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SS Ayrfield Shipwreck in Sydney

Can you picture an abandoned ship with a forest in it?

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SS Ayrfield Shipwreck

Once upon the time, Homebush Bay was an industrial centre but unfortunately became contaminated with toxic waste. After having been rehabilitated by the economic boom brought on by the 2000 Olympic games, the Bay is now one of Sydney's residential and commercial suburbs. However, Homebush Bay’s past as a thriving trading port still exists by means of four abandoned cargo ships slowly corroding in the waters. They were used mostly to transport oil, coal, and war supplies and were eventually decommissioned and abandoned.

The Homebush Bay's SS Ayrfield is one of those ships west of Sydney. The incredible foliage adorning the rusted hull makes it stand out from the other stranded vessels. This beautiful spectacle, which is also known as the Floating Forest, adds a bit of life to this area, which looks more like a ship graveyard.

Represented as a giant 1,140-tonne beast, SS Ayrfield was built in 1911 in the UK and was originally launched as the SS Corrimal. It was registered in Sydney in 1912 as a steam collier and was later used to transport supplies to American troops during World War II. In 1972, the SS Ayrfield was retired and served as a ship-breaking yard at Homebush Bay.

While many ships were taken apart, four old metallic vessel leftovers are still currently floating in the bay. However, the SS Ayrfield is the only one taken over by mangrove trees

Practical info

Where can the SS Ayrfield be found?

The SS Ayrfield is located west of Sydney, Australia, in Homebush Bay. Originally serving as a steam collier, the ship was later used to transport war supplies to American troops during World War II. It was eventually retired in 1972 and served as a ship-breaking yard, along with three other abandoned cargo ships. Today, the Ayrfield attracts visitors due to the mangrove trees growing on its hull, making it a unique attraction. Show more

What was the original purpose of the SS Ayrfield and when was it built?

Built in 1911 in the UK, the SS Ayrfield was launched as the SS Corrimal, serving as a steam collier. It was then used to transport supplies to American troops during World War II. The ship was eventually retired in 1972 and, along with three other cargo ships, served as a ship-breaking yard. Today, the Ayrfield is known for the mangrove trees growing on its hull, attracting visitors to Homebush Bay. Show more

What was the cause of Homebush Bay's toxic waste contamination?

Homebush Bay, west of Sydney in Australia, was contaminated with toxic waste due to industrial activities such as oil refining, power generation, and chemical manufacturing. These factories disposed of their waste directly into the bay, significantly polluting it. However, the government and private enterprises have since cleaned up the area, turning it into a safe place for residents and tourists alike to enjoy. Show more

What other cargo ships were abandoned in Homebush Bay?

Aside from the SS Ayrfield, the Homebush Bay area of Sydney, Australia, is home to three other abandoned cargo ships: the SS Mortlake Bank, the SS Goodwin, and the SS Heroic. These ships were also used to transport war supplies, coal, and oil during the 20th century. However, the Ayrfield is the most unique of the abandoned vessels due to the mangrove trees that have grown on its rusted hull, attracting many visitors to the area each year. Show more

How did mangrove trees grow on the SS Ayrfield?

The SS Ayrfield is an abandoned cargo ship located in Homebush Bay, Sydney, Australia. The mangrove trees growing on its hull were not intentionally planted but grew naturally over time. Starting as small plants, the trees gradually took root on the ship's rusted surface, forming a picturesque floating forest. Despite attracting many visitors, accessing the area where the ships are grounded is illegal and poses a significant risk. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin