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 (220)

sort by
molly 22 April, 2009 14:10
Hettie 23 July, 2009 17:17
Wow! I found the old ship that we immigrated to NZ on. Nostalgic!
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!
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
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.
b. armour 2 March, 2017 17:33
You just might be my uncle if you were born 10 Jan 58 lol
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
Jo 23 April, 2016 23:22
I was on that trip as well. Left Southamptom on 27 June 1977 arrived Perth 21 July , I was age 13 years with my brother & Mum& Dad.
sarah 21 July, 2016 14:54
Hi, just having some memories of this trip as I was also on the ship as a 7 year old. It was 39 years ago today we arrived in Australia. I remember the dress up night in crepe paper and all the bingo games.
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.
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.
April 6 April, 2017 00:44
I was born on australis
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
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
Claudia 25 February, 2013 03:09
Your service is fantastic. I was a bit skeptical to be frank but after I tried voodoo and white magic without any success I thought why not trying your spells. Your website helped me to take the decision because I really like it and besides I have read many good reviews about you. I wish you a lot of success in your life! I will never forget you Dr. Lee for bringing my man back to me and now we are happy together!
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
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
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.
paul m 30 September, 2012 12:32
Hi henry I wanted to know if u know a lady by nita landrito.
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?
Julie Piper 1 August, 2015 15:33
We came from Southhampton via Suez to Australia in late 1965. Could have been her first trip from Southampton to Sydney. It still wasn't finished then, they were still installing life boats. It was extremely rough weather going from Fremantle WA to Sydney. So bad that we couldn't put in at Melbourne and plate glass windows very high up on the ship were broken.
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

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.
Trisha Baryczka 23 February, 2015 22:35
Hi there, I travelled on the Australis at the age of 15 in December 1967. My mum took us back to Southampton England but only stayed 2 years and then returned to Australia. Travelleling through the Panama was a great experience, were you on the ship at that time?...
Gillian Sibson 20 June, 2016 17:53
Hi Valerie, I travelled fromn Melbourne to England in 1967 on the Australis arriving Southampton about May. My now husband Gary Sibson was also on board. We re-acquainted ourselves in London and were married 3 years later. We now live in Melbourne. It was a never ending party the most amazing experience!
richard carew 2 April, 2017 00:59
So was I. I was Chris Budds mate
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
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.
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.
Robert Foss 9 January, 2015 23:31
Hi Phil. I sailed from England to Australia arriving at Melbourne in September 1968. Would love to know any details that you may have on this voyage. I was 17 at the time and was immigrating to Australia with my parents. Regards Bob Foss
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.
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
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
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
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.

Christine Roberts 14 January, 2016 22:09
Thank you to everyone who responded with information. I am so appreciative. Does anyone have photos from the November 1969 voyage or life in Bonegilla in the December 69/January 70 era, or where you can find them online? As a correction, I was 5 at the time. I don't remember the names of any of the children. I remember the endless ocean. In Cape Town it was hard to walk straight. I actually had my sea legs by then! I remember everyone being confined to cabins because of the rough seas, but I myself wasn't sick. A crew member (I think it was the captain) gave me a plastic tea set for handling the rough weather so well. The set had purple and orange plates, cups and saucers with tiny silver cutlery. I still had this set when I lived at Bonegilla, where I would make a sugar and water syrup, leave it outside overnight to set, and then lick the concoction like a lollypop straight off the plate. No knowledge of cockroaches back then. I remember the train trip to Bonegilla, and my mother playing the guitar on the train. Lots of people were singing along. At Bonegilla I was too young to attend the kindergarten or children's centre, which I dearly wanted to do. It looked like they had so much fun at the centre, with paper, craft supplies and items to tempt any child. I received my first brown port, a very Australian item at Bonegilla. The dining room is also a memory I cherish. At Bonegilla, or maybe in Albury I remember getting ice-cream in a yellow soccer ball container, standing on a bridge and seeing all these jellyfish in the river. I remember these corrugated iron huts but they were semi-circular in shape, with tiled floors. We returned to see them once, but they had just been bulldozed, and only the concrete slabs with some tiles were left. My stepfather was able to determine which one was ours. We eventually moved to Bondi and I attended the kindergarten and infant school before we moved to Kallangur, in Queensland. I must have become bi-lingual very quickly and without issue as I recall interpreting for my mother at a butcher shop. I now do translating. My mother and step father both returned to Germany in the mid/late 70's but I remained here. I love Australia, and will forever grateful for the fantastic life I have here.
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?
