15 February 2014

Historic Shipwrecks of Homebush Bay

No luxury cruise-liners when I ventured down to the big city this week; instead, shipwrecks!

Seen at Homebush Bay, alongside Sydney's Olympic Park, all 430 hectares of it.

The mangroves have just grown up through the disintegrated bottom of the wreck.  No doubt, given time, the mangroves will ultimately win over.  Why should I envisage this as a blue-ribbon winner at 2014 Chelsea Garden Show?  It's certainly out performs the ship-in-a-bottle, being more a landscape in a ship.

No doubt many estuary birds make good use of this rustic island.

it's a little hard to discern, but I tried to fit all the shipwreck in; look to the right and you can just make out another 'end'.

save your eyes ...  the signage reads ....

Homebush Bay became a ship-breaking yard in 1966.  At least four ship hulls and several barges are still there, protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.  The wrecks seen here are the SS Heroic and HMAS Karangi, closest to the mangroves.

SS Heroic was a steel-hulled, steam tugboat, 268 tonnes and 38.10m long, built in the UK in 1909 for Thomas Fenwick, tugboat operator, Sydney.  In 1911 it towed the French warship Eure' to Sydney from Noumea for breaking up.  It was later commandeered by the British Admiralty for rescue work during the Fist World War.  

During the Second World War it rescued the freighter Allara after it was torpedoed off Sydney.  Heroic was stationed at Newcastle for the last 20 years of its life and was finally hulked at Homebush Bay around 1973.

HMAS Kurangi was a steel boom defence vessel, 971 tons, 54.25m long, built at Cockatoo Docks, Sydney 1941.  These ships have long 'booms' projecting from the bows and rounded sterns which help lay the nets, booms, buoys and submarines.  Karangi helped defend Darwin Harbour from Japanese attack in 1942.  It was partially scrapped in 1965 and abandoned in Homebush Bay sometime later.

Snap Happy Birding shares the White Ibis seen near this location.  I hope you'll 'pop on over' for a birds-eye view.


John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

What an amazing natural garden! Usually our shipwrecks are just rusty ribs sticking up out of the sand.

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures Carole.
Very special the boat in the water, and overgrown with trees.
Have a great weekend, Irma

Brian King said...

Awesome! I love this kind of stuff! I've always had an interest in shipwrecks. The Great Lakes here in the states are full of them, but you have to dive to see them.

Montanagirl said...

That makes for a perfect bird sanctuary! Love it = The Rustic Island.

Jan Castle said...

Great pics Carole....thanks too for the history lesson!

Lyngo said...

Interesting to see . thank you ..

Linley S said...

Wow, how interesting and unique.

diane b said...

I never knew this existed......this blog and this shipwreck. very interesting. Looks neat with the mangrove trees growing out of it.

Jeanne said...

Wow this shipwreck is fascinating, and does make quite a display. Bet that whole area is fascinating!