Homebush Bay Shipwrecks

Homebush Bay Shipwrecks

I had heard whispers of the Homebush Bay Shipwrecks and chose a bit of a rainy day to set off on my search for them….. and I wasn’t disappointed. This is such a fun thing to do and if you start off in Bicentennial Park then you can really make a whole (free) day of it!

A bit of background

The Homebush Bay Shipwrecks are the remnants of an old ship wrecking yard that operated in the 1960’s. Today there are four ship hulls and remains of other barges and vessels to here.
 
The wrecks are all protected under the Shipwrecks Act 1976. This Act protects shipwrecks over 75 years of age. The Strathfield Heritage Association has an overview of the history of the ships on their website.

Where to Start

I decided it was just the kinda day for a bit of a walk (even in the rain). I parked at the Waterview Restaurant and Bicentennial Park Information Centre (which are located off the Australia Avenue entrance).

The Information Centre is located in the bike shop and is a good place to start. Grab a Homebush Bay Map from here so you don’t get lost (refer also map located at the end of this article). There are also maps located around the park which is helpful if you wander off course!

There are other options on where to start – refer to end of this article for more details.

Heading off

I headed around Lake Belvedere and then north past the Powells Creek Fishway and the Trelliage. Make sure you head up the Trelliage for a great view! I then veared towards the Education Centre. This is a bit of a walk (and there are other alternates for those who are looking for something a bit easier, read below) but there is so much to see in Bicentennial Park that I barely noticed it.

At the Education Centre you will come to a four way junction in the road. At this junction head towards the left to the gate marked ‘Dogs not permitted’.  Once you enter the gate, the path is flat and paved so easy for wheelchairs and prams but it is a reasonably long walk.

Homebush Bay Shipwrecks

Enter through this gate

After you enter the gate you will shortly come to a wetland area that includes an open water Waterbird Refuge and Coastal Saltmarsh. Now if like me you weren’t expecting this little gem, then you will get a really great surprise. The area is full of many, many Australian birds and also provides a space for migratory species (which are protected under international agreements). It is really very beautiful, calm and peaceful.

The gorgeous wetlands

Finding the Shipwrecks

After walking a bit further past the wetlands I came across my first clue to the shipwrecks……. it was the shadow of a boat to the right of the pathway hidden in amongst the mangroves.

Shortly after this was a sign about the shipwrecks and one of the shipwrecks themselves! Just near the sign there is a short path that leads down to the water which you can take to get a closer look at the boat. The path is a bit slippery so take care.

And here lies SS Heroic. It is amazing to see this boat here, covered in mangroves with the contrast between the boat and the IKEA sign. It is also fascinating to look down at the shoreline at the remnants of other boats of the past.

SS Heroic

After a bit of boat watching, I decided to continue on my quest. I head back up onto the main path and kept on walking. The walk is easy and really very interesting. Eventually the path veers to the left, so keep on walking and look out for a sign on the ground to Shipwreck Lookout. At the lookout you will first come upon HMAS Karangi, which has a small boardwalk leading out to get a closer look at it. The lookout also features a wooden ship breaking ramp, and you are also able to see the remnants of other boats in the distance.

Shipwreck Lookout and HMAS Karangi

To get to the boats in the distance you need to exit out of the lookout, turn right and continue along the path all the way to Bennelong Parkway. Once you get to the road, turn to your right and then turn at the first pathway (into a block of units). At this pathway continue for a while then you will come to the magnificent sight of the amazing SS Ayrfield. Also located here is the SS Mortlake Bank.

Homebush Bay Shipwrecks

The beautiful SS Ayrfield

Stop at the Bird Hide

After admiring the boats for a while I decided to head back through Bicentennial Park and to explore the bird hide I had seen on my way through. The Hide is located not far from Shipwreck Lookout and my, my it is a wonderful place to sit and be at peace with the world.

Homebush Bay Shipwrecks

Homebush Bay Bird Hide

Alternate Routes

Now, if you aren’t up for a long walk, then there are two alternate routes you can take to get to the Homebush Bay Shipwrecks.

Bicentennial Park, P01 Carpark

Enter Bicentennial Park from Australia Avenue and continue along until you reach the carpark near the Badu Mangroves Boardwalk. From the carpark walk up to the Education Centre as detailed above.

From Bennelong Parkway, Archery Centre

On the Bennelong Parkway follow the signs to the Archery Centre. Park at the Archery Centre and cross the road to the block of units where you will find SS Ayrfield. Once you have explored the SS Ayrfield, then head back up to the road, turn left and enter Bicentennial Park where you will shortly come to Shipwreck Lookout. This is the quickest option.

Homebush Bay Shipwrecks - Homebush Bay Map

Location of the shipwrecks, Homebush Bay Map

Five reasons to visit Homebush Bay Shipwrecks

  1. Discover some of the secret history of Sydney at the Homebush Bay Shipwrecks
  2. Marvel at the birds in the wetlands and bird hide
  3. Go for a walk along the walking trails of Bicentennial Park
  4. Enjoy the use of a free BBQ
  5. Sit and enjoy the view from Shipwreck Lookout.

Freedays summary

  • Entry: Free
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes
  • Free carparking: Yes
  • Free BBQ facilities: Yes
  • Time to spend here: 2 hours to all day
  • Food available: Yes
  • Address: Australia Ave, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127
  • Further details: Visit Homebush Bay Shipwreck’s directory listing

More free things to do 

After exploring the shipwrecks why not:

  • Explore all the other things to do in Bicentennial Park
  • See what’s on offer at Sydney Olympic Park

If you love Shipwrecks

Make sure to check out our post on The three best shipwrecks in Sydney.

 

 

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