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
Brad Liddle 14 May, 2016 09:05
Hi Stephen, I was on that April 67 voyage too. The NAA individual records state we left on 4th April, but that might be when we checked out of Customs in Southampton and the ship may have left on 5th? I remember all those stops except Colombo for some reason. That could be the spot where I remember lots of little boats coming up to the ship and selling wooden artifacts? My sister & I weren't allowed off in Aden, some trouble brewing. I remember cruising down the Suez and visiting Athens, a Mosque in Port Said, took a train ride from Freemantle to Perth and visited Melbourne Zoo. My parents stressed we were to treat it like a holiday and we did. As I recollect there were only 2 movies shown on the ship, 'Zorba the Greek' and 'Genghis Khan'. Must have watched the latter about 10 times. Also I nearly drowned in the indoor pool. I couldn't swim & my floaty deflated in the middle of the pool. Neither the attendant or my father noticed. I didn't panic, just kept breast-stroking and some how made it to the edge of the pool. So basically taught me self to swim on the ship. Still trying to find the date we arrived in Sydney in May. 30th April would be right for Melbourne. I was 8 years old and I loved the ship so much I didn't want to leave it. I was the only one in the family not to get seasickness. One of the best adventures of my life. Regards, Brad
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.
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).
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.
Paul medlam 21 December, 2015 18:46
Hi i wondervdo you have a copy of your ticket or the passage it took. I was on the same voage i havecthe copy of our departure from Southampton and arrival in auvkland but nothing in between thanks paul
caitlin 8 November, 2010 12:11
my family and i came on a ship
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
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
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
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.
James Black 27 January, 2015 00:06
my family was on this ship at the same time, i always remember the time with fond memories. we went to Melbourne. i remember a family of i think about 10 of them from Scotland me and my brother used to hang out with Morgan and Michael it was a great time and one that changed our life.
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!!
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
Graham Hellewell 14 February, 2015 13:20
Hi Gwen, I was the photographer on Australis from 1967 to 1970 then again in 1977 through to her last emigrant voyage. I think I started in May, it's a while ago and I haven't kept records, only memories. I've sailed under John Ikiadis, Thenasis Beis, Capt. Challioris and Australis was to me like a home. Wonderful ship, great crew and a happy bunch of passengers. There's a facebook site put put up by an ex passenger called Australis Photos And Stories - Chandris, the flagship of the site is obviously the Australis but it incorporates any passengers and crew who sailed on any of the Chandris Fleet. there are over 1000 members and over 3000 pictures and lots of peoples stories on the site. Many members, myself included, have found old friends we sailed with. There's a section on there to join to join, mention me, all the administration staff know me and several passengers too. The feeling on the site is just like being back on board again - a very friendly place. Good Luck, Graham
Peter Evans 1 February, 2017 14:37
Hi Gwen, I was one of the Master at Arms during your time on board, the tall Rhodesian guy. A very pleasant ship to work on. Have many great memories.
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.
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.
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.
Andre Haubert 20 October, 2014 19:56
Hi, I also traveled to Australia in this ship in 1974, we arrived in Fremantle on the 4 th of May 1974, was this the same trip you made ? if yes please let me know as i'm trying to meet as many as possible who were on this Boat. many Thanks Andre
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
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.
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.
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.
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.

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
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.
Lois Hanckel 9 March, 2015 22:19
I sailed northbound on the Australis March/April 1970, Sydney to New York City. Am from Adelaide, and return there fairly often. Currently live in South Florida.
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.
Yvon Magnery 2 February, 2015 13:35
Hi Alan, I was on the same voyage. I boarded the Australis in Rotterdam. Our next port of call was Southampton early February 1971. Before arriving at Teneriffe, we saw a Sweedish tanker in flame and provided assistance. I was 20 when I left and celebrated my 21st on board. A memorable voyage.
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.
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.
Alan wardle 24 March, 2016 03:09
I have a Facebook page dedicated to the Flavia. You are very welcome to join and share and stories and memories. We are looking to boost our membership.
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
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!
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
Ray Virta 13 November, 2014 18:17
Simone, Did you get any answers regarding your grandads brother? I found his details in the National archives listings under the name you stated and arrival in March 1966 on Australis. Cheers Ray
Gillian 26 March, 2015 04:11
Hi there Pat, I was on that voyage en route from Southampton to Sydney, aged 13 with my family. We settled on Lake Macquarie near Newcastle and I loved it. I then sailed back on the Australis May 1969 via Panama Canal, on that trip I fell in love with that ship ~ there were a lot of us the same age, late teens and we had such a whale of a time (rarely went to bed as I remember!) There was a stowaway on board, Richard, who was travelling with his dad but they couldn't afford his fare so we all took him doggy bags from the restaurant. Another vivid memory I have is missing the ship in Miami, after renting a car and losing our way. We arrived in Port Everglades to see the beautiful Australis sailing out of port. We were saved because an organised trip had had an accident and so the ship was waiting outside the breakwater for us to be ferried on board by the pilot, humiliating as we had an audience from all the other passengers but memorable all the same. I'm hoping to go to Fuerteventura this year to see her one last time before she disappears. Oh Happy Days!
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.
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)
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.
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!
