3 Sydney Shipwrecks to Explore Today

Sydney Shipwrecks Homebush Bay SS Aryfield

SS Ayrfield at Homebush Bay is one of the best Sydney’s Shipwrecks to explore, Photo Credit: mezuni (Jason Baker)

Sydney is indeed a city of harbourside beauty.

And along with being a harbour city of industry and transport, comes a history of sometimes tragic and unforgettable shipwrecks.

Going on a shipwreck hunt is such an interesting thing to do. These hulking, creaking, hulls make for a fascinating and informative day out. Not only will you see some amazing landscapes you will also learn about some of Sydney’s history. Most of the wrecks are set in picturesque landscapes so after your shipwreck chasing you can relax with a picnic, walk or some sightseeing.

1. Homebush Bay Shipwrecks

Sydney Shipwrecks SS Ayrfield

The SS Ayrfield has been partially overgrown by mangroves giving it an ethereal feeling, Photo Credit: Marc Dalmulder @ Flicker

The Homebush Bay Shipwrecks are the remnants of an old ship wrecking yard that operated in the 1960’s and are perhaps the most well known Sydney shipwrecks. Today all that is left of the shipwrecking yard are four ship hulls, as well as the remains of a few other barges and vessels

The SS Ayrfield is the most well known of the wrecks and most certainly the most photogenic.The SS Ayrfield was originally called the Corrimal and was built in Scotland in 1911. During the Second World War it was a supply boat. After the war it was re-named as the SS Ayrfield and transported coal between Sydney and Newcastle.

Today the wrecks are all protected under the Shipwrecks Act 1976 which protects shipwrecks over 75 years of age. 

For the full details on these amazing wrecks, read our blog which also details the various ways to find them.

Address: The wrecks can be viewed from the shore from Bennelong Road at Homebush Bay and via Bicentennial Park

Free entry: Yes
Free parking: Yes

Don’t miss the Bicentennial Park wetlands which are located right near the Homebush Bay Shipwrecks

2. SS Minmi at Cape Banks

The shipwreck SS Minmi

The SS Minmi is located off shore of La Perouse

You will find the remnants of the SS Minmi on the ‘Cape Banks island’. In truth the island is not really an island but more a small rocky – and rather stunning – land mass that is now connected via a walkway to the mainland.

The SS Minmi was wrecked here in 1937. The Minmi was an Australian ship on its way from Melbourne to Newcastle. In heavy seas the ship was wrecked at around 10:15pm on the outside of Cape Banks. Today the remnants of the ship still stand as a testimony to this tragedy.

Today the largest section of the ship that remains is the stern section which sits on the inside of the island.

This tiny ‘island’ itself is wild, stunningly beautiful and definitely worth exploring a bit while you are here. You should also spend some time exploring the fortifications in the area. After exploring why not head to La Perouse for a swim and a picnic.

Cape Banks is a bit tricky to find. If you are driving, an easy way to see the area is to turn left from Anzac Parade into the Kamay Bay National Park, onto Henry Head Lane. Once at the entry to the golf course, you will then veer left onto Cape Banks Road. At the end of the Cape Banks Road you will come to a driving range and also the Westpact Lifesaver Helicopter Base. There is a small car park here. Once you have parked you will see a sign to Kamay Bay National Park, enter the park at the sign. The fortifications are ahead of you, and the trail to the island and shipwreck are to the left.

For further details of SS Minmi and Cape Banks check out our blog post.

Address: Kamay Bay National Park, Cape Solander Drive, Kurnell NSW 2231
Free entry: Yes
Free parking: Yes

Cape Banks is a place of natural beauty and a wonderful place to spend a day exploring

3. Sawmillers Reserve MSB Hopper Barge

Sawmillers Reserve Sydney Shipwrecks

The remnants of the MSB Hopper Barge are right on the shore of Sydney Harbour 

Sawmillers Reserve is set on the former site of Eaton’s Timber Yard. This beautiful harbourside park also contains the remnants of an MSB Hopper Barge which was abandoned here when the mill was closed. The barge is located right along the shoreline so is easy to find and view. Depending when you visit and the tideline you may be able to get right up close to the barge. 

You will also find a treehouse in the park and some great spots to have a picnic. Make sure to also look out for the Living Seawalls habitat trial, which are hoping to create new living habitats for sea creatures.

Combine a visit to Sawmillers Reserve with a wander through Lavender Bay for an amazing day out.

Address: 2 Munro Street, McMahons Point NSW 2060
Free entry: Yes
Free parking: Yes, limited street parking
Good to know: Please note access to the reserve is steep and there are no toilet facilities here.

Do you know of any other Sydney Shipwrecks?


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