Post World War II Migrant Ships: Australis

The Australis retains a significant place in Australian immigration history as the last ship to carry government assisted immigrants to Australian shores in 1977. She had the largest passenger capacity of any post World War II immigrant ship to regularly visit Australia and many passengers fondly remember her grandeur and remnants of Art Deco style.

The Australis after arriving at Port Melbourne on Australia’s last assisted migrant voyage, December 1977

The Australis after arriving at Port Melbourne on Australia’s last assisted migrant voyage, December 1977.
Source: Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.

Facts at a Glance

Dimensions: 723 x 93 ft (220.4 x 28.4 m)
Registered Tonnage: 34,449 tons gross
Service Speed: 22 knots
Propulsion: Reduction geared steam turbines / twin screws
Shipping Line: Chandris Line

History of the Ship

Originally named America, the immigrant ship Australis was designed by William Francis Gibbs and built for the North Atlantic trade – to travel between Europe and the United States. When launched on 31 August 1939 (by Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt), she was the largest passenger vessel to have ever been constructed in the United States and provided luxury accommodation for 1202 passengers in three classes.

In the midst of World War II, she was taken over by the US Navy and converted to an American troop ship capable of carrying 8175 soldiers. Realising the impact on public sentiment should America be sunk, the American government quickly renamed the ship the USS West Point. During the war, she visited ports in Europe, Africa and South America and was frequently attacked by Japanese forces.

After 12 years on the North Atlantic trade following the war, she was sold to the Chandris Line in 1965 and christened Australis, being converted to a fully air conditioned single class ship for the Australian migrant trade. A large portion of her original interior styling was maintained, and she remained adorned with many murals and Art Deco floor coverings during her immigration years.

Immigrant Ship to Australia

The Australis left Piraeus, Greece, for her first immigrant voyage to Australia on 21 August 1965, reaching Fremantle on 6 September and Melbourne on 13 September. She made a total of 62 voyages to Australia between 1965 and 1977, travelling regularly between Britain and Australia via the Suez Canal, stopping at ports such as Aden, Port Said and Colombo. In 1967, when the Suez was closed, she detoured around South Africa stopping at Cape Town and Durban. In 1970, while travelling between New Zealand and Suva, a fire broke out in the galley causing substantial damage, not only to the galley, but also to the ballroom and 40 cabins.

Passenger Experiences of the Journey

In the later years of the immigration boom, Australia saw many younger, single immigrants arriving with high expectations and a sense of adventure. At this time, the journey by ship was like a holiday for some passengers.

Gisela Pfab migrated from Germany in 1970:

'I was single and it turned out I had a lot of company on the boat. Soon we partied every night and didn't get to bed until in the early morning. As a result we missed our English classes most of the time.'

For others, the journey on the Australis was a pathway to freedom from political upheaval in their home country and the beginning of a new life.

Rosemarie Draper migrated from Britain in 1976, but is originally from Burma:

'Mum retained her dream to live in Australia and kept it alive for 12 years. In November 1976, we farewelled our family and friends and headed to Southampton to get aboard the Australis and begin the new phase of our lives.'

Her Final Voyage

After her final voyage to Australia on 18 November 1977, the Australis was sold to Venture Cruise Lines and again named America. After a number of unsuccessful cruises, she was sold back to the Chandris Line, with plans to cruise the Mediterranean. At this time she was christened Italis, but after only three voyages, she was laid up. After a long period of idleness, she was taken under Panamanian ownership and named Alferdoss, but in 1988 had to be run aground near Piraeus to stop her sinking.

The Australis at Station Pier, Port Melbourne

The Australis at Station Pier, Port Melbourne.
Source: Public Records Office, Victoria.

Further Reading

Baty, S. 1984. Ships That Passed – The Glorious Era of Travel to Australia and New Zealand. Reed Books Pty Ltd. Frenchs Forest.

Plowman, P. 1992. Emigrant Ships to Luxury Liners. New South Wales University Press. Kensington.

Stodden, K. 2003 (October). Appendix A – Tally of Voyages. Prepared for the Ship Reunion Lecture. Immigration Museum, Melbourne.

Comments (143)

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Robert Taylor 15 September, 2014 14:24
Sailed on the old gal in 1972 from Southampton to Auckland New Zealand. A good voyage although very rough in the Indian Ocean. There is a Facebook site of former passengers and crew of which I am a member and plenty of our pictures are on it. Chandris certainly left us with some wonderful memories.
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Frances Rothwell Lagnaz 1 September, 2014 08:48
My childhood friend Martha & I went from Sydney to Southampton on this ship in February 1973 - we were off to explore Europe for a year (I stayed 4). The cabin had 4 bunk beds that we shared with 2 other girls, a washbasin with showers down the hall! (& a cabin steward called Angelo who had never heard of deoderant!) It was a six week journey via NZ, Fiji, Acapulco, the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Brussels & Holland. There was a show in the ballroom every night & being a singer at the time I was sometimes part of the show. It was chilly crossing the Atlantic so we stayed inside & as time went on day & night blurred into each other so sometimes we'd be up all night & sleep all day! There was no porthole in the cabin so it was always dark. Oh, I almost forgot to mention - the trip, including 3 meals a day, cost $350! :)
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Andre 20 July, 2014 18:32
Left Southampton on the Australis in April 1974 arrived in Sydney May 1974,anyone else here on that same trip ? I'm also trying to locate the passengers list of that trip thanks for any help.
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discoverycentre 21 July, 2014 11:09

The National Archives of Australia is the central repository for all migration records including passenger lists.  Please use the link provided to make contact with them.