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
Gail pinkney 27 May, 2017 06:51
Hi Stephen you must have been on the ship when I travelled October 1972 Sydney Southampton via NZ Figi Christiabal Bilbao (Panama canal) Acapulco Miami Bremen ... think they where the ports and I remember how seedy and filthy the panama was when we left the ship ... the boat smelt everywhere of people smoking Panama red Acapulco gold 😂 It was every where how nieve was I wouldn't have known how to buy it let alone smoke it and I remember passing over the equator like you said what great fun and I fell in love with a Greek officer he towed me to the dock side when we put down anchor in Acapulco.. very romantic in his whit uniform and his name was George!!!
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 !!
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.
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
Carole Wilson 1 March, 2015 01:34
I too sailed on the 'Australis' from Melbourne to Southampton in January 1967. I was a 21yo starting my obligatory (as it was then!) 2year 'working holiday' in the UK. I also sailed back on her, arriving at Station Pier just before Christmas 1968, having spent my 22nd birthday a day before arriving in Australian waters at Fremantle. Many of the stewards I had got to know were still on board, & my birthday was a great occasion. A special cake at dinner from Ionnis, another in my cabin from Stelios, & free drinks all evening from Giorgos. Stelios, Spiros & Paul also ensured I was always looked after at our ports of call during the voyage, Piraeus, Dubrovnik, Capetown. Yes I have some wonderful memories of the 'Australis'.
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
Gordana Baci-Brkovic 7 November, 2016 15:29
I also traveled to Australia in April 1970. Since then I have traveled a lot to many parts of the world but the six weeks on "Australis"remain the best 6 weeks of my life. My original destination was Adelaide SA but I now live in Sydney NSW. My mind is still full of incredibly fond memories of Australis and the gorgeous young people who took the same voyage with me from Southtempton. How extraordinary it would be to catch up with some of them now. Is there anyone reading this that embarked on this incredible adventure and travel to Australia in April 1970 that remembers ....??
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
john walsh 9 February, 2014 04:20
Did the ship arrive around March 1973 in Sydney?
Caron Barber 2 January, 2015 14:09
Hi Friederike, I was on the same trip as you, arriving in Melbourne July 1973. I was 9 and travelled with my parents, Doug and Cherie and my brother Craig. It was a terrific experience for my Dad, brother and I. But my mum was sea sick the entire time. It was a very rough crossing. It was very sad that so many people lost so much. I remember the devastation on the docks, it was heart breaking. Despite the shakey start, we have made this place our home, with no regrets. We are still in touch with friends made on board and I wondered if you recall my family at all. Caron Barber
Anthony Cameron 2 January, 2017 08:51
Hello yes we sailed from Southampton to Melbourne arrived July 1973. I was 12 and turned 13 a few days later. I was on the front page of the Melbourne Age newspaper. I remember the voyage very well and we lost many belongings from the water damage as well. Its a shame the ship met a sad end as i would love to have boarded her once more. I only have memories now. Im happy to talk to anyone who was on board. I lived with my family my sister returned to England in 1982 and my mum and dad returned in 1983. I eventually returned in 1990 after living in Australia for nearly 18 years.
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!
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.
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!!!
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.
flemming christensen 14 October, 2014 14:37
hi leslie icame down on the same trip we were a bunch of danes migrating and must of us are still here looking for photos and passenger list remember it as a great trip and happy we did it
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, I have enjoyed reading the stories on your site, well done. Cheers from Wolfram
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.
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?
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.

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
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.....
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.
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
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.
Angela 11 May, 2016 06:32
Gavin Plunket my family emigrated to Australia in 67 on the "Aurelia-Cogeda Line" and back to England a few years later on the "Ellenis-Chandris Lines" do you have any of the Seascape?
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.
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.
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
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...
Ian Lawless 8 May, 2012 09:37
Left Southhampton in 1965 and arrived in Sydney in Nonvember with my parents and sister.
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!
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
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!
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
Chris 29 September, 2012 02:50
What a lovely comments and recollections. All the best to you too Herc!
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
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
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
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...
Gilliian 26 March, 2015 04:30
I was on this voyage but are you sure it was 10th April? I thought it was a few days earlier, as my birthday is the 10th and I remember my birthday being a few days later and I was already ensconced in my aunt's house with cake and candles. I think it would have been a lasting memory for me had I arrived in beloved Sydney on my birthday but there again I'm getting on! Beautiful ship though and so special that she is held in such regard by so many whose lives she changed' bless her and all who sailed in her.
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
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, I think. Which has amazing photos and stories about the Australis, other migrant ships to and from Australia and the migrant hostels around Sydney.
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.
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.
Carolyn wilkins 23 January, 2013 02:11
Hi Jonathan i to was on the ship at that tine, the tender age of 17
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
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.
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:
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.
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?

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 :)
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
anita collins 17 November, 2012 22:29
The australis met it's maker off Fuerteventura, in the canary islands.
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
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
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
Rosemarie Draper 23 December, 2014 11:42
Hi Sinead, I was on the Australis when it sailed from Southampton on Nov 22nd 1976. Hope that info helps. cheers
David 20 March, 2015 13:56
It departed Southampton in February 1976. I was on board and left the ship on arrival in Melbourne on 22/3/76.
