Southern Ocean Shipwreck Trail

Home | Port MacDonnell, SA

Department for Environment and Water SA

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Drive the lovely southern coast from the Victorian border to the mouth of the River Murray. See shipwreck sites including the Admella, the state's worst sea tragedy. You can visit many sites and towns along the way including Canunda National Park. Stop for fresh seafood at Robe.

101 vessels have been wrecked and 218 lives lost in this area. The Admella and its 89 passengers and crew sank near Cape Northumberland in 1859. The Geltwood was a sailing ship of over 1000 tonnes wrecked in 1876. 31 people lost their lives. It is possible to see parts of the iron hull, masts and rigging, anchors and chain on the sea bed. The Maria was a small sailing vessel wrecked off the Coorong in 1840, while heading for the shelter of Encounter Bay. All passengers and crew were killed. The Phaeton was an American sailing vessel lost while bringing Chinese immigrants into Robe in 1857. These people came because of the Victorian goldrush.

A guide booklet is available for the trail and there are 10 land-based interpretive signs.


  • Scenic drive
  • Historical experience
  • Sight-seeing


  • Picnic areas with barbeuces
  • Camping grounds
  • Lookouts
  • Walking trails
  • Shops
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Toilets

Important Information


  • Always do some research before heading out for your journey. Visit the parks website for up to date information on the current conditions.
  • Stay safe and get the most out of your visit by preparing for natural hazards and other outdoor risks. You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.
  • Wear suitable footwear and ensure to wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself from the elements.
  • Always stay on the marked tracks where possible. Never climb fences, they are there for your own safety.
  • Please consider the environment, take your rubbish with you or place in the bins provided. We want to ensure these beautiful places are still here for our future generations to enjoy.
  • Ensure to let a responsible adult know of your plans and report back into them once you have finished exploring for the day.
  • National park and camping fees may apply for some South Australian national parks. Check the parks website for bookings and/ or further details.

Photo credits: Department for Environment and Water SA

Location & Supplier

Southern Ocean Shipwreck Trail

Address: Cape Northumberland, Port Macdonnell SA 5291


7 people have added this to their Bucket List

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