Russell Hall 13 July, 2014 01:41
Not sure how I landed on this page but we (mum, dad and 4 brothers) traveled on the SS Australis from Auckland to Southampton in August 1972 after flying from Sydney to Auckland as berths were all full in Sydney. Arrived in Auckland late at night and recall it being icy cold. Within a few days we were in sunny Suva and then on to Acapulco, Panama (stayed up all night out on deck watching), Balbao/Curacao (I think) and then onto Southampton which was the choppiest of all the legs. I was 14 at the time and recall the Dolphin bar opposite the cinema well. We we're always late for dinner due to hanging in there and loved listen to "Give Peace a Chance" & "Revolution" by John Lennon. My brother Dennis who was 16 at the time was instrumental in arranging the teen nights there and he got to be known as "Dennis the organiser". I recall seeing the movie "Summer of '42" in the cinema but can't recall any others. Our waiter was a top Greek guy with a great sense of humour named Theo. Strangely I only have a couple of pics from that trip taken on the wharf at Ft Lauderdale where all the crew were playing soccer in the huge car park? area. We arrived in S'ton in Sept 1972 and drove to Manchester where we lived for 18 months before returning to Southampton to live for a few years. My brother Dennis returned to Australia with the BBM in July 1975 but flew that time. I followed him when I turned 18 in 1977 also flying courtesy of the BBM. My brother Dennis had kept in touch with some of the people on the trip and one was a lovely girl named Jackie who I remembered well and I met up with in Sydney in Sept 1978. Later we married in Melbourne in 1981 and had 5 kids but sadly divorced in 1996 which is another story best left in the past I suppose. Great memories of the Australis trip although my parents regretted leaving Australia and returned there 11 years later in 1983 and stayed there since. Mum passed away in 2010 but dads still there in Aus and living in the Hunter Valley area. Thanks for all the memories via your great comments.
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John Dean 17 May, 2014 23:35
Correction-my trip on the Australis back from UK to NZ was March 1976 not 1975 as I said earlier.
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John Dean 17 May, 2014 23:17
I came back to NZ in 1975, arrived back in NZ in March. We were the first through the Suez after the war, heaps of gun emplacements along the canal.Great trip, was broke as usual back then, got locked out cabin twice , nearly thrown off at Djibouti by the staff, mistaken identity. Still have a cabin key and all daily ship papers for the whole trip. Any body know where Barbara Everist & Linda Evans ended up? I know they got off at Sydney but not sure where they are know.
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sonitA 9 May, 2014 06:24
Can anybody tell me what singhs were aboard the ship from fiji to new zealand in 1976 or 77 or 79 and did not board the ship from new zealand when it went to leave? Therefore becomming an illegal immigrant?
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Friederike Kalup 3 May, 2014 19:26
This is a reply to John Walsh! John, the ship arrived in Melbourne in July 1073. Do you think that you travelled on the same ship????
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BRIAN EMERY 21 April, 2014 23:44
I emigrated to Melbourne on the Australis boarding in Southampton in feb 1969. We stopped at Gibralter and Cape Town and then Perth before disembarking at Melbourne in March 13 I believe. I had my 22 birthday on board and the crew came out with a cake and the orchestra played etc. It was a great trip and sorry to see such an undignified end to a lovely ship. I remember we had an Helenic night and it was great and a crossing the line ceremony with king Neptune. Great voyage and good friends.
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Barbara 7 April, 2014 11:19
I came to Australia on the Australis in 1967 with my parents and 3 brothers and 1 sister. While aboard the ship a (Scottish??) lady gave me a pyjama bag that was a little black fluffy Scotty dog. I was 2 at the time. I still have that pyjama bag - a little worse for wear considering it's now 47 years old!!! Who was that lady I wonder????
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Glynn 30 March, 2014 21:58
My family emigrated to Australia on board the Australis in 1967. At the time I was 3 years of age and had two other siblings aged 4.5 years and 16 months. Although I was too young to remember our trip which was extended due to the Suez crisis. My parents still recall fondly the way the ships crew went out of there way to assist and make a fuss of us and the family in general. I will never forget the wonderful opportunities that opened up for my family as we embraced an Australian culture and way of life. I recently travelled back to England to visit family, the first such visit since leaving as a child. England is a wonderful historical place and I respected and connected with my heritage rather quickly. I most definitely will visit England again, however I could never live there because Australia, now Tasmania is my home. What wonderful opportunities I have had since arriving on that big ship as a young 3 year old child all those years ago. My family still remain friends with a family we met on the trip across.
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martin bootten 21 March, 2014 06:47
i sailed from auckland late january 1976 northbound to southampton and did the southbound trip november 1976 to auckland. such an experience now lost, almost, to air travel. great memories and some not so especially when my motorbike came out of the hold in auckland wet because of a cargo hold leak.
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Ann McClure 1 February, 2014 13:20
I boarded this ship in Southampton June 1967 & due to the closure of the Suez we were diverted via Cape Town arriving Sydney July 1967. It was a very rough trip with many children on board. Many families had no access to luggage as it was in the hold & due to bad weather the crew would not venture down, Passengers were tearing up towels to use as nappies, my husband went down into the hold (against Captains order & retrieved suitcases containing nappies for several relieved families. Does anyone remember this. Many had dysentery & we worked out it must have been the soup (as children did not have soup nor were they sick)I used to only eat fresh fruit & bread rolls & wrapped cheese portions & I stopped being sick however I arrived in Sydney weighing 8lb less!
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Glynn Burge 31 March, 2014 15:50
Hi Ann, my comments are below. Maybe we were on the same crossing. I do recall my parents telling us kids how rough the crossing was. Mum was seasick most of the way. Dad was OK though he "kept his spirits high and his liquids up" I think or at least words to that effect. Our family disembarked at Freemantle bound for Melbourne then Brisbane.
RodSwan 27 December, 2013 11:05
I returned to Australia on Australis leaving Southampton on June 12, 1974. I brought my 18yo English bride Valerie and my 6 month old daughter Debra Jane. Great trip via Canary Islands, Capetown, Fremantle, Melbourne and on to Sydney. May have stopped in Adelaide too. Long time ago!
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Chris Winn Cowgill 8 December, 2013 02:29
I sailed from New Zealand 29 July 1973, to Miami Florida. The trip was wonderful! I met some terrific people named Larry and Rose Harveaux, whom I have never forgotten. They had 4 children, and almost everyone had red hair. Larry and Rose, I would like to be in touch again! I also met others, whom I still remember, but not their names. -Chris
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douglas wood 25 November, 2013 12:20
hi my family and i set sail 1972 bound for southampton wonderfull 6 weeks,
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Neville Fenn 22 November, 2013 16:23
I left Sydney late January 1976 sailing via Auckland, Papeete, Acapulco, Panama Canal, curacao, San Juan, Cherbourg and arrived in Southampton late February.
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Keith Williams 27 August, 2013 14:50
I sailed from Southampton with my family on ss Australis on 3rd July 1970 arriving in Melbourne on 1st of August, a Herald newspaper photographer saw my 2 sons and asked to take a photo of them, a large photo of them appeared in the newspaper that same day. I remember one of the entertainers on Australis was called Michael. there was a great kids nursery on board too, we have many happy memories of the voyage.
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Colin Johnstone 2 June, 2013 20:39
Hi My wifes family came out on the Australis in 1974 and disembarked in Sydney. Is there a passenger list availble to search?
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Andre HAUBERT 20 July, 2014 18:25
Hi Collin, I also travelled on the Ss Australis from Southampton to Sydney , April/ may 1974. I'm also trying to locate the passengers list of that trip , please let me know if you found anything. Many thanks Andre
Discovery Centre 3 June, 2013 14:21
Hello Colin! You'll want to start with our Quick Guide to Passenger Lists Online, going to the section about the National Archives of Australia records for post-1923 records. Best of luck with your research!
Sam Thomas 3 May, 2013 10:25
I travelled on this fine ship from Greece to Australia in June/July 1968 as a migrant from Egypt. Loved the ship, loved the voyage, best time of my life, sadden by the ship's fate but I will always remember the good times I had back then.
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Ina van Eijk 28 April, 2013 14:30
