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

Abandonment

Mutton Cove

Excelsior

steel screw steamer

1945 - abandoned in tidal inlet

Jupiter

composite paddle steamer

c1945 - abandoned in tidal inlet

Jervois Basin

Alert

wooden ketch

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

Trafalgar

composite paddle steamer

1950s - beached and partially dismantled

Fides

wooden schooner

1934 - salvaged hull beached and broken up

Fish Market Pontoon

wooden pontoon

c1960 - abandoned on mudflats

unnamed

wooden pontoon

unknown - abandoned on river's edge

Fitzjames

wooden ship

c1890s - no remains located - possibly covered by reclamation

Garden Island

Dorothy H Sterling

wooden schooner

1932 - hull partly dismantled then abandoned for further salvage

Enterprise

iron screw steamer

1913 - beached and broken up

Flinders

iron screw steamer

1931 - beached, and broken up (explosive charges)

Garthneill

steel barque

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

Gem

composite paddle steamer

1927 - beached and broken up

Glaucus

iron screw steamer

1935 - partially dismantled then beached

Grace Darling

steel screw steamer

1931 - beached and broken up

Juno

iron screw steamer

1931 - partially dismantled then beached

Killarney

wooden motor launch

1928 - beached and broken up

Lady Daly

wooden schooner

1926 - partially dismantled, beached and broken up

Mangana

iron screw steamer

1931 - beached and scuttled with explosives

Moe

iron barque

1931 - partially dismantled, beached and scuttled with explosives

Santiago

iron barque

1945 - abandoned in North Arm

Sarnia

composite steam dredge

1927 - partially salvaged and beached with some unofficial salvage

Seminole

wooden barque

1909 - partially dismantled, beached and broken up

Stanley

iron paddle steamer (tug)

1930 - dismantled with remains beached

Sunbeam

iron barque

1910 - abandoned on mudflats

Thomas and Annie

wooden ketch

1945 - floated inshore and broken up

unnamed

iron pontoons (four)

unknown

unnamed

wooden barge

unknown

unnamed

iron hopper barge/dredge

unknown - evidence of on-site salvage

unnamed

iron dredge

unknown - evidence of extensive salvage

Angas Inlet

unknown

approximately six assorted recreational craft

unknown

possibly Kadina

wooden ship

1879 - burnt, towed ashore and broken up

unnamed

wood and iron pontoon

unknown

Broad Creek

Dorothy S

wooden schooner

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

No 1 Hulk

iron bucket dredge

1915 - grounded as reinforcement in an embankment - progressively salvaged