David 21 August, 2015 21:57
I was also on board in 1976. I departed Southampton in February 1976, aged 11. My 12th birthday passed when we were in the Mediterranean Sea. My dad sent a telegram from Australia. We stopped in Crete, Port Said and Djibouti. (I wouldn't care to stop there these days.) Freo on March 18th then onto Melbourne arriving March 22nd. The final section up Port Phillip seemed to take an age.
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" 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 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"!!!!!
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!!
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!
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
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 .
Ina 1 February, 2016 06:18
Still trying to find out any information on George Phillipis
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.
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?
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!
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
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.
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.
douglas wood 25 November, 2013 12:20
hi my family and i set sail 1972 bound for southampton wonderfull 6 weeks,
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
Julie Harveaux 16 July, 2016 12:16
Chris, Julie here. I am the oldest red headed Harveaux kid that was on the Australis. I very much remember you! I live in Washington state now. Mom and Dad are still well and kickin' Contact me  Julie
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!
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!
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.
Barri Morland 31 December, 2014 07:11
Hi Ann, I too shared the discomfort of that trip, left Southampton 2nd of June 1967 and disembarked on the 2nd July 1967 in Sydney. The outbreak of dysentery was shocking with so many people getting sick. Our cabin was way below decks and the communal toilet and shower block was flooded with faeces during the bad weather, I didn’t know that a ship could list that bad without sinking, people being thrown across the lounges, dining and ball rooms. I have never wanted to go on another cruse since. My late wife and I had only been married for 3mths, I was 20 and she was 19 and it was to be our honeymoon, it was not a good start to a new life however it did improve and I still think it was the best 10 pounds I have ever spent.
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.
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.
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????
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.
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????
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Peta Forsyth 22 September, 2014 06:29
My Margaret, brother Calvin, sister Margaret and myself were in a 4 birth cabin on that voyage - our name was Eynon. I remember it was the worse crossing of the equator - our waiter fell and cut his hand. I also remember going up on deck when all the Crewe were getting shouted at. I was 15 and thought I was to old for the kids stuff and too young for the adult stuff, so read loads p, discovered that I could leave school At 15 . When I arrived in Australia I got a job working in Coles,then Huttons, and then the gas and fuel of Victoria.
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! :)
MimRomo 17 May, 2015 22:14
Wow, memory lane is a great place to be.
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.
Meredith 17 October, 2014 16:09
I sailed from Sydney to Southampton on the Australis leaving in July 1975, setting off on the trip of a lifetime, the beginning of the most memorable time in my life. I spent the next two and a half years in the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Canary Islands etc, and then sailed home on her again on her final voyage, leaving Southampton in November 1977. Thoroughly enjoyed the Australis experience, and loved being on a ship so much that I then worked on the Fairstar as a drinks stewardess during uni holidays while I did teacher training, sailing the South Pacific.
Sonya Mackay 28 February, 2015 05:59
I was a cashier on board Australis back in 1968. would love to hear from JAccqui or any others who remember me. I did 2 round the world trips. We worked hard with very little time off and 6 of us shares a cabin way below decks,!! Great tomes though!
Neville Fenn 28 December, 2016 13:38
Sonya There is a Facebook group called SS Australis/Chandris if you are not aware of it. I know of a Jacqui who is a member and former staff.
Ken Rickard 12 April, 2015 17:50
I left Southampton on Australis on my own in May 1968 . I teamed up with a mate Andy Stoddard also travelling on his own. I was from Romford Essex and he was from Glasgow. I remember we bought bottles of Ouzo for around $1 US in Piraus and had deck parties on board and there were some guys on board who got a bit carried away and threw some wooden Deckchairs off the stern and got hauled into the brig by the Master of Arms. Also recall the Australis went to the aid of a sailing boat in distress and this caused an unexpected call into Port of Dakar West Africa. I have a lot of Australis photos and will try and post some on the Facebook group web page. Great memories and I have still got my Cabin key to cabin 458 which I mistakenly took with me. Love to hear from anyone else who was on that voyage from Southampton to Auckland.
Diana Jackson 27 May, 2015 17:42
i left Southampton in September 1963 on the Fair Sky with my brother and my husband and took 4weeks to get here and we has a ball on ship we arrived in Melbourne and then came onto Adelaide arrived in October and never looked back
Karl Hackenbroich 27 May, 2015 17:46
in Feb/March 1969 i traveled on Australis from Bremerhafen to Melbourne via Gibraltar,Cape Town and Fremantle,many Memories,one not forgotten, a Fam. from Ireland traveling on this voyage Beth Ruth? i'm curious if still in Melbourne
Beverley Topping 21 June, 2015 07:23
We sailed back to England from Australia on this ship xx
Diane Lomas (nee Haden) 22 July, 2015 22:20
I spent some of the most memorable days of my life working on the Australis until her sale. Now after all these years I am desperate to contact my friend Barbara Power. We went to live in Athens together when the ship was sold and eventually I went to live in Crete and we just lost touch. So many attempts to find her have failed. Barbara was in charge of producing the daily newspaper Seascape. For my 60 birthday my daughters took me to Fuerteventura to see the wreck and visit the bar full of her memorabilia. Such wonderful memories of the ship
Peter Evans 1 February, 2017 15:11
Hi Diane, I was Master at Arms during the time you were on board, the tall Rhodesian guy. I remember both you and Barbara ! I hope life has treated you well. I recently retired from life as an Air Traffic Controller which is a far cry from patrolling the heaving decks of a ship. Was it Barbara who had the misfortune of having her cash float pinched from her till?
