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On 11 February 1867 the 338 ton composite barque Zanoni left Port Wakefield for Port Adelaide with 4,025 bags of wheat, a crew of 14 and two stevedores. In fine weather, a sudden squall from the west rolled the vessel, which sank within 10 minutes. Despite subsequent searches the wreck was not located until 17 April 1983, almost 100 years later.

The Zanoni shipwreck is the most intact 19th century merchant sailing vessel in South Australian waters and has been declared a Historic Wreck under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981. In May 1983 the region within a 550 metre radius of the vessel was declared a Protected Zone, prohibiting any boating activity within the area unless a permit is obtained.

When the Protected Zone was implemented many anglers and divers protested the new restrictions, as the Zanoni had become an abundant artificial reef and a popular fishing location. As a result, the Department of Fisheries decided to establish a new artificial reef nearby, and acquired an obsolete Department of Marine and Harbours barge for the purpose.

On 11 April 1984 No 5 Barge was deliberately scuttled approximately one nautical mile south of the Zanoni wreck site.

You will need to apply for a permit to dive this wreck.

Vessel name

Vessel type


No 5 Barge  - also known as Ardrossan or Zanoni Barge

steel dumb hopper barge

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