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Kangaroo Island Shipwreck Trail

The Kangaroo Island Shipwreck Trail explores the history of the island from when Matthew Flinders became the first European to record it during his survey in the 'Investigator' in 1802. In 1803 French Captain Nicolas Baudin circumnavigated and charted the whole island. From 1803 till 1836, Kangaroo Island was home for sealers, whalers and outcasts. Some of the men were notorious for their crimes and cruelties and one visitor described the island as the most vicious place in the British Empire at the time. Since official settlement in 1836, more than 80 vessels, ranging from international sailing ships to coastal traders, have come to grief in the waters around Kangaroo Island. The stories behind many of these wrecks, such as the Loch Sloy, Loch Vennachar, Osmanli and You Yangs, are both dramatic and tragic. Many, such as the Portland Maru, offer fascinating and rewarding experiences for divers. The trail consists of an introductory panel at both Kingscote and Penneshaw, and seven story panels at related sites around Kangaroo Island. Download the Kangaroo Island Shipwreck Trail brochure for more information on the 'self-drive trail which uses contemporary newspaper reports and personal records to recount the stories of seven Kangaroo Island shipwrecks.