Sarah Glen (nee Winkworth) 18 August, 2015 11:54
It's so good to read about all of you who travelled on this great ship!I came to Australia from UK in 1972, leaving Southampton on 10 April with my parents Paddy & Pauline (incidently same date as the Titanic many years earlier!!) What an amazing trip- I turned 9 but had to wait to open my Birthday presents because my Mum was too seasick!During this time our porthole was smashed by the huge waves- Force 10 as we rounded the Cape! We have some slides looking up at the waves which look like mountains.It was all a big adventure to me,going in the fancy dress events,going ashore in the Canary Islands & Capetown, which was so stunning but still in the grip of apartheid. Such friendly & helpful staff on board and I enjoyed going to school where I remember learning 'Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree'! We departed the ship in Melbourne(after docking at Perth & Fremantle i think)in May 72 and it looked so tropical & I was still 'rocking' & getting my land legs back which took a couple of days!What an epic & unforgettable adventure it was to be able to go on this ship that carried so many people over the years!It's worth checking out the history of the Australis on the internet-fascinating!
loraine bryant 26 September, 2016 23:02
We were on the ship then but it sailed on 12thApril and arrived 13 May. We went tenarife capetown freemantle, melbourne sydney. I was 10 and went onit wit my mum and dad and nan. I remember the childrens diner siting. My mumand dad had a wedding anniversary and they got permission for me to eat with the adults i felt so grown up. I can also remember the school and a fancy dress up. My mum made me a costume of rubbish that had not been put in the bins.
Miriam 26 August, 2015 00:26
I emigrated on my own, as a young 19 year old girl looking for adventure, on the Australis. Left Southampton in September 1970, 45 years ago,arriving at my destination in Sydney in October. I remember 3 days after we left Melbourne for Sydney the Westgate Bridge collapsed. Funny how you remember certain events. I have travelled extensively over the years but I have to say that the four weeks at sea in those young, carefree days was the best trip ever (especially since I paid only 10 pounds), I still have photos of people & places (somewhere). Is there anyone else out there that was on that same trip? Share your memories.
Lyndelle Payne 16 October, 2015 00:31
I sailed to England on the October 1997 sailing with my mum when I was 10 years old. We boarded in Melbourne & the ship stopped at Sydney before heading to New Zealand. We were taken to a museum in Auckland that seemed to specialize in Maori culture and to volcanic mud pools. I remember the trolly buses as well. After we departed Auckland they announced that we wouldn't be putting in to Chile as we were supposed to be. We passed through the Straits of Magellan and then docked at Rio Grande de Sol. We were the first cruise ship ever to dock there and we were met by rusty old school buses to take us into town. Next stop was Rio de Janeiro where we were taken up Sugarloaf mountain on a cable car and down to the beach. Then it was Tenerife in the Canary Islands and Portugal, Lisbon I think. We encountered a gale as we crossed the Bay of Biscay and everyone was very sick; not may faces in the dining room for a few days. Next stop should have been Southampton but there was a tug boat strike on so we had to put in to Cherbourg in France for 2 or 3 days. There was a kids club where I met a girl from Coober Pedy and they taught us to twirl mini pom poms and sing Po Cari Cari Ana for our visit to Auckland. I played table tennis with my mum and kept losing to ball out of a port hole. The food was not much to my immature palate so I invariably ordered the cold cuts but no tongue and the waiter would tease my by saying "Cold cuts, only tongue". The staff were always very good to me as there weren't very many children on board & I don't think I went back to the kids club after New Zealand. There were excellent entertainments, an onboard newspaper every day and of course the Crossing the Line ceremony. I still have pictures, including one I got up early to take of the sunrise over Tierra del Fuego, although Mum's been gone over 10 years now. A fantastic trip that allows me to boast the I've had a day trip to Rio!