Our family traveled on the SS Australis on 17 September 1972 from Southhampton to Australia , disembarking in Sydney . I hold great and fond memories of our trip and as a teenager got up to plenty of mischief . I recall a dining room waiter by the name of George Phillipis ( or spelling could be Fillipis , or similar) he was about 20-23 . I have a couple of items he gave me that I would like to return to his family as they were his personal things not purchased gifts . George went (apparently) missing from the ship in the US possibly in 1973/4. Would love to know what happened and maybe return these precious items to him or his family .
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Sam Thomas 25 April, 2013 16:21
I was on board this grand lady in June/July 1968, from Greece to Australia via Cape town, South Africa, it was the trip of a lifetime, best time of my life. a sad ending for a wonderful ship
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Neil Anderson 25 March, 2013 20:17
I emigrated from UK to NZ on the Australis in March 1977 when aged 9. I loved the trip especially Port Said and Sydney. We were delayed leaving Southampton by fog and so ended up having a later arrival in Egypt. I was gutted because I missed the pyramids trip as a result. Djibouti (FTAI) was an interesting experience. Overall I had a great time, met lots of other kids etc. I even knocked myself out skipping at the children's recreational Programme!
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Robyn Jones 20 March, 2013 23:16
Have just read through the above comment that I have made on my wonderful memories of my 'SS Australia' cruise, and find that I have made a mistake with the date of my next cruise after this one. I sailed on 'Pride of America' around the Hawaiian islands in 2008, not 1988!! Silly me!!
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Robyn Jones 19 March, 2013 11:34
I have wonderful memories of my time on "SS Australis". It was a cruise holiday to Fiji from Sydney in 1968/69. It was a 15-day cruise and we had Christmas and New Year on the ship.In those days, the ships were usually divided into first and second class passengers, but that ship on that cruise was an all-class ship, which meant we could go anywhere on the ship. It was the end of my first year working as a school teacher in Sydney, and I had just turned 20 when I boarded the ship. I remember the streamers as we left the Overseas Terminal in Sydney to set off on this great adventure, waving to Mum and Dad, and my boyfriend (later to become my husband), as they stood on the pier wondering if I would return from the wild sea!! The ship was full of young people out to have fun, and we sure did have fun!! I don't remember making it to breakfast once in the whole cruise, as we would party all night and finally collapse into bed in the early hours of the morning. I remember that my mother, who was a wonderful dressmaker, had made me 15 beautiful after-five dresses to wear to dinner each night, and how we would love getting dressed up each evening, having spent the day lazing around the pool and flirting with all the great young guys on board!! Our cabin was a two birth (bunks) cabin down in the bowels of the ship on the bottom deck. We could also feel the vibrations of the engines and hear the noise from them, but we didn't care as we were young and adventurous, and in fact it was a great place to be as most of the young people were there, as that was all we could afford. Cruising was very expensive in those days! We had to go up the narrow hallways, stepping through bulkhead doorways to the communal bathrooms, but we loved it!! I remember the 'flash' dining room, and the fact that we had lovely 'older' people at our table. I remember receiving wonderful service from the waiters,and also wonderful service from our cabin steward!! I met a super-gorgeous 'older man' (I think he was about 26!) and having a wonderful, romantic on-board romance, which ended when we arrived back to Circular Quay where both of our partners (his girlfriend, my boyfriend) were waiting for us!! We had some wonderful on-shore adventures together, but the most memorable of these was a wonderful, moonlit night at Savu Savu, where we sat on a grassy slope in front of a Service Club of some kind that was on a hill, and we gazed out through the palm trees, beyond the beach, to where our ship was anchored out to sea, all lit up and looking amazing, and I remember thinking that this was the most magical experience of my life, and that I could have gone on doing this forever!! I remember the nights in the 'lounge'...the band and the dancers...and especially the celebrations of New Years Eve!! Yes, I do remember the red eyes from the chlorine in the pool on deck, and how we had to use eye drops to make our eyes look beautiful for the nights!! I also remember a big inside pool on one of the lower decks, and visiting it late one night. Wow, what a wonderful time we had on the Australis!! This was the start of my love affair with cruising, and when 'The Love Boat' started on TV it was my favourite show, and I remember feeling very special as I had experienced this life! It was 40 years before I was lucky enough to go on a cruise again, and this was on "Pride of America" around the Hawaiian Islands in 1988. I have since been on another 9 cruises and am about to embark on my next one in a week's time on "Celebrity Solstice"...at 132,000 tonnes it will be VERY different to that little 'SS Australis', which I thought was huge at the time!! Gone are the days of the little inside cabins next to the engine room....now it is the big balcony cabins for me (at 64, I now enjoy the luxury of space and fresh air!!) However, nothing will ever take away the wonderful memories I have of that first cruise on "SS Australis"!!!!!
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Shona Hemphill 24 February, 2013 15:52
My parents William Hemphill and Violet Bannerman emigrated to Australia on the Australis, I know the ship berthed at Freemantle on 7/6/66 but Im looking for the date it berthed in Sydney.
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Discovery Centre 2 March, 2013 10:31
Hi Shona, in response to your query about the date on which the Australis docked in Sydney, having arrived in Fremantle on June 7th, 1966. The date is not yet online, however ships leaving Fremantle for Sydney usually took about nine days to arrive. You may find some useful information on this period via the Immigration Discovery Centre website and also the National Archives of Australia.  
Sinead 21 February, 2013 09:36
Does anyone know when this ship sailed from the UK to Australia in 1976 and was it out of Southampton? I am looking for someone who I think sailed on this ship, thanks.
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Wolfram 12 February, 2013 16:24
Hi, great page about the SS Australis. Theres another great page at facebook groups, called... SS Australis Photos n Stories. Theres nearly 400 members who share 3000+ Chandris lines photos. Come and visit :)
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Greg Long 26 December, 2012 23:29
I came to Australia (aged 4) on the Australis in 1969. My mum was Patricia Long. I remember everyone listening to the first man on the moon being broadcast on the ship. I also remember a large wave hitting the ship at one point. At a different time I fell from a bunk, hit my head causing it to bleed profusely and a steward carried me to the medic. Six years later I would travel around the world on its sister ship Britannis. Great childhood memories.
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Irene 23 November, 2012 15:07
Did anyone happen to be on the Australis arriving in Fremantle Australia October 12, 1971 with the Dyer family (John William & Maureen & kids were Kathleen, Joanne & John Glenn? Family in Australia are trying to reunite with them but have only a little information so far. Would appreciate any information that may be out there. Thank you.
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David powell 18 November, 2012 13:22
My family emigrated from balham london to auckland new zealand, i was at the time 6 yrs old, being so little i was at awe of the ship and loved every second of the trip,can any one help im looking for the german tv series that did a story of the ship tokitoki@xtra.co.nz
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Graham Hellewell 19 October, 2013 04:40
Hi David,I was the photographer on SS Australis from 1969 to 1970 then again in 1977 her last year on the Aussie runs, I was bornh in Balham, lived in Oakmead Rd, what a small world it is ! I Googled 'german tv series on SS Australis and came up with some stills in Ken Ironsides web page on Australis which were from a film by Manfred Preckel produced by MP-Video-Film-Productions. Google that and the firs item is about the film. Good luck
anita collins 17 November, 2012 22:29
The australis met it's maker off Fuerteventura, in the canary islands.
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Warren Brown 10 November, 2012 21:46
Australis Oct 1970 Cabin 135 Great trip extended by the fire and a layup in Suva. Large (ex first class) 4 berth cabin.Ship half empty after Suva. Remember seeing burnt out cabins further along our deck + smoke damage everywhere. Hamilton County Bluegrass Band (NZ) on board and became friends with Lyn & Lyndsay Bedogni. How I loved the ship. Warren
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David Hammond 3 November, 2012 12:59
I traveled with my parents from Southampton to Auckland in the early 70,s....Now I live in Brisbane...was good to look up this part of my life :)
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Discovery Centre 22 October, 2012 11:19

