State Library of South Australia logo Wooden walls and iron sides
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Port Misery Wharf
Title : Port Misery Wharf Port Misery Wharf
Add To My SA Memory
Source : B 18964, Port Adelaide Collection
Date of creation : 1920
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Remains of the Old Wharf at "Port Misery" near Port Adelaide

Remains of the Port Misery Wharf near Port Adelaide.

The harbour selected by William Light the colony's first Surveyor General, was the Port River. The first landing place was higher up the river than the current Inner Harbor adjacent to the Birkenhead Bridge. Here the mangroves posed less of a problem than further downstream. However larger vessels could not approach closely, and so passengers and their goods and cargo were lightered ashore. This first landing place was the Port Creek Settlement, later named 'Port Misery' by one resident and a term which later attached to the place.

A landing stage and a small canal were built at this location in the hope of improving it. Two store sheds were also erected. These improvements were still inadequate if Port Adelaide was going to thrive.

This situation would last only a few years: in 1839 the South Australian Company offered to build a wharf further down river. The government agreed with the additional proposal that the Company build a road to connect the Port with Adelaide. This was agreed to and the real beginnings of Port Adelaide was ready for use early in 1840, with the road ready a few months later. McLaren's wharf as it was known was at the end of Lipson Street.
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Port Adelaide
Region : Adelaide metropolitan area
Further reading :
Parsons, Ronald, Southern passages: a maritime history of South Australia Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1986
Couper-Smartt, John Port Adelaide: tales from a "commodious harbour" Port Adelaide: Friends of the South Australian Maritime Museum, 2003
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on