Currajong | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

Currajong

History | Database | Links | Print

History

The Currajong is the largest shipwreck in Sydney Harbour.  An iron screw steamer built at Lanark, United Kingdom in 1875, the vessel had a length of 67 metres.  Powered by compound surface condensing engines, the steamer operated as a collier under the Bellambi Coal Company flag.  With a gross tonnage of 603 tons, the Currajong was launched as the Clarence but renamed in 1883, operating initially as a passenger and cargo vessel. Caused by collision with the steamer Wyreema near Bradleys Head, the loss of the Currajong was a tragedy, resulting in the death of one crew member. The Currajong was entering port on 8 March 1910, while the huge Wyreema with a length of 120 metres and over 6000 tons gross, was departing.  The Currajong was struck with a glancing blow that proved fatal.  With the hull quickly flooding, the stern and propellers raised up and the vessel slid under the harbour.  An impressive shipwreck, the hull is intact and covered in oyster shell with a maximum depth of 26 metres.

Depth of site ~24m

photo: The Currajong in Sydney Harbour. Courtesy: State Reference Library, State Library of New South Wales.
The Currajong in Sydney Harbour. Courtesy: State Reference Library, State Library of New South Wales.
photo: Tripod mast from HMAS Sydney at Bradleys Head. Photograph by Tim Smith.
Tripod mast from HMAS Sydney at Bradleys Head. Photograph by Tim Smith.

Database

Site information

Site ID: 1681
Type: Steamer screw Construction: Iron
Primary industry: Transport Sub-industry: cargo - coastal
Gross tonnage: 603 Net tonnage: 411
Length (mtrs): 67.72 Beam (mtrs): 9.174
Draft (mtrs): 4.785 Cargo: Coal
Engine: Compound
Country built: UNITED KINGDOM State built:
Port built: Whiteinch, Lanark builder: Thomas Wingate
Port registered: Sydney When built: 1875
Registration number: 23/1883 Official number: 73779
Sources: Register of British Shipping Courier (Melbourne) 29/6/1973 Parsons, R Wrecks of steamships in NSW. The site lies in about 24 metres of water.
Comments: Launched as the 'Clarence'; renamed June 1883 Depth of site ~24m

Lost event

When lost: 1910/03/08 Where lost: Sydney Harbour, Bradley's Head, off
Wrecked/Refloated: Wrecked Sinking: Collision - Wyreema
From port: Southern Collieries To port: Sydney
Master: Captain R D Smith Owner: Bellambi Coal Co Ltd
Crew: 16 Passengers:
Crew deaths: 1 Passenger deaths: 0
Total deaths: 1

Location

Maximum latitude: 33.85666667 Minimum latitude:
Maximum longitude: 151.2477667 Minimum longitude:
Datum used: AGD66
  Datum    Latitude    Longitude    Zone    Easting    Northing
AGD66 33.85666670312680 151.24776670000000 56 337903.52718223900000 13747657.79865060000000
AGD84 33.85666670312680 151.24776670000000 56 337903.52718223900000 13747657.79865060000000
GDA94 33.85666174600300 151.24776670000000 56 337904.10642352300000 13747644.24607920000000
WGS84 33.85666174512970 151.24776670000000 56 337904.10642269800000 13747644.24608580000000

Management

Found: Yes Inspected: No
Protected: NSW Heritage Act 1977 Jurisdiction: State
Protection notes:
Signage: Web address: