'Brig Amity' – Albany, Australia - Atlas Obscura

'Brig Amity'

Albany, Australia

A replica of an early 19th-century vessel that sailed across the world.  


The Brig Amity is a full-size replica that pays tribute to the historic significance of the sea vessel Amity, a ship that was used in multiple early European journeys to Australia. Weighing a mighty 148 tons, it was constructed and launched from St Johns, the seaport of New Brunswick, Canada in 1816. The Brig Amity was used in several voyages between America and Great Britain. In 1823 it was purchased by the Ralston Family, a wealthy farming family from Scotland who wanted to seek new opportunities in Australia. 

In November 1823, Robert Ralston and his family set sail across the world with a crew of 21 passengers, in addition to several cows and other livestock. Their route took them from Stranraer across the Atlantic Ocean to Rio de Janeiro, before navigating their way to Hobart, Tasmania. The ship was then sold in Sydney to the Government of New South Wales, where it was used for various journeys around the east coast of Australia for exploration and supply purposes. 

In 1826, Brig Amity set sail to Western Australia and it was on this journey that they landed in Albany and set up what was the first European settlement on the west coast. Initially called Frederick Town, the settlement grew from a military garrison to a busy port which was a key part of the early industrial development of Australia.  

During a journey transporting cattle from Port Albert, Victoria to Hobart, Tasmania in 1844, the Brig Amity came into trouble after crashing into a sandbar just north of Tasmanian land. The decision to build a replica of the ship and show it to the public was made as part of the commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the town of Albany in 1976. 

Know Before You Go

The Brig Amity replica is part of the Museum of the Great Southern. There is an area of parking beside the ship. Entry to the main platform is free and visitors can pay a small fee to have a tour of the downstairs sections of the ship.  

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February 24, 2023

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