Aerial view of the City of Adelaide shipwreck, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia
© Amazing Aerial Agency/Offset by Shutterstoc
Life aboard a shipwreck
We’re on the north-east coast of Australia, looking down on the sunken hull of the steamship SS City of Adelaide. From 1863, it was a passenger steamship ferrying people and cargo between ports in Melbourne, Sydney, Honolulu and San Francisco. Under sail, it was likened to a graceful bird in flight. But in 1912, the City of Adelaide was gutted by fire and four years later its burned hulk ran aground here in Magnetic Island’s Cockle Bay, while being transported after sale. Now it serves as an artificial island to a flock of cockatoos who live in the mangroves that have sprouted from the ship's rusted deck. It’s one of approximately 8,000 shipwrecks off the coast of Australia dating back as far as the 1600s - only 2,000 of which have been located.