Historical information

This display was put together by the Curlip Committee and used as promotion in the shed during the construction of Curlip 11
A community project, this boat was constructed out of local hardwood timbers utilizing the traditional skills of wooden boat builders and is powered by a steam engine. Paddle Steamer Curlip II is a replica of an historic paddle steamer of the Snowy River, in Far East Gippsland, Victoria.
The original Paddle Steamer Curlip was built by Sam Richardson and his sons Mark, Albert and Frank, at their sawmill at Tabbara, a pioneering settlement on the Brodribb River, a tributary of the Snowy River. The keel was laid on 14th October 1889 and PS Curlip was launched in 1890.
The name “ Curlip” is derived from the indigenous name for the area where Tabbara is located and includes land to the east of the Snowy and Brodribb Rivers towards Cape Conran.
PS Curlip was registered in 1893 and the Passenger Certificate issued on 30th January 1903 to Captain Alan Richardson by the Marine Board of Victoria entitled her to carry 25 passengers and only 10 passengers when engaged in towage service. Two children under 12 years of age to be reckoned as one passenger.

PS Curlip towed five barges at a time, traveling upstream as far as Bete Bolong, 20 km upstream of the mouth to collect produce to be transferred to schooners near Marlo. She towed vessels in and out through the Snowy river entrance and was also used for social functions such as Sunday School picnics. She was the main means of transport for imports and exports on the Snowy River for almost 30 years.
The Curlip era ended abruptly on Friday 28th February when a flash flood carried her and 2 barges down river and out to sea, where she washed ashore at Marlo and broke up.


More than eighty years after the original Paddle Steamer Curlip was wrecked at sea, the Orbost community launched a replica which it hoped would draw tourists to the region. The P.S. Curlip II, is based on drawings of the original Curlip that made its home in the Snowy and Brodribb Rivers of East Gippsland in the 1890s and early 1900s,
It took six years of planning and hundreds of hours of volunteer work from the local community.

Physical description

A display cabinet containing tools and sundry items related to the Paddle Steamer Curlip.
(More information on individual items in Catalogue 1400-1600)