On the southern banks of the famous Parramatta River in Sydney, there is an exotic bay known by the name “Homebush Bay”. The name Homebush Bay usually includes the southern and the western areas of the bay. The region was once the official suburb of Sydney but now it has become the suburbs of Sydney Olympic Park in Wentworth Point. It is also a part of its surrounding suburb- Lidcombe. The central business district of Sydney has this place located 16 kilometres in the west which is the local government area in Auburn city. There are two separate suburbs- Homebush West and Homebush.
The suburbs of Rhodes and of Homebush Bay share an artificial and a natural shoreline on the Parramatta River. The bay is said to be contaminated with some sorts of chemicals like dioxin and other chemicals that belong to Union Carbide group. Because of this reason the bay is banned for fishing for health reasons and some letters were issued by the health advisories to limit the amount of fish eaten by the people from the Parramatta River. DDT, some heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates and even lead are the names of the other contaminants. But 75% of the Dioxin present in the bay was removed in the year 2008 when the river was remediated. The process of remediation was fully completed in the year 2010.
Landmarks and Transport:
Bicentennial Park and Sydney Olympic Park are the main landmarks of Sydney. Since the Sydney Olympic Games, there have been huge development in the areas and even the buildings and apartments look new now. Another attraction is the Rhodes Shopping Centre which is a huge shopping mall on the eastern shore of the bay. There are two train stations that support the entire rail network of Sydney. The Olympic Park railway station was not very old and was built during the 2000 Sydney Olympics to gather large crowds during Olympics. This station is on the southwest side of Sydney. On the eastern side, the northern and western line and even the north shore are connected by the Rhodes railway station. People who wish to visit this place can travel through trains that pass through these two stations. When it comes to the bus services, there are a number of regular buses that supports the area around the bay. Special services are also provided in case of any major concert or event.
The Floating Forest of SS Ayrfield:
The whole area of Homebush Bay is a home to some ships that were decommissioned previously. The area was originally used as a ship-breaking yard. SS Ayrfield, SS Mortlake Bank, SS Heroic and HMAS Karangi are the names of the famous wrecks of Homebush Bay. But among them the most famous one is SS Ayrfield. The original name of SS Ayrfield was SS Corrimal. It was launched by the UK government in the year 1911 and it was registered as a part of Sydney in 1912. During World War II, the Commonwealth Government purchased this ship to use it for supplying goods to the American troops through the Pacific region. The whole ship was built with a steam collier and steel-hull with a single screw. The weight of the entire ship was 1140 tones and stands 79.1 meter high.
The well-known company of that time, the Bitumen and Oil Refineries Australia Private Ltd, purchased the ship in the year 1950. And in 1951, the company sold the ship to the famous Miller Steamship Company Ltd. The company renamed it to “SS Ayrfield”. The Miller Steamship Company used the ship as a collier between Miller and Newcastle terminals for many years in the Blackwattle Bay. In the black darkness of the night, the ship would drove in the Blackwattle Bay through the minor opening of the swing bridge of the Glebe Island. The ship has done many tremendous journeys in many tremendous environments of high and low tides for almost 20 years under the Miller Steamship Company.
Now At Homebush Bay:
On 6th of October 1972, Ayrfield got its name removed from the list and its registration was cancelled. The collier was quite old to carry things now. So the collier was sent to rest in the Homebush Bay. The order was to break-up the old ship. The shipwreck’s bow is lying pointing towards the shore of the Homebush Bay and its hull is very near to the mouth of Haslams Creek. The ship is just behind the Sydney Olympic Park via the Bennelong parkway. Today, the shipwreck is rusty but beautiful to look at. There is huge vegetation that has grown over its surface as the ship has been stuck in the quiet waters of the Homebush Bay without maintenance. As per the orders the ship was broken but its hall still lies floating on the waters.
Among all the Wrecks in Homebush Bay, the most impressive one is no doubt the SS Ayrfield which is a full mangrove swamp now. The dark water, the creepy shipwreck and the stormy skies provides a perfect photography set for viewers. This residential suburb of Homebush Bay offers an amazing recreational area, nice accommodation and a lifestyle that has a wonderful appeal. Thus to witness a pristine environment Homebush Bay is a must visit place.