King Island’s Accommodation Shipwreck Coast

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The extremely dangerous waters of Bass Strait, King Island have claimed hundreds of ships and over a thousand lives. Since the time Bass Strait was charted by Matthew Flinders and George Bass in 1798, a substantial flow of ship’s captains made the decision to risk this tumultuous passage to reduce the time needed to reach the main settlement of Sydney. Many ships didn’t make it. The King Island Maritime Trail -Shipwrecks & Safe Havens (this brochure is widely available on King Island) tells of some of the heart-breaking stories of the shipping disasters. This is a King Island Shipwreck Map which includes both the sad and the heroic. This brochure also tells of the safe havens initiated at Currie, Grassy and Naracoopa at Sea Elephant Bay, but most importantly the lighthouses built at Cape Wickham and Currie have saved countless ships and lives.

Lighthouse keeper William Hickmott once said,

“I suppose there are no lights in these waters so blest by sailors as the two upon King Island.”


There are interpretation signs located near the shipwreck sites dotted around the island, the memorial cairns express an insight into the lives of those poor shipwrecked souls, their heroic rescuers, and the lighthouse keepers who worked tirelessly throughout the night in an effort to make the waters around King Island safe.

So do follow the maritime trail, you will find yourself transported back to the days of old when the only travel was by ship and proved to be a risky and dangerous adventure.

You can pick up your Shipwreck Trail brochures here

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