Fire on the Australis.
The newspaper clipping below was sent to me by ex-passemger Peter Van de Ven who was on the northbound journey in October 1970 when a fire broke out between New Zealand and Fiji. Peter was only ten years old at the time but still remembers the fire after all these years. His Mum sent the newspaper article through to him in Holland, she had also written the following comments on the fire:
In the 12 hours on deck we only had cheese, biscuits and bully beef plus pineapple juice. The first time we sat down for a proper meal was 40 hours later and the whole meal was meat and vegetable soup. We were all very sunburnt, hot and hungry. The toilet situation was rather desperate as well with only 3 toilets opened up the whole day-one person at a time!. All the water was too hot to wash our faces or hands with. Everyday we were taken by bus to a different hotel for the most luscious meals ever invented. None of our belongings were damaged at all so we were a lot luckier than many others who had lost everything.

I have converted the file below into a Acrobat Reader PDF so that they will not take too long to download with a decent internet connection. You will also be able to zoom in and out to make it easier to read the report. If you need to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader then please follow the instructions below.

*The link to the PDF file is just below the following instructions.*
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The Fiji Times Newspaper report.

1.  Fiji Times, Monday Oct. 26, 1970.

Many thanks to ex-passenger Peter Van De Ven for his contribution to the site

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More Fiji Times Newspaper clippings

2.  Read more Fiji Newspaper clippings

Many thanks to ex-passenger Thomas Petersen for his contribution to the site

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Welcome all visitors to the S.S. Australis Website, which has now been online since 1998!

I will continue to update the site if I receive a new story, or if you have interesting photos taken on the ship during your voyage on either the southbound, northbound, or on one of the South Pacific cruises. We used to do those trips several times a year from Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland (New Zealand).

I am deeply moved by the interest and wonderful contributions from the numerous passengers and crew over many years.

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You can send an e-mail to me on the link below:

Please feel free to e-mail me on this link

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Warm Regards


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