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Southern Ocean Shipwreck Trail

The Southern Ocean Shipwreck Trail encompasses the region between the Victorian border and the Murray Mouth. In a region where 101 vessels have been wrecked and 218 lives lost, this trail tells the story of South Australia's tragic maritime history. The state's worst maritime tragedy was the loss of the 'Admella' and its 89 passengers and crew near Cape Northumberland in 1859. Other notable shipwrecks in the region include the 'Geltwood', a 1056 tonne sailing ship wrecked in 1876 with the loss of 31 lives; the 'Maria', a small sailing vessel wrecked off the Coorong in 1840, with all passengers and crew killed while attempting to reach Encounter Bay; and the 'Phaeton', an American sailing vessel lost while bringing Chinese immigrants into Robe in 1857. There is still a substantial amount remaining of the 'Geltwood' and it is possible to see parts of the iron hull, masts and yards and other ship fittings lying flattened and broken on the sea bed. The ship's anchors and chain can be seen at the seaward end, indicating the bow of the ship. The Southern Ocean Shipwreck Trail includes a booklet and 10 land-based interpretive signs overlooking the scenes of some of these tragedies.