Ferry Boat Fred is an Australian children's programme which was first broadcast in 1992. The main character is a ferry on Sydney Harbour named Fred, along with his older sister Kate, two other ferries, Lou and Bill, as well as Jean, a really jolly and colourful submarine. There is also the Captain, a Koala who is always found asleep behind Fred's wheel. Fred has a voluntary deckkie (deck hand) named Pete, a "know-it-all" Pelican who befriends Fred and follows him around the harbour, assisting Fred and tying him up at Wallaby Wharf.

The show was a success during its limited run. It was created by Polka Dot Productions, a company set up by the Producer/Writer John Pye in 1992 with 25 episodes (not all listed). John Pye, a model maker originally from Dagenham Essex UK, grew up watching the classic British children's TV shows, "Ivor the Engine" and "Noggin the Nog" (made by Oliver Postgates Smallfilms) Not only did Pye write the scripts and the incidental music but was also responsible for making most of the models. The entire series was filmed by Pye and three friends in a loft in the inner Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.

There are no plans to release Ferry Boat Fred on DVD.

Fred has had many adventures around Sydney including:

  • A birthday surprise from Kate
  • Kate saving her brother from a cargo ship while she was taking some children to the zoo
  • A ferry race

Ferry Boat Fred is one of the most popular children's shows in Australia[citation needed].

The narrator is Jack Osborn, who also provides the voices.


  • Fred-A yellow ferry, the main character.
  • Kate-A purple ferry, who is Fred's big sister.
  • Bill-A blue ferry.
  • Lou-A red ferry.
  • Jean-A blue submarine.
  • Spike-A Echidna machanic
  • Pelican Pete-Fred's constant copmanion and Deckhand.
  • Koala-Fred's Captain.
  • Emily-an Emu who loves to shop around the harbour

Episode List[]

  1. Fred Meets Pete (14 April 1992)
  2. Fred's Birthday Party (20 April 1992)
  3. Fred's Sister Kate (30 April 1992)
  4. Pete's Nephew Percy (3 May 1992)
  5. Fred At The Fairground (10 May 1992)
  6. Pete The Magician (24 May 1992)
  7. Fred & The Whales (3 June 1992)
  8. Jean The Submarine (12 June 1992)
  9. The Ferry Race (3 July 1992)
  10. Kate’s Lost Bell (25 September 1992)
  11. Fred The Floating Zoo (10 November 1992)
  12. Fred Goes To The Doctor (25 November 1992)
  13. Kate The Painter (1 January 1993)
  14. Pete The Water Skier (22 January 1993)
  15. Kate At The Fairground (12 February 1993)
  16. Fred Joins A Band (3 June 1993)
  17. Night-time Noises (20 July 1993)


  • There is also a song written by Franciscus Henri and sung by Michael Young and appeared on ABC For Kids Video Hits 2.
  • There were also two videos from ABC Video and Video Selection Australia, a CD and tape cassette from ABC Music, one book called The Big Race from ABC Books, spoken word and t-shirts.


  • Told by: Jack Osborn
  • Director of Photography: Lawrence Kirkwood
  • Production Design: James Sawars
  • Production Assistant: Paul Lockwood
  • Models Made and Filmed at: Modelcraft Pty. Ltd.
  • Music: John Pye
  • A.B.C. Associate Producer: Glen Daly
  • Editor: Neela Sarkar
  • Sound Effects: Ian Neilson
  • Telecine: John Galbrath & Walter Pilarski
  • Special Thanks: Lynn Gallay, Bert Deling, Matthew Roche, Steve Mosley
  • Created, Written and Produced by: John Pye
  • Director: Mark Osborn
  • Polka Dot Productions Pty Ltd. All rights by all media reserved. © MCMXCII