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Australian warships at Victor Harbor
Title : Australian warships at Victor Harbor Australian warships at Victor Harbor
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Source : PRG 280/1/38/18, Searcy Collection
Date of creation : ca. 1912
Format : Photograph
Catalogue record
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Description :

Destroyers HMAS  Warrego, Parramatta, and Yarra anchored off Granite Island, Victor Harbor in September 1912. The visit by three ships from the young Royal Australian Navy came in the final period of Victor Harbor's days as a major port in South Australia.

Since it assumed the role in 1864 as the major outlet for the River Murray paddle-steamer trade, taking over from Port Elliot, Victor Harbor had made a number of expensive alterations to its port facilities. The latest harbour works in the 1880s were among the largest undertaken by the government to that time and cost 122,171 pounds: 192,000 tons of granite for the breakwater was blasted from Granite Island in seven blasts. Holes needed to be blasted into the limestone reef underlying the sea bed for the screw piles of the jetty.

Victor Harbor had been proclaimed a port in 1838, with the hope that it might also become the capital of South Australia. This hope was in vain and for many years Victor Harbor languished as a small port with goods being transported by small craft which beached at low tide, or else used a small jetty under The Bluff.

The advent of River Murray shipping and the proven unsuitability of Port Elliot as an outlet for the river trade, brought about a boost for Victor Harbor's claims as a port. However by the 1920s, and despite further visits by Royal Australian Navy, and Royal Navy vessels, the harbour's role as a working port was over.

Period : 1884-1913
Place : Victor Harbor
Region : Fleurieu Peninsula
Further reading :
Page, Michael F. Victor Harbor: from pioneer port to seaside resort [Victor Harbor, S. Aust.]: District Council of Victor Harbor, 1987
Strempel, A. A. The story of Victor Harbor [Victor Harbor, S. Aust.: Victor Harbor Council], 1965. Clare: Northern Argus
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Exhibitions and events :

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



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