There was a ‘tall’ spectacle on Sydney Harbour this morning.

Big crowds on shore, and on the water, ignored the rainy, windy conditions to see the largest collection of tallships in Sydney, since the 1988 bicentenary.

The ships are here to kick off Australia’s International Fleet Review.

Daniel Winters reports.


They’ve sailed from all over the world to take part.

Tallships from the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand made their grand entrance into an overcast Sydney Harbour.

Led by the Endeavour and Young Endeavour, the ships sailed through the harbour to Cockle Bay in 20 to 30 knot winds.

Many of these beauties have long histories.

One was built in 1874, another worked as a minesweeper during World War Two.

The Lord Nelson is unique. It can be crewed by people with disabilities and in wheelchairs.

Heather Andseron, Crew Member: “Going up aloft yesterday, being hoisted up in the wheelchair, it was absolutely fantastic.”

Captain Barbara Campbell, Lord Nelson Captain: “Everybody takes turns steering. When we set sails, the whole watch joins in together.”

The last time this many tallships came together was 1988, for Australia’s bicentenary.

This time, they’re here to celebrate the centenary of the Navy’s first entry into Sydney.

Jack Langrell, Royal Australian Navy veteran: “This is something very significant in the history of Australia.”

On Saturday, the Governor-General will be joined by the guest of honour, Prince Harry, onboard HMAS Leeuwin for the official Fleet Review.

The event is expected to inject around $50 million into the New South Wales economy.

Daniel Winters, QUT News.