migrants starting new lives in Australia it has had a very colourful past.
During the 1930s the Australian economy was heavily reliant on its wool industry, for which this wharf was in it’s prime as the departure point for much of the nation’s wool exports. This coincided with the famous pie cart called Harry’s Café de Wheels opening nearby in 1938 which capitalised on the hive of activity in the area.
By the 60s and 70s, the increased use of ports outside of Sydney as well as the growth in air travel meant that use of the wharf had declined to a point where it’s continued existence was under review by the government. However, public demonstrations saved the wharf from demolition through the 70s, 80s and 90s until finally plans were drawn up for redevelopment into its current day use as residential apartments, restaurants and a hotel.
Happy birthday Woolloomooloo Wharf!
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