Kate Martin 9 March, 2016 14:52
Hi Lyndelle, I was also on that voyage which was in October 1977 not in 1997. I boarded the Australis in Fremantle, Western Australia and finally disembarked in Lisbon, Portugal. When the ship called at Auckland, NZ, some NZ mountaineers boarded the ship thinking that they could disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile, to then go mountaineering in the southern Andes. But because Chile and Argentina were not on speaking terms (and it would appear that NZ was on Argentina's side) Chile had made it clear that no NZ'ers were to board the Australis in Auckland. However, Chile quickly found out that NZ'ers did board the ship in Auckland, so after the ship left Auckland, it was announced that Chile refused to let the ship call at Punta Arenas. Instead we had to continue on through the Magellan Strait and up to Puerto Madryn in Argentina. I remember that it snowed four times during the day as we passed through the Magellan Strait. It was very cold. The NZ mountaineers disembarked in Puerto Madryn and it would have been costly for them to cross Argentina to get to the Andes. All the best. Kate
Sonja Stojcevska née Stefanovski 20 October, 2015 01:26
I would like to say: Praise and Glory To God for our trip dated 7th November 1965. In love and prayers to mum and dad for being there for me whilst taking my first baby steps onboard the christened ship 'Australis'. With gladsome greetings to all from destination to destination and throughout the entire journey. Not sure if there are any photos from the trip commencing via Yugoslavia ? Love you all. Sonja :+)
Gary Hunt 6 January, 2016 09:22
G'day Sonja, the date of the 7th November 1965 is significant in that it was the date the Australis arrived in Fremantle on her second voyage to Australia as a migrant ship carrying my parents and their six children, departing Southampton, Piraeus, Port Said, Aden and then Fremantle.
Alan 24 March, 2016 03:22
Did you ever sail on the Flavia??
Tamara Otello 7 November, 2015 23:52
Memories, in the corners of my mind ... I left Bremerhaven mid November 1972, then on to Southhampton, the Canary Islands, Capetown, Fremantle, and Sydney. We had a wonderful trip, and my 15 month old son took his first baby steps on the Australis. Indeed the 1970's turned out to be the best times this country has seen. A lot of us German and English people were very excited and partied hard when we heard that Gough Whitlam won the election while we were on our way to Australia. My only regret is not having stayed in touch with some of the great people I met on this journey, and I hope they have fared as well as I have in their chosen homeland. :)
Stuart Bonnington 21 December, 2016 00:41
I think I would have been on that trip of the AUSTRALIS - leaving Southampton 20 November 1972 then to Las Pamas, Cape Town and Fremantle where we 10 pound poms got off and stayed to this day.
p n kinsey 4 December, 2015 10:42
recently i viewed images of the rusting hulk of the australis off the coast of Africa such a shame i was on the ship from England to Perth fremantle terminal in 1970-71 i turned 5 on the boat on the way here last oct i turned 50
Paul medlam 18 December, 2015 16:36
Hi I left Southampton on 18th September 1975 sailing to NZ. For a permanent non restricted visa for Australia i need to prove i stopped in Australia. My passport is here but only stamped in Auckland and Southampton. The dept of emigration suggest i get as much information as possible to prove i stopped in Australia. Can anyone help put me in the right direction. National archive sbhave no record
Discovery Centre 19 December, 2015 10:02
Hi Paul - Whilst the NAA may have no record of you individually, if you did not stay for any significant time, they will have passenger lists or records of the ship if anyone disembarked. They may not be indexed online yet (only about 30% of the collection is), but if you contact them and ask for the records relating to the ship itself, that may be helpful.
Lise Blom 1 January, 2016 16:38
I had just turned 23 when I left Denmark in 1970. My English was limited, but out I went to see the world. The Australian government subsidised my fare on SS Australis, as I promised to stay and work in Australia for 2 years. It was a bonzer trip. My cabin was at water level with 4 bunk beds - shared with three elderly ladies, 2 from Holland and 1 from England. The English lady insisted on waking me each morning at 6 o'clock for a cup of tea, and I was too polite to object. God knows I probably only got to bed a few hours earlier. Leaving Capetown our portholes were securely closed, and it didn't take long to discover why. We spent the next week hauling ourselves around the ship by ropes to stay upright. At night we rolled with the waves, sometimes wondering if the ship would manage to straighten up again. One such night I left the cabin, and standing all alone at the stern, I watched this great ship slowly rolling deep into the oceon from side to side. It wasn't nearly as scary standing there as it had been in the cabin, and I experienced a feeling never forgotten. We arrived in Sydney on a cold morning the first day of winter, but the day turned into a brilliant sunny day by the time we embarked. I have flown up and down to Europe many times since, but never in such grandeur as on Australis in 1970. After nearly 46 years I'm still here.
Heidi Onur 3 January, 2016 16:20
Oh how nostalgic. I sailed from England to New Zealand on this glorioys ship on April 4th 1974 from Southampton dock. Sadly my belived brother recently passed did not get to see these images and comments. I have so many precious, happy memories...
Len 17 February, 2016 18:24
I migrated to Australia on the SS Australis departing Southampton on 10 May 1966 arriving Fremantle 1 June 1966 before sailing on to Sydney. I'm currently writing a book about my experiences as a migrant and would like to get a copy of the passenger list for the voyage. Can you advise me were this can be obtained. I have tried the National archives but have drawn a blank.
Discovery Centre 18 February, 2016 16:16

Hi Len

We have found the passenger list for you in the National Archives of Australia.  The file is 47 pages long and you'll have to scan through it to find your name.