Hi Bob,

The National Archive of Australia holds shipping records, you might like to try a search there! I wonder, looking through their records, if this series of photos (dep. 16 October 1965) might relate to the voyage you describe?

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Carol West 6 October, 2012 05:23
I immgrated with my husband on SS Strathmore in 1963 to Melbourne from Southampton, and returned to Southampton on October 1967, a grey miserable day (nothing has changed) Reading other comments it brings back fond memories of the Australis and the excitment of going back home to England with my 2 children who where both born in Melbourne. It is a time i will never forget. Incidently my son has chosen to live in Perth,Australia,so things seemed to have gone full circle.
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Ken Ironside 30 August, 2012 03:28
I worked on the Australis twice in the seventies as the Gym instructor/Masseur. I run the S. S. Australis Homepage for crew\passenger and anyone else who is interested in the ship. You can view the pages at: http://www.ssaustralishomepage.co.uk/
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Ioannis Plessas 12 August, 2012 03:53
I was on board the Australis during her voyages to Australia. My father was the Ship's Doctor and I grew up with him on board many Chandris Lines Ships traveling the world. The Voyages to and from Australia form some of my fondest memories of that period and will remain so forever.
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Jonathan Walker 12 August, 2012 00:51
On September 16th 1974, I was a passenger on the Australia. I had my 15th birthday on the boat, only to find out that I was not listed on the passenger list, when I did not receive my complimentary birthday cake from the captain. I remember everything, including the cockroaches and the leaking portholes on c deck.
Bill & Sue Sullivan 10 September, 2013 22:27
Hi Jonathan - Mary - Carolyn Sue and I were on the same voyage. The only good weather was between Southampton and Tenerife. After that there was a hell of a lot of bad weather and gales. We had to stand off Capetown overnight because of roaring gales. All the shops were boarded up for the weather so that gives an idea of how rough the weather was. Kids were not allowed on deck and it was because they could literally get blown off. At some stages adults too were forbidden to go on deck - same reason. When we were allowed out I remember leaning forward into the wind and I was at a ridiculous angle and still did not fall onto my face --- true. Also in the same vein. At one stage 50% of the crew were sea-sick and we had to have meals in relays. They threw buckets of water onto the dining tables to stop the table cloths sliding off. They put on extra concerts and the queues were a mile long because so many things were cancelled because of the weather. Funny story. Sue and I were young and quite newly wed. We were in a bunk bed, but of course we never used the top bunk. I put the steps to the top bunk at the end of the bed against the wall and (unfortunately) beside the door. While we were out at breakfast the ladder fell over and was trapped across the door and wedged there between the end of the bed and a chest of drawers opposite the bed. A kind steward spent ages with a long thin knife sliding it under the ladder and eventually getting us in. We were ENORMOUSLY EMBARASSED. Bill
Carolyn wilkins 23 January, 2013 02:11
Hi Jonathan i to was on the ship at that tine, the tender age of 17
Mary Hughes 19 January, 2013 11:45
Hi Jonathon, my husband Alun and I were also on that voyage along with our 3 children. We were also on c deck and our cabin got flooded when lots of water came in whilst going round the Cape. What an experience thought we would drown. Can also remember when the rough weather caused a lady to fall against the lift doors and they opened and she fell down the lift shaft. Will never forget the early morning arrival at Sydney going through the heads, and the array of the Opera House glinting in the morning sunlight.
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mike devine 18 July, 2012 20:43
We sailed from the UK to Sydney on the Australis in February 1967; mum, dad, brother, sister and myself. I was a month short of 2 years old. I only have one memory of that journey and thats childrens wall paper in some kind of nursery.Might even be a confused memory. Iether way, its fun to have special link from the past with everyone here. There is a great web site called Migrants.com, I think. Which has amazing photos and stories about the Australis, other migrant ships to and from Australia and the migrant hostels around Sydney.
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thomas mckinley 13 July, 2012 23:20
first trip from southampton to freo my own fomily and cousins had to return after my father died cousins stayed always yearned to return to australia and now I live here happily here in Fremantle with my own family .So many memories of the great ship broke my heart to see her aground at Forteventura,So very sad not much left now just wonderful memories Tommy
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Joan Kamaru 7 July, 2012 19:19
Our family passed the Heads and sailed into Sydney on April 10, 1966 from England - the whole trip was a wonderful experience. Our Dad served on the ship during the War and was happy to show us around. The food was great, the staff really nice and it was a lot of fun for us because there were so many families with heaps of kids. This site is good, I'm glad to see the notes from other people who had this experience. TY
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Jann Gallen 19 May, 2013 15:21
Yes, Joan! It was the best! MUCH better than the NYC to Malta (via Naples and Palermo)trip by tramp steamer! Now THAT was a trip to remember...
Dawn purell (nee Smails) 16 June, 2012 06:12
I sailed from Fremantle , Perth to Southampton on the australis, only 4 yrs old but my sister was 12 Susan and brother Alan was 15 great memories & luxury photos of many folk and lots of gold in thr background, I remember mum said itwas a lovely Greek ship, would love to hear from anyone who remembers us 1965
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Herc Karakostas 6 June, 2012 00:16
I was 10 years old when we left Greece to come to Australia in July 1968, I had never been on a ship before so you can imagine how i felt very excited,we had to go around Africa then Perth Melbourne and Sydney it took us around 30 days. This brings back sooo many memories if there anyone out there that was on the same trip I would love to hear from you, you can get me on face book. I am still excited that I found this on the net ,I printed some photos of the ship and I will frame them. To everyone that sailed on the Australis I feel like we are related All the best
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Chris 14 November, 2012 22:32
I was on the ship from Pireaus to melb in july 1968 also. I was 13 at the time Bought back memmories
Chris 29 September, 2012 02:50
What a lovely comments and recollections. All the best to you too Herc!
Bruce and Lys Fraser 10 May, 2012 05:42
May 1969: my wife and I enjoyed 29-31 days aboard the Australis from Sydney, to Auckland, Fiji, Acapulco, Pananma Canal, Colon, Miami to Southhampton. Great memories, great food, super service and lots to do. Te crew were exceptional. Yes, that old ship could belch out the fumes and the swimming pool gave you a chlorine tasting experience but it was such a wonderful time we had! It cost us about Australian $450 each and all the food you could consume. Although we had the cheapest tickets, down by the 'screws' meaning bottom deck, no portholes, we were treated very well, didn't feel like second class citizens at all. I'm Canadian (west) and enjoyed 2 years in Austrailia but had to make the Australis voyage to meet my English wife's parents. Afterall, we had been married for two years!
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Christine McCherry 9 May, 2012 17:39
My husband, John and I along with our three children sailed to Australia on the Australis under the £10 passage scheme in July 1972. I remember how excited we all were. I watched as England disappeared in the mist. I found my husband arguing with a member of the crew. They wanted to put me and the children in a cabin on our own whilst John would have to share with three men. He wasn't having any of that. Eventually, realising my truculent stubborn husband was not to be persuaded we were given one of the grand suites on the main deck. It was the only cabin left that could accommodate us all. The children had a wonderful time. There were organized games and swimming Galas. They had to eat seperately from the adults at an earlier sitting. They mostly lived on boiled eggs and meat platters as they didn't take to the rather rich unfamiliar foods. If we docked anywhere our first port of call was a cafe or McDonalds that . It was a wonderful adventure. Three years later, in Nov 1975 we returned on the Australis. My husband had suffered a serious fall and fractured his spine. It was doubtful if he would be able to work again as a builder. Despite this I shall always be grateful for the chance to experience world travel. It was the best £10 we ever spent. Though the Aussies, I suspect, thought they had been overcharged at times
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Ian Lawless 8 May, 2012 09:37
Left Southhampton in 1965 and arrived in Sydney in Nonvember with my parents and sister.
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Bob Richardson 22 October, 2012 09:44
I travelled to NZ on this sailing and arrived in Wellington on 17 Nov 1965. I am trying tomtrack down the date that it left Southampton(?) I remember a massive storm in the Australian Bite and not being able to get into Melbourne. I remember all the crokery in the Pacific lounge crashing to the floor after a particularly large roll. I remember also a few disgruntled passengers who didn't get the cabins that they were booked. I was 17 and loved it all!
Tina 21 April, 2012 14:38
I was on the Australis the night it caught fire. It was a terrifying experience, one I don't care to dwell on...
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Manfred Schmitt 20 April, 2012 14:41
Saw the comments by PETER BERGER and CHRISTINE ROBERTS who left Bremerhaven aboard the Australis on November 22, 1969. I, too, was on that voyage and left the ship in Fremantle, as I had made prior arrangements for myself and my family (wife and 2 children aged 8 and 3). I lived in Perth for 20 years and then moved on to live in Thailand, where I have spent more than 20 years now I celebrated my 31. birthday on board the Australis, but am now an old fellow of almost 74, who often remembers the wonderful times I had on that magnificent ship. Pity that she had to suffer such tragic end.
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Gunther Drisch 10 August, 2013 18:23
Hi Manfred, we travelled the same boat, same route, same time, and my wife had her 29. birthday on the ship. We disembarked in Melbourne with 2 children, aged 4 & 9 and have lived in that area for almost 44 years, which proves, we are tough. Of course we are, we are from Leverkusen. Although I'm only half a year younger than you, please, don't put us in the category of "old fellows" ha,ha. Is Thailand nice? I'm still looking for paradise! However, living second best place ain't so bad either. Greetings, from Guenther
Discovery Centre 9 April, 2012 12:23
Hi Gavin, you can find information on the Ellinis in some of the publications above. Another excellent resource is Peter Plowman's Australian Migrant Ships 1946 - 1977 which can be found in the Discovery Centre. If you are interested in donating objects to the museum, please contact us through our Donations page under the Ask the Experts menu at left. We also have a small collection of objects related to the ship on our Collections Online site.
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Gavin Plunkett 8 April, 2012 20:12
Any info on Australis sister ship the Ellenis? I have a few bits of memorabilia to share from 1973.
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John-derek Loeffler 1 April, 2012 11:41
I migrated to Australia on the Australis in 1969 with my parents. Have pictures singing on halloween with the band.
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Guenther Drisch 10 August, 2013 18:01
Hi John-Derek, I'd love to see those pictures, we travelled the same boat, the same time, with our 2 children (4&9 then). Cheerio, kind regards, Guenther
Pat De Luca 30 March, 2012 23:03
I have such fond memories of our trip on The Australis - leaving Cape Town in December 1975 and getting to Auckland just before Christmas with my late husband, Bob. He was taking his SA wife home to NZ and it was one big party as I recall it and we never once made breakfast as usually we had only just got to bed before the sun came up!!! What happy times and lovely people. Lots of fun and rivalry between the Kiwis, Ozzies, Pommies & South Africans!!! Wonder if there are any pictures and I must check if I have any somewhere.....
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Alfred Schmidt 15 March, 2012 22:10
Friederike Kalup, I do remember very well the day your stuff was delivered to our little Flat in Oak Park and we had to store everything outside because it was too wet to keep it inside. I wonder whether you and Bernd remember me. I am Alfred Schmidt and we have lost sight of each other since I left Australia in 1975. Maybe you would like to get in touch again. Love Alfred
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Discovery Centre 4 February, 2012 11:20

