*IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Kangaroo Island Shipwreck Trail locations at the western end of the island are not currently accessible (Loch Sloy, Loch Vennachar, Fides and Portland Maru). The Trail remains accessible at the eastern end of the island from Kingscote to Vivonne Bay.
The Kangaroo Island Shipwreck Trail explores the history of the island from when Matthew Flinders became the first European to record it during his survey in the Investigator in 1802. In 1803 French Captain Nicolas Baudin circumnavigated and charted the whole island.
From 1803 till 1836, Kangaroo Island was home for sealers, whalers and outcasts. Some of the men were notorious for their crimes and cruelties and one visitor described the Island as the most vicious place in the British Empire at the time.
Over 80 shipwrecks have been recorded following official settlement in 1836. Some like the Loch Sloy, Loch Vennachar, Osmanli and You Yangs were both dramatic and tragic. Many, such as the Portland Maru offer fascinating and rewarding experiences for divers.