Tag Archives: Heritage

An Anchor and Pisces Star: DEWNR Southeast Coast Shipwreck Survey, SA

google earth

Survey Area. Google Earth. Accessed 02/12/14.

Date: 27 November–­4 December 2014

Staff/Volunteers: Amer Khan (DEWNR); Simon Carter (DEWNR); Guy Williams (DEWNR); Anthony Virag (DEWNR); Dr Brad Duncan (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage); Kurt Bennett (Flinders University Volunteer); Daniel Petraccaro (Flinders University Volunteer) and David Hanna (DEWNR).

This is our second blog on the archaeological study of newly identified shipwrecks at Carpenter Rocks in South Australia’s southeast. If you missed out on previous blog on the Hawthorn shipwreck; click here for the link.

Our next site of interest is a reported historic anchor located in Gerloff Bay at Carpenter Rocks. Abalone diver, Bryon Deak reported an anchor and general location to Amer Khan, the state maritime heritage officer. We launched Rapid, DEWNR’s research vessel at Buck’s Bay and anchored near the reported site. Amer and Brad geared up in dive gear on the boat and lead by Byron, they searched for the anchor. There was sadly no anchor identified from the survey. Increasing wind and ocean swells ceased the days dive activity all the team returned safely to Buck’s Bay.

Anthony guiding Brad and Amer who are diving near the possible anchor location. Photo courtesy of Daniel Petraccaro.


Brad and Amer geared up for diving. Photo courtesy of Daniel Petraccaro.







Due to the more favourable weather conditions in the afternoon, Anthony, Kurt and Daniel later snorkelled the area. A survey search was undertaken but still no anchor. At the end of the day, the team decided that there was a high possibility the anchor was buried and a metal detector and air probe survey of the area was necessary.


Eagleray swimming in gerloff bay. Photo courtesy of Daniel Petraccaro.

Due to good weather condition, the team decided to revisit gerloff bay. Daniel and Anthony snorkelled to the site location and placed a buoy while Amer and Kurt dived the potential targets. Amer and Kurt used a metal detector along multiple survey lines, but there was no sign of the anchor.

Our next plan was to record the shipwreck of the yacht Pisces Star, located at Cape Banks. The wreck is located 30 metres offshore in a strong tidal zone. We were able to take photos of the vessel, a GPS position and compass bearings. We would have liked to take measurements of the wreck but it was not possible due to the strong swell and the danger of a diver being caught in the strong currents.


Pisces Star near Cape Banks. Photo courtesy of Anthony Virag.

Recording the Pisces Star. Photo Courtesy of Anthony Virag.

Looking out to the Pisces Star. Photo courtesy of Anthony Virag.

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Cape Banks lighthouse and Pisces Star to the right. Photo Courtesy of Anthony Virag.

Over the next couple of days, we will be recording the Pisces Star, revisiting gerloff bay, and hopefully looking for a wreck at Lake Bonnie.
Stay in tune for more updates.

Kurt Bennett and Daniel Petraccaro

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Overlap between official and unofficial heritage

When people identify places that are important to them, do they overlap with those that have been deemed important officially? The recent City of Marion Cultural Heritage Survey explored the unofficial heritage of the community. It also helped to illustrate crossover points where professional and public opinions regarding heritage overlap.

There was certainly an overlap in the Marion Historic Village, where several buildings are listed officially as having heritage value, either on the SA Heritage Register or as Local Heritage Places. These buildings were noted by many survey respondents, who also identified the remnant almond orchard along Oliphant Avenue as important. Almonds were once one of the main tourist attractions in Marion, with thousands of visitors coming on tour buses every July up until the 1950s to view the almond blossom. Although the almond orchards are no longer part of the Marion landscape, they live on in people’s memories, and the remnants are important tangible reminders of the past.

The Sturt River featured in many survey responses because of the importance of the remaining river red gums, scarred trees, the bike track, its history of flooding before the drainage scheme, its bridges, the wetlands and dense vegetation, connection with the Kaurna people, and the sound of the river flowing. Although the survey comments applied to the Sturt River in its entirety as it crosses the Marion Council area, there is no official heritage acknowledgement of the river, except that it flows through the state heritage-listed Warriparinga area. There is an interpretive tile near the river, however, as part of the historic walk in the Marion Historic Village.

Sturt River interpretive tile

Interpretive tile near the Sturt River in the Marion Historic Village

Another natural element recorded in the survey was the Moreton Bay fig tree in the Fisk Avenue Reserve at Glengowrie. Again, there is some overlap between official and unofficial heritage. This tree was previously recorded in a 1990 heritage survey of Marion, and noted as the dominant feature of the reserve. In fact, the Council bought some of the land at the time to ensure that a proposed new development wouldn’t damage the tree.

Moreton Bay fig tree

Moreton Bay fig tree at Fisk Avenue Reserve, Glengowrie

It’s fair to say that the survey responses revealed a broad view of what’s important to local people. Some of the places recorded as important are already recognised officially on the list of Local Heritage Places or in the SA Heritage Register. However, more are considered important primarily by the local community, for example, trees and the river, but also the Westfield Marion Shopping Centre, local reserves and children’s playgrounds. They lend themselves to recording and recognition through oral histories, community maps, plantings and interpretive signage.

Susan Arthure