The Mutton Cove Ships’ Graveyard is one of five abandonment sites within the Port Adelaide area, with others located at Garden Island, Jervois Basin, Angas Inlet and Broad Creek.
Circa 1945, before an embankment was constructed across the entrance to Mutton Cove, two obsolete vehicles were deliberately abandoned within Mutton Creek.
The steamer Excelsior (1897 – 1945) was deposited at the end of the waterway, while the ex-Murray River paddler, Jupiter (1866 – 1940s) was discarded on the western bank.
Today the Excelsior’s extensive remains are a predominant feature in the area, while timbers and other material from the Jupiter are mostly covered by mud.
Excelsior was built in Scotland and first worked on the north coast of NSW and later from Tahiti. In the early 1900s it transferred to the control of flour millers (John Darling and Sons) (1908) and the SA Farmers Union Cooperative (1912). In its later life it was a coal hulk before being laid up and abandoned.