City of Wanneroo installs signs for shipwrecks including the Alkimos

The Shore Cafe owner George Bartell and Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts.
The Shore Cafe owner George Bartell and Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts.

VISITORS to the Alkimos foreshore can learn more about the wreck after which it is named, following installation of an informative sign.

The City of Wanneroo installed the sign, which is part of a series at significant shipwreck sites along its coastline that will provide history, stories and images of wrecks in Alkimos, Jindalee, Two Rocks and Yanchep.

Mayor Tracey Roberts said the shipwreck signage concept resulted from frequent enquiries from the community.

“In recent years, the City has received many queries from people curious about the various shipwrecks along the City’s shore, particularly the Alkimos which is visible from the popular Waterfront Park at Shorehaven,” she said.

“It is important we provide the local community and visitors to the area, with easily accessible information.

MORE: History of the Alkimos wreck

“The signage aligns with the City of Wanneroo’s tourism strategy to attract visitors to our beaches, and this new shipwreck trail is an ideal way to promote the City’s spectacular coastline.”

The remains of a former World War II liberty ship, the Alkimos are about 410m offshore, providing a recreational and educational diving space, as well as plenty of inspiration for ghost stories.

The Shore Cafe owner George Bartell said many tourists visiting the foreshore did not know the history of the wreck.

“They don’t know that the Alkimos exists,” he said.

The Alkimos wreck is visible from Waterfront Park.

“Now they can come here and they can have a bit of a read – it tells them a bit of the history.

“It’s like an icon for Alkimos – where do you go anywhere along the coast that’s got a shipwreck , and there’s a story about it as well?”

Another wreck, the Eglinton was a 464-tonne Quebec-built barque that left London carrying 21 crew and 30 settlers – it hit an outer reef and sank off the coast of Wanneroo in 1852.

The sign for it is located in Eden Beach in Jindalee, and a third sign is at Leeman’s Landing in Two Rocks.

The Vergulde Draeck was sailing to Jakarta in 1656 when it struck a coral reef south of Ledge Point, killing most of its 193 passengers.

The Alkimos wreck is visible from Waterfront Park.

The wreck was not discovered for another 300 years, when five spear fishermen came across the remains in 1963.

The Alex T. Brown was bound for Manila in 1917 when it was blown ashore in Yanchep, one of only two four-masted schooners shipwrecked in Australia.

The wreck, located on the beach 350m south of The Spot, is accessible when the tide is out and exposed in winter.

Following vandalism to the timber wreck in 2017, a Conservation Order was placed over the wreck in July that carries a fine of up to $1 million and possible imprisonment for damage.

Further information about each shipwreck can be found in the City’s free mobile app, Discover Wanneroo.

When in the vicinity of each sign, the app unlocks a secret code, and when all four codes are revealed, a replica treasure pewter coin can be claimed when people visit the Wanneroo Regional Museum.