Hi Darren,

You could try searching the National Library of Australia’s online resources; Trove (newspapers, etc) or Picture Australia (images). You may also wish to contact The Age directly.

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Darren carpenter 3 February, 2012 15:29
I was in a photo coming off the boat with a Manchester city bag, it was in the age. How can I find this pic?
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Frank Carew [gallip] 24 January, 2012 12:24
Peter Magner,check your dates I had my 21st on 02/02/67 on board Australis bound for Southampton from Oz.
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Wolfram Dallwitz 19 January, 2012 21:03
I came to Australia on the SS Australis in March 1970. I was pleased to find this site as I do my best to keep the memories of that great ship alive as well. I have a facebook group called "SS Australis Photos n Stories" we have loads of photos n stories. I have my own web-site as well at, http://aussipix.com I have enjoyed reading the stories on your site, well done. Cheers from Wolfram
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Lesley Wilson (nee Sanderson) 18 January, 2012 21:29
Came to Australia Nov 1971 on SS Australis my father had a job to come to in Melbourne at the Yarra Falls Textile Mill. I remember going to school on the ship and i also remember winning a knitting Nancy sewing set for a picture i did the Captain presented the prizes. I also remember the crossing the equator ceremony my parents have loads of 8mm film of the whole trip. Great Memories!!!
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Matthew Tune 7 May, 2014 23:29
I have just read your post about sailing on the Australis to Australia in nov 1971. I was aboard on that trip, leaving nov 1971 emigrating to Australia with my parents and brother arriving dec 1971, we were on the upper deck maybe cabin 169 but I am not sure, my brother still has the cabin key I believe with the number on it so I will ask him. I was 8 years old and remember some bad weather from South africa to fremantle, I remember there were people with neck braces and arms in slings or on crotches from the weather causing them to fall. All the tables and chairs in the ballroom were tied with rope into one corner at some point leaving a large open polished wooden floor that as kids we would sit at one side and wait for the ship to roll so we could slide across the floor on our bottoms, great fun, the dinner plates were all changed to plastic as they slid off the tables and smashed otherwise. Life jacket practice was scary and at times it felt like we would not recover from the heavy rolling and return to upright. I remember one night when large waves hit the ship and it layed right over it was very scary, my older brother was 12 and he had the toilet in our cabin set to contiuosly flush as he was so seasick. Apart from some bad weather all my memories are good from that voyage. I remember drinking oxo in warm water drinks on the promonard deck and the crossing the equator celebrations, flying fish along side and waves in the lower deck swimming pool. There were people shooting clay targets from the stern and table tennis and other deck games when weather permitted. Sitting at the stern looking back at where we had been in glorious sunshine and clear blue skys with the white wash from the propellers disappearing into the distance is a lasting memory that will never be forgotten. The Australis was a wonderful way to leave England and arrive in Australia, 3 weeks 2 days if I remember correctly, heavy rain in Las Palmas and a warm evening in Cape Town are also happy memories, our first sighting of W.A was special also after so long without seeing land. I have some photo's somewhere of my brother and I wearing SS Australis sailors hats while standing on the bridge and of the equator crossing celebrations. Great to read about other peoples experiences on board this ship.
Tug 15 January, 2012 17:01
Just turned 20 when I did the Melbourne to Southampton five week voyage with two mates in April '77. This 2000 passenger liner had a casino, I remember, and cheap alcohol once outside Australian waters. It had a 20 metre seawater pool upper deck aft. One swim in that turned your eyes red for four hours. My six berth cabin was midship in the bowels of the ship. No porthole or anything like that. The engine vibration was just bearable. I remember we shared with three pommy fellas who were trying to transfuse their blood with cheap spirits. Hi Don! The ablutions were shared with other cabins, and I don't remember using them a lot. Cabin staff quickly showed us how things rolled in the cheaper cabins. Anything above a minimal service demand was ignored. They knew us being in the cheap seats meant little chance of a decent tip for them. They concentrated on the more expensive paying passengers. Once you got topside you could appreciate being on the voyage. We were second sitting at meals in the big dining room. Round tables that held six or eight people. We were the young'uns at our table. I don't think we had too many meals where we weren't a bit drunk, or hungover from the night before. This limited the attraction for our table mates to converse with us. I don't blame them. They must've have dreaded meal times. I seem to remember our sittings being changed later in the voyage, probably requested by the other diners. Our table steward was the beturbined Hari Singh. He sussed us out very early on, serving us with a minimum of fuss, and a minimum of service. Once you'd ordered from the menu Hari would disappear for quite a while. Early on I think we got our request for a second serve of desert, but never again. Hari would only return to the table to clear it, giving some great excuses why we couldn't have more. We tried to joke with him, lighten things up. "Is that all?" was his usual response, then he'd go and have a chat with more civilised diners. Wearing our Miller western shirts with mother of pearl inlay snap buttons, and denim button-fly jeans we were the rednecks Mr & Mrs Joe Average and kids liked to avoid. Not that we were rude, just a bit lacking. I remember the open to all ages table tennis tournament was a big thing. My mate Jeffo got to the quarter final I think. There wasn't a lot for young men to do at sea during daylight hours. Australis wasn't a cruise ship. Deck quoits, go red-eye in the pool, jog the upper deck loop, sunbathe, try and ogle a handful of girls our age without upsetting their parents. Read a book. Night time things livened up. The bars and casino opened. Every five nights was a theme night. I remember embarrassing myself on Vice Verca night. Men dressed as women, and vice verca. There was a parade competition to choose the best crossdresser. The MC interviewed each entrant. I put on a voice like Henny Penny for some reason. The MC took a dislike to me, but the audience laughed. I looked great in my wig and makeup. Australis stopped for a day at Wellington, Tahiti, through the Panama Canal to Curacao, Puerto Rico, Vigo in Spain, then docked at Southampton. Greeks and Italians made up the executive officers on board. Indians were in the kitchen and did stewarding. Chinese did cleaning and the laundry. I think Philipinos were the seaman & worked in the enginerooms. Non-officer staff were strictly prohibited from mixing with passengers socially. It was an interesting voyage. I enjoyed being waited upon. Loved the sea. I met a lovely Irish colleen. I was happy to step ashore at Southampton after five weeks though.
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Susan Jack 15 January, 2012 00:43
