Abandoned Ship with trees growing on it 😮

The Incredible Transformation Of The SS City Of Adelaide From Steamship To Island

Have you ever heard of a shipwreck that turned into an island? Something like this could happen only in fantasy novels. But what if there is actually a real place like that in this world?

Credit: Conor Moore Photography

Wanna explore it?

This amazing place is The SS City of Adelaide. It Is a shipwreck located off the coast of Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia. Nature has transformed this once grand steamship into a beautiful green island. Let us explore more about this unique and mesmerizing destination in this article.

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The Fascinating Story of the SS City of Adelaide Shipwreck

The SS City of Adelaide is a British steamship built in 1863. She was used to carry passengers across the Pacific Ocean to places like Melbourne, Sydney, Honolulu, and San Francisco. She was a beautiful and elegant ship, with room for 350 people and a speed of 12 knots. But in 1902, she was converted into a coal storage ship.

Fate took a turn for the worse.

Things did not go well for the SS City of Adelaide in 1912. A fire broke out on board and burned for two days. The ship was badly damaged but not completely destroyed. George Butler bought the SS City of Adelaide with big plans in mind after the fire.

George Butler wanted to refit her as tourist accommodation or use her as a breakwater for a jetty in Picnic Bay. He even stripped the hull and attempted to float her to Magnetic Island’s Picnic Bay. But things did not go as planned. On the way there, the ship ran aground in Cockle Bay and was abandoned there.

A new purpose and another tragedy

The locals did not forget about the abandoned SS City of Adelaide. They used her as a changing room when they came to swim around the wreck or collect oysters from her sides. She became quite popular in the 1920s as a local tourist attraction.

But during World War II, it attracted some unwanted attention from the Royal Australian Air Force. They used the ship as target practice. Sadly, one day one of the fighter planes crashed into her mast and killed four people. The SS City of Adelaide faced even more damage in 1971 when Cyclone Althea hit. The cyclone caused part of the wreck’s iron hull to collapse.

Nature healed the wounds of the suffered ship.

Humans abandoned the SS City of Adelaide, but nature had other plans for her. Over time, mangrove trees started growing on her hull. They created a beautiful green canopy that stood out against the rusted metal. She became an artificial island and a home to birds and wildlife. The mangroves even helped keep her stable and prevent her from collapsing.

Today, the SS City of Adelaide is a stunning sight on Magnetic Island. You can see her from the shore or take a boat or kayak for a closer look.


The SS City of Adelaide is an incredible example of how nature and history can work together. This shipwreck-turned-island can teach you lessons about the beauty of decay and wonder in life. With everything that happened on this ship in the past, think about what could happen in the future. If you are a true adventurer, this amazing destination must be on your bucket list.