The wreck of the Sydney Cove is located between Rum Island and Preservation Island at the south western edge of the Furneaux Group. The remains of the vessel lie in a water depth which varies between 3 and 6 metres depending on the state of the tide and are situated up to one metre beneath the sea floor, sandbags and protective netting installed to preserve the integrity of the structure after excavation.
Archaeological investigations have revealed that the wreck lies oriented along a N.N.E-S.S.W axis. It appears that the Sydney Cove, after being run aground at high tide was rotated through almost 90 degrees to its current orientation by tidal flow through the small channel which separates Preservation and Rum Islands. This hypothesis is supported by the on-site physical evidence which shows that the rudder and associated fittings, which were probably unshipped during the vessel's initial stranding, were located near the centre of the wreck site. While the hull had been rotated by the tidal flow, the rudder remained on the seabed where the vessel had initially stranded.
Captain Hamilton noted that the vessel's hull had settled into the seabed with a significant list to starboard. The hull remained relatively intact for three months until heavy gales in May caused it to collapse, making further salvage impossible. Archaeological excavation of the structure showed there to be 10 degrees starboard list as Captain Hamilton had reported. Thus a greater proportion of the starboard section of the hull survived than did the more exposed port section.