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Photo Details
Photographer:Gordy [View profile]Title:WANGANELLAAdded:Jul 25, 2015
Photo Category: Cruise Ships and Liners built before 1950


1929 - 1970

9,576 gross tons, 5,625 net.

Lbd: 461'2" x 63'9" x 29'1".

Two 4-stroke Burmeister & Wain 8 Cylinders Diesels (6750 BHP) Maximum speed 17 knots Service speed 15 knots Crew 160 Passengers 304 First Class and 104 Second Class

Registered Port of Melbourne Steel twin screw motor vessel built 1929 by Harland and Wolff as the Achimota. Launched for Elder Dempster Lines but after a trial (and their inability to pay for her) , she was laid up until 1932 when bought by Huddart Parker & Co Ltd., and renamed Wanganella.

An excellent acquisition for this concern, she was fitted as built with twin diesels, 6,750 brake horsepower and capable of 16 1/2 knots. Of her twin funnels, one housed machinery whilst the other contained refrigeration.

She could carry up to 400 passengers on the trans-tasman trade, occassionally working Australian port-to-port routes. Acquisitioned 1941 for the Allied war effort and converted into a hospital ship.

Survived unscathed Bombay harbour April 14th 1944 when a nearby ammunition ship exploded. Her wartime journeys accounted for over 250,000 knots and 13,875 passengers. Postwar she was refitted for normal duties and travelled Sydney to Vancouver 1946.

Her return saw planned resumption of trans-tasman duties however on the first postwar journey there she struck Barrets Reef, Wellington, survived but removed from service until 1948.

With the merger/takeover in 1961 of this concern by McIwraith McEacharn Ltd., she flew their colours and was subsequently sold 1963 to New Zealand interests.

In 1963 a last-minute reprieve from the scrapyard came from engineers tendering for the contract for construction of the Manapouri Power Station.

Between 1963 and 1970 the Wanganella was moored in Doubtful Sound to be used as a hostel for workers building the tailrace tunnel, and the Wilmot Pass access road. At this juncture she was utilised as a floating hostel for the workers on a hydro-electric scheme in southern New Zealand.

Upon completion of the scheme she was sold to Hong Kong shipbreakers Clean up and investigate alleged owners Hang Fung Shipping & Trading Co of Hong Kong who operated her under the same name as depicted on the present slide before she became a floating accommodation ship in New Zealand

Photo Credits: Victorian State Library/The Trove Australia National Library
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AIS information: N/A
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Photo Comments (3)

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Mr. DOT on Jul 26, 2015 06:09 (3 years ago)
another great post, regards mrdot.
Gordy on Jul 26, 2015 04:16 (3 years ago)
Thanks John, I thought it was but not absolutely sure
JohnWH on Jul 26, 2015 03:06 (3 years ago)
Sailing from Wellington after WWII. Kind regards, John
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