The list is in alphabetical order by surname for each of the passengers’ ports of disembarkation, either Fremantle, Melbourne or Sydney. 

Good luck finding your name on the list and please be in touch if you'd like any further assistance. 

Jimmy Cunningham 20 October, 2016 23:27
Hi Len We travelled to Australia on the same trip 7 members of the Cunningham family. Finally found someone on the same trip as us.☺
veronica muir 23 February, 2016 14:39
went on the beautiful girl in 1972 best time ever I was only 12 years old went over in March to Southampton then back to Sydney in November I made many friends while on board I think that is when I fell in love with cruising.
Norbert Schaber 6 March, 2016 14:42
it was a big decision to leave Germany on the 11 Feb. 1971 wife and two children 5 and 6 I loved the journey from Rotterdam to Las Palmas, cape town and finally Fremantle sorry to see this great lady finish up like that.... made lots of friends but lost contact. Still like to take a cruise every now and then..
Vivienne Kennedy 11 March, 2016 03:34
My mum sailed to Australia on the Australia 50 yrs ago,March 10th 1966.She has many fond memories of places such as Egypt,Capetown and Tahiti while travelling on ships.
SteveDUNN 29 March, 2016 05:22
I was on the October 1971 Southbound voyage from Southampton to Sydney. My then wife and I were 10 pound Poms, enjoying our honeymoon bound for our new life in Sydney. The voyage was really rough, as the stabilisers were out of order, and I remember the trauma of trying to dine in restaurants with no portholes, with waves battering the sides of the ship. I gave French students English lessons on our 5 and a half week trip, which I hope equipped them for some of the linguistic problems they would surely encounter on arrival in Oz. We stopped in Las Palmas; smuggled half a dozen bottles of spirits on board,and to some extent tried to drown our seasickness with a few stiff drinks! Other than that, I jogged around the decks at 5 in the morning,wrote a diary of my experience on this wonderful ship, and eventually,on arriving in Capetown made my way up to the top of the Table top mountain on the back of a pick-up truck, driven by a black African, who didn't seem too bothered by the Apartheid which still existed at that time. On going down the gang-plank in Fremantle, my first impression was a mixture of joy and anxiety, as we as Poms didn't really know how we would be welcomed in Oz. We needn't have worried, because wherever we went, everyone warmly welcomed us, and helped us to prepare our new lives in their wonderful country. Arriving in Sydney at 6.30 in the morning was really special, as the harbour was shrouded in mist, hiding half of the Bridge and the Opera House, which still had the cranes operating to finish the building. Standing on the quay with our 40 kilogramme cases was at the same time bewildering, and yet wondeful to realise that we had arrived at our new home. If anyone remebers Steve and Chantal DUNN on that voyage, please contact us through this site.
Christopher Bird 4 May, 2016 19:23
The October 1971 sailing of the Australis was voyage 31N to Southampton.I boarded at Suva, Fiji and sailed to Southampton.
Michael Johnson 4 April, 2016 20:49
I was a teenager with my brother and parents on the April 1974 voyage Southbound from Southampton, disembarked in Auckland. I moved to Australia later on. I remember in the evening at dinner Birthdays were celebrated with lights off and a flaming cake carried to the table of the offender. We were in luxurious cabin with bathroom with a huge bath and two portholes. However some of the cabins were not so great. There was cheaper accommodation aft and some people in those cabins found the vibration from the props made it untenable and some slept out of their cabins. The grand Art Deco style was wonderful. It was a real touch of yesteryear and the great liners.
Terry Allsop 13 April, 2016 02:39
Travelled on the Australis in December 1965 from Southampton to Sydney. Had a very rough passage until the more peaceful Med., but then at Piraeus many of the crew left and replacements were needed. as passengers we were witness to the excitement of many Greeks fighting to get onto the ferries to get them to their island homes for Christmas `65. Left Piraeus for Suez to again very rough seas thro` the eastern Med. At Egypt the voyage thro` the canal was blocked, and we had the option of visiting the pyramids whilst the ship waited to get into the lakes. Christmas night `65 was spent in the Cairo Hilton being fed and entertained Arabian style. We joined the ship again at Suez. From there the rest of the trip was one massive party, with all sorts of passenger joining in. Many prizes in the ballroom were very expensive wines (which the Captain didn`t like) from it`s time as the SS America. I remember several nights when cases of "fizz" where bought for cork fights to take place
Colin Sargeant 21 April, 2016 19:03
I joined this ship as a brash 22 year old POM in Cape Town in late June 1971 and arrived Fremantle 15 July 1971 as part of a extended world hitch hike. The ship was late as rough weather in the Atlantic had delayed her. I remember many Australian and Kiwi expates on their way home. Many none english speaking young people from Europe undertaking migration to a strange new world. A ship full of emigrants enjoying what for many must have been a real holiday. I left the ship in WA to continue to hitch hike eventually ending up in Sydney where I caught up with some of the shipmates made during that 11 days. If memory serves right the captain's name at the time was something like "Tourvas". I remember this due to a fancy hat competition in which two young twin boys were the winners. Their mother having made a captains hat that fitted over both heads together (two of us) A strict limited self impose budget restricted any excess but it did not stop me enjoying watching many that decided to live for the minute and not worry what Australia would impose. I met my wife in Sydney which put and end to the wondering, raised a family and have had a wonderful and fortunate life. 45 years later, now retired in New Zealand with grand kids it is very heartwarming to read all these experiences associated with the Australis. My memory of the wines served at meal time is somewhat different to many comments. I thought the Greek wine was awful but each to their own and maybe it did not matter to those already partying.
