Port Adelaide

The remains of at least 40 abandoned vessels lie embedded in silt and partially hidden by mangroves in the backwaters of the Port Adelaide River. The collection includes large and small sailing, steam and motor vessels, barges, pontoons and dredges.

The Port Adelaide graveyards are made up of five abandonment sites, including the Garden Island, Jervois Basin, Mutton Cove, Broad Creek and the Angas Inlet. The Garden Island graveyard is the largest site, with 25 known vessels to have been abandoned between 1909 and 1945.

As vessels within the Port fell into disrepair or were no longer viable, harbour authorities needed to cater for their disposal. South Australia's relatively shallow Gulf waters meant that scuttling at sea was not generally an option. The alternative was that most obsolete vessels were beached and broken up at various sites around Port Adelaide - some were completely salvaged but others were only partially scrapped.

Many ended their working days in Port Adelaide as storage hulks or lighters. The ending for other vessels were a little more inventive with some becoming a footbridge, a floating grain mill and a crayfish depot.

More about:

Vessel name

Vessel type


Mutton Cove

Excelsior (25kb pdf)

steel screw steamer

1945 - abandoned in tidal inlet

Jupiter (83kb pdf)

composite paddle steamer

c1945 - abandoned in tidal inlet

Jervois Basin

Alert (52kb pdf)

wooden ketch

1961 - beached and later burnt to the waterline in lieu of further salvage

Trafalgar (78kb pdf)

composite paddle steamer

1950s - beached and partially dismantled

Fides (37kb pdf)

wooden schooner

1934 - salvaged hull beached and broken up

Fish Market Pontoon (29kb pdf)

wooden pontoon

c1960 - abandoned on mudflats

unnamed (60kb pdf)

wooden pontoon

unknown - abandoned on river's edge

Fitzjames (30kb pdf)

wooden ship

c1890s - no remains located - possibly covered by reclamation

Garden Island

Dorothy H Sterling (42kb pdf)

wooden schooner

1932 - hull partly dismantled then abandoned for further salvage

Enterprise (33kb pdf)

iron screw steamer

1913 - beached and broken up

Flinders (65kb pdf)

iron screw steamer

1931 - beached, and broken up (explosive charges)

Garthneill (40kb pdf)

steel barque

1935 - stripped, beached and cut up (explosive charges)

Gem (44kb pdf)

composite paddle steamer

1927 - beached and broken up

Glaucus (63kb pdf)

iron screw steamer

1935 - partially dismantled then beached

Grace Darling (43kb pdf)

steel screw steamer

1931 - beached and broken up

Juno (40kb pdf)

iron screw steamer

1931 - partially dismantled then beached

Killarney (24kb pdf)

wooden motor launch

1928 - beached and broken up

Lady Daly (32kb pdf)

wooden schooner

1926 - partially dismantled, beached and broken up

Mangana (33kb pdf)

iron screw steamer

1931 - beached and scuttled with explosives

Moe (39kb pdf)

iron barque

1931 - partially dismantled, beached and scuttled with explosives

Santiago (50kb pdf)

iron barque

1945 - abandoned in North Arm

Sarnia (36kb pdf)

composite steam dredge

1927 - partially salvaged and beached with some unofficial salvage

Seminole (62kb pdf)

wooden barque

1909 - partially dismantled, beached and broken up

Stanley (29kb pdf)

iron paddle steamer (tug)

1930 - dismantled with remains beached

Sunbeam (36kb pdf)

iron barque

1910 - abandoned on mudflats

Thomas and Annie (38kb pdf)

wooden ketch

1945 - floated inshore and broken up

unnamed (60kb pdf)

iron pontoons (four)


unnamed (60kb pdf)

wooden barge


unnamed (60kb pdf)

iron hopper barge/dredge

unknown - evidence of on-site salvage

unnamed (60kb pdf)

iron dredge

unknown - evidence of extensive salvage

Angas Inlet


approximately six assorted recreational craft


possibly Kadina (50kb pdf)

wooden ship

1879 - burnt, towed ashore and broken up


wood and iron pontoon


Broad Creek

Dorothy S (40kb pdf)

wooden schooner

1928 - removed to a side creek to house hydroplanes - later broken up

No 1 Hulk (31kb pdf)

iron bucket dredge

1915 - grounded as reinforcement in an embankment - progressively salvaged