SS Ayrfield – Wentworth Point, Australia - Atlas Obscura

SS Ayrfield

Wentworth Point, Australia

Nature is leading a successful mutiny on this century-old freighter. 


From cargo freighter to floating forest, the SS Ayrfield is a beautifully broken-down wreck, forever locked in Australia’s Homebush Bay.

Once a center of industry, Homebush Bay was unfortunately contaminated with toxic waste and is now a commercial and residential suburb of Sydney after having been refurbished by the economic boom brought on by the 2000 Olympic games. However, the bay’s past as a successful trading port still lingers on in the form of four abandoned freighters slowly rusting in the waters. Once used to transport coal, oil, and war supplies, the ships were eventually decommissioned and simply left where they floated.

The most remarkable of these wrecks is the SS Ayrfield, which has miraculously sprouted a lush forest of mangrove trees. The branches of the thriving trees spill from the sides of the ship, slowly breaking down the hull of the long-lived ship which was originally built in 1911.

The trees have so completely overtaken the ship, it is a wonder that it still floats. The SS Ayrfield may have survived World War II, but nothing can combat the encroaching hand of nature.

Know Before You Go

The ship is within Homebush Bay, near the southwestern shore, along with some other wrecks. You can see it from land.

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