For years I thought I must have dreamt the fire aboard the Australis, between NZ and Suva, and now I read of someone else who shared the experience. My memory of that awful night into day was, waking to the sound of ..silence, The ships engines had stopped. We were ushered on deck in our night clothes before dawn. I shall always remember the sillouette of a crewman hacking at the upper deck trying to allow the flames to up rather than down into the ship and exploding. We stayed on deck for the rest of the day, trying to sheild ourselves from the fierce sun. At one point the lifeboats were lowered and I remember a fear of sharks. We limped into Suva where we were billetted on the beach in a motel. We went out with crew members dancing in nightclubs in town, having a wonderful time. I fell in love with a crewman had the best time ever, romantic and a big adventure. I had to force myself to send a telegram to my father in the UK to say I was ok, I was having so much fun. Why is there so little mention on this so far on the site? It was a big deal at the time, making headline news apparently in UK. I had always understood that the ship was withdrawn from service when she arrived in her home port. After three weeks we sailed on, with a reduced passenger list and not much food as the kitchens, where the fire had started, had apparently been partly destroyed. All seems like a dream!
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Friederike Kalup 3 January, 2012 22:54
Hi all, interesting to read all the nice comments about this ship, which doesn't have too many good memories for me and my than fiancee when we migrated to Australia on the Australis in 1973. The ship took in water on the way and when we arrived in Melbourne it had to be pumped out first before it was unloaded. The little possessions we had brought with us ended up destroyed and it wasn't a great start to a new life. To make things worse - the insurance refused to pay out anything. We watched total households of families just being loaded onto trucks and taken to the dump without the grates even being opened up, with water just pouring out of them. I could go on as the four weeks on this ship weren't exactly enjoyable in many ways. Anyway, I don't want to bore you all with my sad story, just wanted to let you know that some of us didn't have such a great journey on the Australis. I would love to hear from some other people that took this with us in 1973. Mind you: We love Australia and have never had any regrets, if anything the trip with all its up and downs was character building and made us stronger. Friederike Kalup,geb.Simon
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john walsh 9 February, 2014 04:20
Did the ship arrive around March 1973 in Sydney?
Wolfram Dallwitz 30 December, 2011 14:57
Hi, great site :) I sailed on the Australis in 1970. I have a Facebook group called "SS Australis Photos n Stories" dropin for some memories. Cheers from Wolfram
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Peter Magner 14 December, 2011 09:42
Just found your site. Amazing!! It was January 26th 1967 when I left Southampton UK on the S.S. Australis with my wife and four children and sailed to Auckland NZ, we arrived there on 6th May 1967. Have great memories and and some old movies of our time on board ship.One memory stands out was the ceremony the crew put on for the passengers when we crossed the equator.
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frank carew 18 August, 2012 01:50
I was on in Jan 67 from Melbourne to Southampton arrived in Southampton in Feb Your dates are wrong
Darren 9 December, 2011 21:47
@ Hillary , omg I was on that trip , I turned 4 on the boat , the Greek crew gave me a powdery ice-cream birthday cake , it was so awful my parents through it out the port hole , I don't remember much , feeling sea sick , a kids play area with some kind of sit on ride out side and a dining or large room with a stage , I think lol. Wow can't believe I found this !!
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Stephen Maycock 26 November, 2011 14:59
I worked on the Australis as the gym instructor in 1972 and completed an additional 5 roundtrips from Southampton to Sydney. Chief Purser was Nicolopoulos. Great memories of King Neptune ceremonies, stowaway stories, burials at sea and too many others to mention. My friends who worked for Alders International and Steiner. Those were the days!
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Tom Thomas 11 July, 2014 03:31
I am trying to contact Steve, I am old ( young back then) shipmate of his on SS Australis. Can you forward this to him with my email address. Thanks Tom Thomas
Dave v Tuijn 11 November, 2011 03:39
Sailed from Sydney to rotterdam in sep/oct 1973 with my parents and broter and sisters i was 10 at the time.
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Jarvis Browning 3 November, 2011 22:22
Great trip on the SS Australis in March 1976,sailed onto NZ so only stopped in Melbourne for the day,but did eventuraly stayed 6 months later and stayed on a temperoary visa.Did rturn in 1978-79 Back to the UK in 1980,enjoyed every moment that I was bumming around Australia.Many thanks for the expearance. Yours Jarvis Browning,(farrier blacksmith)
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Suzanne Keys 25 October, 2011 15:45
I travelled on Australis in 1970 aged 21 from Melbourne to Southampton. I was aboard the the ship when it caught fire between NZ and Fiji. Although it was a bit scary, I still have good memories of those days when hundreds of young Aussies travelled together across the sea to seek adventures.I have not been to sea since but am going on a cruise in Dec to New Zealand.
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Pat Newcombe 27 September, 2011 23:01
I travelled from Southampton March 1966 and landed in Perth W.A. I came with my family and had the most amazing time on the ship. My love of cruising was born. I still live in Perth and raised 4 children. I remember a Greek boy named George who got off in Melbourne
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Simone Boyce Scoular 4 February, 2014 13:35
Hi , this is going to be a super long shot but I am looking for my Grandads brother who emmigrated on this ship in march 1966, His name is Alistair Mcgillvray Boyce. I know there must have been a lot of people on that boat but anyone with even the littlest piece of info could help me put the puzzle together! I hope to hear from you soon Simone x
Jann Gallen [Mogis] 5 April, 2013 13:27
Hi Pat! My family and I were on that voyage, too. An American family of four girls. My Dad identified the ship as the troop carrier he was on in WWII - and then verified it with the purser. What a great trip, we had so much fun!
Trevor Coppock 4 September, 2011 12:57
I recall going onboard AUSTRALIS in Balboa, Panama. We were travelling Southampton - Auckland 1967 on the immigrant liner FLAVIA. A great and memorable adventure for a 13 year old. I recall coming off AUSTRALIS with sooty trousers. She certainly belched a great deal of smoke from those twin funnels.http://www.seapixonline.com/nsphoto.php?pid=1309&hit=2&back=nsthumbs&rback=temp/nsnamesan&rhit=190&mid=0&tot=2&typ=name&wds=Australis&catn=&cat=118
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Robert Taylor (Bob) 21 August, 2011 11:28
I sailed from Southampton to Auckland on Australis late in 1972. The old gal had a rough trip across the Indian Ocean and we headed into arctic conditions. Made some good friends on board and enjoyed the historic presence the ship exuded. Played the villain in the Sinon McPhee melodrama.
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Alan Monroe 6 August, 2011 14:13
I migrated to Australis on board Australis, Southbound Trip 27 leaving Southampton early Feb, travalling via Cape town 1971 and arriving in Melbourne early March 1971. It was a great experience.
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Discovery Centre 24 July, 2011 11:16

