Divers on the wrecksite
of the Sydney Cove
The Sydney Cove is the eighth oldest wreck located in Australian waters, having been lost at Preservation Island in the Furneaux Group on 9 February 1797 whilst en route from Calcutta to Port Jackson. The vessel, after being heavily salvaged immediately following its wrecking lay undisturbed for over 170 years prior to its rediscovery in 1977.
Between 1977 and 1980 a number of site surveys were carried out and a regular excavation program was begun in 1991 by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery with funding from the State and Federal Governments. This three year program led to the uncovering and recording of the remains of the Sydney Cove's lower hull timbers and associated ships fittings, as well as the recovery of a large quantity of artefact material.
A display featuring artefacts from the site is currently touring interstate and may be seen at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart between January and March 1999. The display will eventually be permanently housed at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston. A publication titled Cargo For The Colony by Michael Nash of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service is available for those interested in a more detailed view of the Sydney Cove's story.