Floating Freight

Cabin Door, 1922

The SS Nambucca, a wooden twin screw steamer, was built at Tuncurry by Ernest Wright for the North Coast Steam Navigation Company Ltd. in 1922. The shipping company was associated with much of the economic growth and development of the Mid North Coast, trading on the Nambucca, Macleay, Hastings, and Manning rivers. The Nambucca carried freight up and down the North Coast, transporting goods to and from Newcastle and Sydney.

Ironically, the SS Nambucca met its demise at the entrance of the river it was named after. On 7 May 1934, the 415-ton coastal steamer became stranded on a sandspit near the entrance while being towed to port. Attempts to drive the ship over the spit to deeper water failed, and a few hours later, it was decided to abandon ship. The fifteen crew members were safely taken to shore the following morning. After being pounded by heavy seas for two nights, the vessel broke in half, releasing the ship’s internal cargo. Floatable items were washed ashore, collected, and, where possible, delivered to their consignees.


Where was the SS Nambucca built?

Exhibition Theme

Continue Your JourneyClick an object below to go back or forward in time!

Scroll to Top