Hi Cohn, The National Archives of Australia has 3 trips listed for the Australis in 1969, March, July and December.  There was also an arrival in late 1968, and another in early 1970.

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Mary Tabaki 25 July, 2014 20:32
Hello, my name is Mary Tabaki. My mother Sophia, Sisters Angela, Nicky & I migrated to Australia via this ship in May 1969. I was 4 at the time. I had noticed a comment you had made about the Australis ship having made only 3 visits to Australia, which is incorrect.
Chris 14 November, 2012 21:08
We arived in melbourne from greece in july 1968. I found a cake of soap in a plastic holder with X for chandris on it that my dad possibly took from the ship back then lol
Cohn Vosdoganis 24 July, 2011 00:08
I was on the ship Australis in 1969 (was 6 years of age), we boarded in Pireaus (Greece), it would be interesting to know how many trips were made in 1969 (to Australia). Reading peoples comments on about possibly being on the same ship at the same time is amazing. Mum and dad are very vague about the trip so this has filled a gap for me. I shall keep reading. Thank you.
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Greg 17 July, 2011 15:42
Does anybody know of a crew member with the surname "Deere" that would have been aboard the ship in the 60's or early 70's.
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John Lenssen 16 June, 2011 09:44
Left Australia August 1970 on this magic ship, still the most memorable time of my life , now back in Qld
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John Lenssen 20 November, 2012 10:13
You and me must be the only John Lenssen's,exept my Dad , who traveled on this mighty ship. We left Aus in 1970 to go to Holland an dnow back in QLD.
HILARY CARTWRIGHT 27 May, 2011 23:59
I boarded the Australis in Las Palmas as I had to miss the sailing from Southampton due to a course I was on. I remember the Greek crew and very nice captain. The ship was very large with an enormous amount of people on board, many emigrating to Australia, but some on holiday or returning to Oz. I was going out to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate to work as Secretary to the Deputy Governor. It was the last year that the Foreign Office allowed staff to travel to Post by sea and I just made it. The Australis was the only ship going anywhere in that region at the time I had to travel. When I disembarked in Sydney, I had to wait a few days in order to catch a twice-weekly flight to Fiji. There I had to remain until there was a flight to the Gilbert and Ellis Islands. From there another wait until I could board a flight to Honiara in the Solomon Islands. I was 21 years old - it was a terrific adventure. I had no phone and no means of communication with my family in England. They didn't even have a phone. The year was 1974.
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David Thornton 28 April, 2013 22:10
Hillary, We must have sailed on the same cruise, myself, WIfe and our best friends(2) left Southampton in approx 14th September arrived in Port Melbourne on a vert wet Sunday late October. As we were 2 young married couples the men were put into men only cabins of 6 people and so for the women, this was a bit of a shock at the time but we worked things out. The crew were great the food was exceptable, the weather was pretty good overall. On arriving into Fremantle and hopping on the train to head into Perth for our first look of Australia we were shocked at the houses that were along the rail line, they were old timber homes with rusty metal roofs, we wondered what the hell we had come to. On arriving into Perth it was completely the opposit modern, clean, big and not a cloud in the sky, we were thinking of jumping ship and staying there, but we didn't, a few days later we arrived into Port Melbourne on a grey, wet, cold day, the four of us were the first off the ship put into taxi with a government person and dropped off at a lovely stone house in Hawthorn which we were told we had to vacate in 48 hours and were then on our own. And then the adventure continued on, it has been a very generous country to us.
Judy Naylor Nee White. 23 April, 2011 18:15
I travelled on the Australis in Jan 1977. It cost me $700 for a 5 week voyage. I had a room on the sun deck, just below the ball room. We left from Syndey, went to Auckland,Tahiti, through Panama, Cuaco, San Juan Porto Rico, Vigo Spain, and on to Southhampton. I was 21. I met so many good friends (Margy, Debbie, Lynn, Elli, Pete Young, Jim Pesinis, Fud, Tuck and Broads, many I still see. There were 1800 people on the ship. Most amazing time. The Master of Arms' name was Dimitri, the majority of the crew were Greek. We'd stay up all night partying, sneak down to the bakery at 4 am, get some hot bread rolls, watch the sunrise and then go to bed. I only ever made breakfast once... that was the first day. Going thru Panama Canal was amazing. The food was great, the social life was great, and I saw much of the world. I learnt to speak Greek and learned Greek dancing. Such an awesome experience and many great memories.
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Gwen Mehta nee Bramhall 20 March, 2011 12:29
Hi I worked on the Australis on 3 round the world voyages in 1970. I was a Cashier and also a Children's Hostess. The captain was Captain Ikiades. It was a wonderful time in my life and wish I could do it all again. I have been travelling ever since!! Would love to hear from any ex employees!!
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Andrew Fox 2 May, 2014 07:06
My sister (Catherine) and I were on board the ship during March/April 1970. We travelled from Fremantle to Southampton having spent 6 years in Perth. We have browsed the many photographs and comments on the site and have been interested and intrigued to discover how the ship came to the end of her life. It has brought back many happy memories and has been nice to reminisce. I do hope you are in a position to reply to us, would be nice to hear from you....many thanks.....Andrew and Catherine Fox
Jacqueline F. M. Brothwell 30 January, 2011 01:50
My husband and I and two daughters sailed on the Ship Australis from South Hampton in the UK in mid Oct 1972. We arrived in Fremantle 24th November 1972. We stopped off at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, then Cape Town and Durban, then onto Fremantle Western Australia. It was a scorching hot day 40c one of many. What a life changing experience. I was 22yrs my husband 26yrs our daughters were 4yrs and 6yrs. We then had another daughter born in March 1980. Our own "Little Aussie". Sadly my husband passed away in Feb of 1988. Eventhough I have travelled abroad since. Yet still I have never regretted coming to this wonderful place I call home. Thankyou Australia.
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Brian Rystenberg 11 December, 2010 15:20
Hi. Our family travelled from Rotterdam to Fremantle in 1973 on the Australis. Although I was only 8 years old I do have fond memories of the trip. Would love to be able to relive the trip. Stopping of at such places as Capetown,Las Palmas and the canary Islands. I think there were more stops but cant remember excactly. Would love to get hold of a photograph of the Australis. Great memories thats for sure
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Jonathan Ashauer 21 November, 2010 13:45
Was on the Australis from Sydney 14th oct.1977 to Southampton and then from there to Port Siad in Egypt. Aprox 6 weeks. What a life! All that for only $700AUS! I was the only one to leave the ship At Port Siad. Talk about CULTURE SHOCK. Being taken care of by "a bunch of Arabs" Sorry, that's was my 24yr old brain was thinking then. Once in Cairo and staying a the Youth Hostel there it was ok but sharing a taxi from Port Said with about 5 / 6 other perfect strangers, non westerners as well, was a terrifying experience for one who'd been living a cruse ship life for 6 weeks. Leaving the ship via a little door in the side and being manhandled into a small boat in order to get ashore was sort of like leaving the womb I suppose. Frightening painfull. Jonathan
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Ray Virta 3 September, 2012 22:57
Jonathan, I was on the same passage from Southampton to Melbourne with my family (12 years old) The stop in Port Said was a memorable one as it was the first experience of the middle east and their culture. I hung on to my parents when we went ashore. My experience of the Australis was of amazement as it was enormous in size and not a day went without finding another place where we were not supposed to have been. The way Australis story has ended is sad in one way, but the fight she put up was equal to the fight the people sailing on her went through to start another life in Australia. Cheers
caitlin 8 November, 2010 12:11
my family and i came on a ship
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G.Filcock. 26 October, 2010 19:47
Dear Sir/madam. I sailed on the SS Australis Voyage 51 North from Port Melbourne on the 15th Oct.1975.I would like to know exactly what date that ship docked in Rotterdam in November. Thank You. G.R.Filcock.
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mike brudenell 23 October, 2010 04:00
Mick, Des, Duncan, Lee -- we all sailed from Oz to England on the Australis in March 1971. Met up with cricketers Kerry O'Keefe and Bruce Francis. Drank a heap of beer. Kissed plenty of girls. Chased by the master of arms. But, heck, we were just kids. What a voyage. We might have outdone Black Beard! -- Mike Brudenell (Detroit).
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Discovery Centre 13 September, 2010 16:17
Hi Stephen, all immigration records are held by the National Archives of Australia. For information on how to access passenger & migration records, please visit our infosheet on Researching your family history, under the section on the NAA, towards the bottom of the page.
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Stephen Hyams 10 September, 2010 16:36
I am one of the "10-pound Poms" who sailed from Southampton aboard the "Australis" on 5th April 1967 via Piraeus,Port Said, Aden and Colombo then via Freemantle and onto Melbourne, arriving on 30th April, 1967. I believe this may have been the last migrant ships, or one of the last passenger liners to pass through the Suez Canal. One could see troop movements along the canal at that time. However, upon arriving and looking around Freemantle, I did think I had gone back in time. I still think it was the best 10-pound I ever spent for the "cruise" and the experience. Where could I find a passenger list for that trip, showing my name?
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Yvonne 5 April, 2013 22:17
I traveled on that voyage too i could not remember the date we left england how strange that it was today many memories of the voyage
Discovery Centre 2 September, 2010 15:07

 Hi Christine, thank you for sharing your memories of the Australis and your trip to Australia.  From the research we have done here, the number of ports visited on each voyage of the Australis was subject to change, although the vessel usually went from Southampton to Bremerhaven and Rotterdam, then Naples and Piraeus, Port Said, Aden and Colombo then stopping at Fremantle, Melbourne, and onto Sydney in about 28 days. From Sydney it would then return to Britain.  With the closure of the Suez Canal in 1967 until 1975, the route was diverted around South Africa, with calls perhaps at Gibraltar or Las Palmas in the Canary Islands,  then Cape Town and Durban, across to Fremantle and then onto Melbourne and Sydney.

