‘Charles Edward 1864’ – Metung, Australia - Atlas Obscura

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‘Charles Edward 1864’

Metung, Australia

This work of art pays tribute to an iron-hulled paddled steamer that traveled the world.  


This magnificent stainless steel sculpture made by local artist Doug Hadaway pays tribute to The Charles Edward.

This was the name given to an iron-hulled paddled steamer built on the other side of the world in Dumbarton, Scotland, which shortly after being designed in 1864, sailed its way across the world to Australia. Sitting in an iconic position on the Metung foreshore, this work of art is based on the old ship itself and looks out to the sea to honor the shipbuilders and sea merchants who have navigated waters off Australia’s southern coast for centuries. 

The Charles Edward was 129 feet in height and weighed well over 100 tons. It was an example of the fine world-leading shipbuilding skills that existed in Scotland at that time.

The ship was built for the Gippsland Steam Navigation Company and became the first regular method of sea transport between Melbourne and the Gippsland Lakes. In 1865, two of the crew tragically lost their lives onboard a smaller boat when they tried to facilitate the safe passage of The Charles Edward at the opening point to Lakes entrance. The ship operated until 1876 along the Victorian coastline before being sold to a New Zealand merchant in 1876. 

Hadaway was a local retired blacksmith with an artistic career that flourished after retirement. This is just one example of his interesting artwork. 

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March 7, 2022

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