David Ross's Story and Picture page.
I decided to return to England from Australia in late 1973 after just finishing a five year term with the R.A.A.F. I booked a passage on the Australis northbound out of Sydney embarking on 3rd January 1974. Our ports of call were Melbourne, Suva, Acapulco, Balboa in Panama, onto Fort Lauderdale and lastly Southampton. Though it is now 30 years down the track with the help of this web-site and some of my photos I am starting to piece together my memories of what I would say was one of the best times in my life. Do you wonder, ...23 years of age, single and 5 weeks on a great boat! I lost contact with the people that I made friends with on that trip, but I remember them with fond thoughts.

Our trip was made more entertaining by having an artist by the name of Jeff St John traveling as a passenger, he gave many impromptu gigs. On the voyage, prior to our arrival at any of the ports, there was always a lecture on what lay ahead. During the talk before our arrival at Balboa, I remember being told to eat or drink only at the main hotel, no where else. What was the first place we saw?... Col Saunders Kentucky Fried Chicken, with its 11 secret herbs and spices. Amazing the things that stick in your mind. My photos are few, mainly of the Australis in Melbourne, Jeff in full flight, Panama and our group in Fort Lauderdale.

The group had been out for the day, not on an organized trip; we just hired a car and went off by ourselves. We took the day as it came, and if I remember correctly we nearly missed the boat by being late back. I hope these photos are of interest to everyone. Maybe some of my old companions may have their memories jogged.

I am devastated to see the old liner in such a state and decaying so fast. It is not practical at this time to visit the wreck, so the images from the beach were extremely informative and I must admit stirred my emotions quite deeply. I think that what you are doing ken is great, the old phrase “someone had to do it" comes to mind, and you have. Well done!
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The story and photos above are courtesy of David Ross.

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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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