State Library of South Australia logoWooden Walls and Iron Sides heading

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SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Wooden walls and iron sides - South Australia's maritime history


Immigrant shipping        
Developing trade and port histories        
Riverine shipping       
Navy in South Australia       
Shipbuilding in South Australia       
South Australian shipping lines       
Shipwrecks and sea rescue       

Organised shipping in South Australia began with the immigrant ships, and traffic was largely one way as there was no outward cargo in 1836. Gradually exports of mineral ores, grain and wool built up as the colony grew, and cargoes went overseas or to the other colonies.

Steam took over from sail, although sailing ships were still taking the grain harvest to Europe in the 1930s.

River trade on the Murray was an important component of South Australian trade. Intercolonial passenger ships, gulf and river cruises, as well as overseas cruise ships were all part of the shipping at Port Adelaide and the outports.



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