The ageing timbers of the Dorothy lie broken on a sandbar. A mangrove tree has taken root amidship, spreading it’s branches out like the mast of a ghost ship on a voyage to nowhere. Small sandcrabs scury between the aerial roots as the tide recedes. Is this a scene from Pirates of the Caribean? No – it’s a mere stone throw from the nearest McDonalds. This is the Port river. You can get there by Kayak from the Garden Island Boat Ramp. You don’t have a kayak? No problem. Adventure Kayaking run tours and hire kayaks from the carpark most weekends. http://www.adventurekayak.com.au/dolphin.html
There are over 20 wrecks in the river. Above left is the Santiago and above right is the view down one of the magical mangrove creeks. I must warn you that you may receive a surprise inspection by a pod of Port River Dolphins as you make your way around the island to the wrecks. Remember to take mosquito repellent.
If you are not adventurous and would prefer to explore by foot, then check out the wreck of the Excelsior (below) at Mutton Cove near the Australian Submarine Corporation. Mutton Cove is also home for migratory waders and shorebirds. I was quite surprised when I first encountered the shipwrecks of Adelaide. It is truly worth a visit.
Thanks for this James! I would really like to photograph shipwrecks. Are we allowed to take our own kayaks? and do we need a permit?
No permit required and you can use your own kayaks. We went last weekend. There is a web page and there are signs on Garden island naming all of the wrecks.