Photograph of Admella Quick Facts

Welcome To The SS Admella

Welcome to the Admella website created to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the wreck of the Admella on Carpenters Reef, about 20 miles north of Cape Northumberland, near the current township of Carpenter Rocks, South Australia. 

The wreck of the SS Admella on Carpenters Reef in the early hours of August 6 1859 was the beginning of a horrific week for all on board the stricken steamer and the volunteers who struggled to rescue them.

The Admella was sailing from Port Adelaide to Melbourne when it struck the reef. Within 15 minutes the ship broke up leaving passengers and crew clinging to the wreckage in sight of land with no water and very little food.

The loss of 89 lives over 8 days and the many failed rescue attempts makes the wreck one of the worst maritime disasters in Australia’s history. Learn more about the Admella story.

Many ships have been wrecked along this part of the Australian coast, both before and after the wreck of the Admella, but this wreck is arguably the most tragic and was responsible for bringing together the newly formed colonies of South Australia and Victoria in a major rescue effort. 

In 2009 local governments (councils) of the area commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the wreck, and celebrated the bravery, heroism and selflessness of those involved in the rescue, with a series of events and projects. Those Councils are the District Council of Grant, which includes Carpenter Rocks and Port MacDonnell, the Glenelg Shire Council, which includes the City of Portland in Victoria, the City of Mount Gambier, the Wattle Range Council, and the District Council of Robe.

One of these projects is the Admella Discovery Trail: a self drive touring route integrating cultural heritage and nature based experiences within a 130 km radius of Mount Gambier, South Australia. 21 maritime themed interpretive trail markers emotively recount the tale of the wreck of the Admella and take you on a journey that you will never forget.