Ian Howcroft 27 August, 2016 16:52
My family and I travelled from Southampton to Fremantle on the Australis in March 1977. During the voyage, our four year old daughter became friendly with a little boy of the same age and they used to play in the paddling pool together. Although we bumped into the other family from time to time in Oz, we never really stayed in contact with them A few years ago, I was taking a couple of guys up to Exmouth on a fishing trip to Exmouth and during the drive up there, I was talking to one of them who I had never met before. As we shared experiences and interests, I discovered that the chap had also been on the Australis on the same voyage. I then realised that he was actually the the lad with whom my daughter had played in the paddling pool all of those years ago.
Thiers Halliwell 3 November, 2016 19:29
In January 1970 my wife and I, together with our five-month- and two-year-old infants, sailed on the Australis from Auckland and travelled via Sydney, Melbourne, Suva, Acapulco, Panama, Cristobal and Fort Lauderdale to Southampton - five weeks in all. On one occasion our son (the older child) split the seam on his 'comforter' pillow and the cabin was littered with myriad foam chip fragments that the steward was keen to discard. However, to avoid having one distraught child we diligently collected them all and restored the pillow to a usable condition. His next 'prank' was to empty out the baby's-bottle sterilising fluid halfway across the Pacific so we had to spend time in Acapulco searching for a pharmacy to get a suitable replacement. Despite these and other incidents we thoroughly enjoyed the sea voyage and are very thankful to have had the experience. Six years later, even though air travel was becoming the norm, we sailed back to New Zealand but this time via Cape Horn on the Russian ship Shota Rustaveli.
John Crawley 30 November, 2016 22:34
i was kidnapped by my parents in 1967 and dragged over to OZ! I have never gone back to England since! The Australis was turned around in the Mediterranean and remember some excitement surrounding aircraft flyover and followed by the ship turning and stopping at Gibralter and heading south down the west coast of Africa. It was very rough special racks around the tables for eating - cyclones and the constant lurching and rolling of the ship made for a very uncomfortable yet incredibly filled with exciting and new experiences for a 10-year-old. Cape town and the famed table mountain was hot with a long trip across the Indian ocean to our 10 pound tourist destination "Freemantle"! Staying at Graylands hostel for a while dad couldn't get work in this lucky country and as a last ditch we again migrated across this great land on the Indian Pacific railway where I was lucky enough to befriend a young teenager that was moving with his band from Perth to Melbourne ...... it was the Valentines and the guy was Bon scot ...... which was a whole other story !
Terry Mac Manus 26 December, 2016 10:34
Did a Cruise in July 1974 around the Sth Pacific on this beautiful ship.
Alan Monroe 13 January, 2017 11:15
I have placed a video I took on my trip in 1971 to Autralia on youtube. Here i the link for anyne interested.
Peter Bermes 6 February, 2017 10:57
My first wife and I immigrated to OZ on board the SS Australis in mid 1969. First stop after leaving Bremerhaven was Casablanca, then Las Palmas and the last stop before the big jump to Fremantle (Perth) was Capetown. It was dark when the Vessel left the harbour and almost everyone was rigged up & looking forward to the announced big event the 'Captain's Dinner'. The very moment the ship made its first left turn into the open sea it was cought by a giant wave and cranked to about 30° to starboard.... and stayed there motionless for a couple of minutes resulting in countless screaming old british ladies dressed sophisticatedly and with carefully laid white or pink hair, slowly loosing their grip at the row of rock solid tables and beginning to slide down the slope in ultra slow motion followed first by their chairs then by all plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, bread and finally came the big chunks of cake and I liked that part most of all as those virtually nailed everyone to the wall within splitseconds. All People immediately looked like being clubbed in a riot but loughing their head off when looking at each other realizing that no one was hurt! (You may want to ask me where I was when all that happened? Lucky me had left the waterloo just in time to get hold of the handrail of the next storeys door leading to the dining room ;-)
Pamela O"Callaghan 5 April, 2017 16:22
I travelled from Australia Oct.1968 arriving Southampton Nov.11th 1968. I am looking for the full name of one of the Junior Engineering Officers.His christian name is Annastasious and he was 22yrs old. Has anybody a full list of crew members for that voyage.
Write your comment below All fields are required

We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.