Historical information

Loch Ard was bound for Melbourne in 1878 loaded with passengers and cargo when it ran into a rocky reef at the base of Mutton Bird Island, near Port Campbell. Of the 54 crew members and passengers on board, only two survived: an apprentice, Tom Pearce and a young woman passenger, Eva Carmichael, who lost all of her family in the tragedy.

The wreck of Loch Ard still lies at the base of Mutton Bird Island and much of the cargo has been salvaged. Some was washed up into what is now known as Loch Ard Gorge following the shipwreck. Cargo and artefacts have also been illegally salvaged over many years before protective legislation was introduced.


The photograph is significant for its association with the wreck of the Loch Ard. This wreck has been protected as a Historic Shipwreck since 11 March 1982, under the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act (1976)
Flagstaff Hill’s collection of artefacts from Loch Ard is significant for being one of the largest
collections of artefacts from this shipwreck in Victoria. It is significant for its association with the shipwreck, which is on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The collection is significant because of the relationship between the objects, as together they have a high potential to interpret the story of the Loch Ard.
The Loch Ard collection is archaeologically significant as the remains of a large international
passenger and cargo ship.
The Loch Ard collection is historically significant for representing aspects of Victoria’s shipping history and its potential to interpret sub-theme 1.5 of Victoria’s Framework of Historical Themes (living with
natural processes).
The collection is also historically significant for its association with the Loch Ard, which was one of the worst and best known shipwrecks in Victoria’s history.
The Loch Ard collection meets the following criteria for assessment:
Criterion A: Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria’s cultural history.
Criterion B: Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria’s cultural
Criterion C: Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of
Victoria’s cultural history.

Physical description

Photograph of Miss Eva Carmichaels Cave at Loch Ard Gorge where the survivors found shelter. Reverse has four areas of torn surface, perhaps were photo had been mounted. Hand written text in pencil and in ink.

Inscriptions & markings

Reverse of photograph
Hand written in pencil “ … refuge … which he … offer words … Miss Carmichael. He then … on the …“
Hand written in ink “Loch Ard Gorge / Miss Carmichael’s cave” and “ Mr J Swinton / Warrnambool / March 1895”