A Graphic Tale of Shipwreck: Rediscovering South Australian

Dive into the 1837 wreck of the whaling ship South Australian.

Maritime archaeologists have partnered with virtual design experts in Germany to re-create the shipwreck as a stunning graphic novel and an immersive diving experience. These powerful depictions, plus actual artefacts from the shipwreck site, allow visitors to explore South Australian and reveal the historical and archaeological detective work that uncovered its story. 

Have a sneak peek at the artwork by Professor Holger Deuter (University of Applied Sciences, Kaiserlautern, Germany) that brings to life the terrifying tale of South Australian’s loss.


Discover the story of the ship and the research that led to the development of the graphic novel





Find out more about the archaeological investigation of South Australian


Read about it in our Signals Magazine

Bound for South Australian    Catching up on lost time


Bound for South Australian: South Australia's oldest known shipwreck. Signals Magazine Issue 130, March 1, 2020.

Catching up on lost time: Further fieldwork on the barque South Australian. Signals Magazine Issue 142, March 1, 2023.


Read the Journal Article

Unearthing South Australia’s Oldest Known Shipwreck


Unearthing South Australia’s Oldest Known Shipwreck: The Bark South Australian (1837). Historical Archaeology, Volume 57, pages 95–125, 23 June 2023.

South Australian’s preserved wooden hull, as it appeared in June 2019. Image: James Hunter/ANMM.
The museum’s Dr James Hunter works in South Australian’s bow section in June 2019. Image: Irini Malliaros/Silentworld Foundation.
The museum’s Kieran Hosty (foreground) and Dr James Hunter map South Australian’s midships section in June 2022. Image: Irini Malliaros/Silentworld Foundation.  



Old Ship, New Crew

Learn how researchers from Sydney and students from Kaiserslautern, Germany developed a virtual dive of South Australian’s shipwreck site.