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Christine Roberts 27 August, 2010 18:52
I also arrived in Australia in 1969 via the Australis. I came from Germany, leaving Bremerhaven on November 22nd 1969. I would love to know the exact route the ship took to get to Australia. I remember the Canary Islands and Cape Town. I remember the yellow lines painted on the footpaths so that black people could walk on one side and white on the other. The ship had a children's centre that I attended, I was 6 years old. They had a fire drill and I was the last child to be collected by my parents.
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Ralf Fenzl 31 July, 2014 07:13
Hallo Christine, vielleicht sind auch wir uns auf jener Reise im Herbst 69 über den Weg gelaufen... Ich war damals acht, mein Bruder Wolfgang zehn und unsere Reise endete wie wohl für die meisten in Melbourne. Was mir persönlich am meisten in Erinnerung geblieben ist sind die vielen, vielen Stunden auf Deck mit Blick auf die unendliche See und die stürmische Zeit auf dem Indischen Ozean. Leider haben es meine Eltern in Australien nicht lange ausgehalten, so dass unsere Seereise anno 73 ihre Fortsetzung erfuhr, diesmal in anderer Richtung via Bremerhaven mit der MS Britanis. Diese Überfahrt über den Panama Kanal habe ich als noch spektakulärer in Erinnerung als unsere erste Reise mit der Australis. Trotzdem: beide, inklusive unserem dreijährigen Leben in Melbourne gehören zu den absoluten Highlights meines Lebens. Alles Gute und liebe Grüße nach Australien
Guenther Drisch 10 August, 2013 17:47
Hi Christine, boy, oh boy, almost 44 years, what a punishment! Ha,ha. We took the same route, the same date. Our children were 4 and 9 at the time. Maybe you even played with them on the ship? Anja and Oliver are their names. Hope you had a nice life in Australia. Cheerio, Guenther
Peter Berger 20 November, 2012 20:27
I travelled on the same date from Bremerhaven to Australia. We went from Bremerhaven to Las Palmas on to Capetown, Perth and finally to Melbourne where we arrived on the dec. 20th.The Suez canal was closed in then due to the Israel Egyptian war. Greetings fom Berlin
Phil Walters 25 August, 2010 21:18
WE traveled form England to Sydney 1968. I was five years old and can still remember the trip, proberly due to the fact that dad filmed the whole trip on 8mm, all the ports and onboard activities.These are great memories, I would love to share with others.find me on facebook.
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Rosie Jeffrey 7 August, 2010 23:05
Hi, I recently submitted a comment that I would like to add to. I left melbourne on friday 13th october (I believe the date to be) on Australis. I was bound for Miami Florida. The trip was fantastic and stopped at NZ, Fiji, Acapulco, Balboa, etc. We went through the panama canal which was a wonderful experience. The trip, ship and other passengers were all fantastic. The food was marvellous and I emerged from the trip close to a dress size bigger. I still have a phot taken on board the ship with the logo of the ship on the photo. The trip was a most amazing experience and one I count myself very lucky to have had.
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Rosie Jeffrey 6 August, 2010 17:35
Hello, I travelled from melbourne to miami on the australis leaving around october 1967.We stopped at NZ, Fiji, Acapulco, Balboa. Wonderful time that I wish I could have all over again
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Valerie Dawson 28 May, 2010 15:36
Hi, I travelled to from Melbourne/ England 1967 Australis via Panama and it was the best time of my life.
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Discovery Centre 24 May, 2010 14:22

Hi Harry, Picture Australia is a great place to look for images, you can search many of Australia's largest institutions in one place here http://www.pictureaustralia.org/

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Harry Zein 22 May, 2010 22:20
Dear friends at the Immigration Museum, I wonder if you have photographic records of immigrats who came here aboard Ausralis on its maiden voyage when it docked at Station pier on 13 September 1965. I am just trying to track down a piece of my history. By the way, Australis on that jorney was not air conditioned as you say. But I had a pleasant journey on it.
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Peter Spilios 3 July, 2013 17:33
Hi there. My mother was on this trip that arrived Sep 13 and I recently found a picture of her and her family at Pireus Port before her boarding. She has nothing but fond memories of the trip and has mentioned the ship was not fully complete on this voyage as they were still renovating it?
paul m 30 September, 2012 12:32
Hi henry I wanted to know if u know a lady by nita landrito.
Peter Berger 14 May, 2010 02:22
Travelled o/ b this ship from Bremerhaven, Germany to Melbourne in November 1969. Took about four weeks to get there. Visited the museum in Melbourne five years ago. The pictures shown remind me of my arrival in Australia
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Juana 21 December, 2013 22:44
I traveled on the ship from Bremerhafen on November the 22,1969 as well had a great time on the ship and was the queen Neptune as we crossed the eqatour
Michelle Nguyen 2 September, 2013 23:39
Hi Peter I'm currently doing a project on the experience of german migrants in post WWII Australia. I was wondering if you could help me out with your experience and give me a brief idea of maybe some of the hardships you faced e.g. the language barrier, racism when you first arrived in Australia. I understand that this is a big ask, but it would mean a lot to me if you could give me hand Thank you so much Michelle
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Stephen Hargreave 14 December, 2012 01:45
My family left on the same cruise from Southampton in November, still have fond memouries of the trip......had to go to school on board being 11 at the time. I remember getting tips from the passengers in the bar from helping the bar tender clearing the tables of empty glasses, came in rather handy for me to buy more sweets from the shop. Remember stopping in Rotterdam and Bremerhaven also the canary islands....Las Palmas, Cape town then onto Fremantle...... we disembarked in Melbourne....Station Pier on a hot day
Kathi Rowan 17 April, 2010 22:46
My family and I were one of the fortunate families to board the Australis in 1969. I was a child of 2 and the stories I heard from my parents was that I immediately fell in love with the captain and would run away to him at ever chance I had. I was saddened to here after previous searches regarding this amazing ship that my beloved captain had passed away. I had bought books about this ship and will pass them on to my children as a reminder of where we came - Greece.
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Gina A 1 November, 2012 17:58
Hi Kathi. Which month of 1969 were you on board the SS Australis? My family had travelled here during 1969 and had also travelled from Greece.
alex @ carol matthews 1 February, 2010 19:44
we arrived in oz july 77 and we are still here we met lots of people and would like to talk to you alex @ carol warrnambool vic
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David 27 November, 2009 03:15
Sailed from Southampton to Sydney, on this glorious ship. Remember going through the Panama Canal and traversing the equator. What an experience. Have fond nostalgic memories from a 9 year old boy of a wonderful ship. What a sad end for the Australis, she deserved so much better.
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Jean Di Costanzo 29 August, 2009 15:47
I am from France. With a group of french,not really French at all in reality we boarded at Southampton.A young couple from around Paris,a single man from PARIS and the rest of us a dozen where from different part of the world.This voyage towards the faraway unknown would became the second immigration.I am from Italy and arrived in France when I was seven years old.For me going to Australia was grandiose,my best experience ever,a HUGE HOLIDAY among the anglosaxon way of life.I was 19 and in 32 days I knew all the hidden spots on the best ship of all seas.I was everywhere and even saved a life.Australis and the marvellous people around her;THANK YOU!
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Tracy Jay 18 November, 2012 15:24
Hello Jean, My sister's life was saved on the Australis in 1966. Where you her hero? Love to hear back from you Tracy
Tracy Jay 18 November, 2012 15:24
Hello Jean, My sister's life was saved on the Australis in 1966. Where you her hero? Love to hear back from you Tracy
Hettie 23 July, 2009 17:17
Wow! I found the old ship that we immigrated to NZ on. Nostalgic!
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molly 22 April, 2009 14:10
coolness
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