SS Australian was built in Dundee, Scotland, in 1879. The vessel worked as a steam coaster carrying wheat from and between South Australian outports. On its final voyage the vessel was carrying 3,300 bags of wheat from Elliston, Eyre Peninsula, to Port Victoria under the command of Captain Gustafsen.
On 8 May 1912, during a blinding sand storm, SS Australian ran onto a reef on the south-eastern corner of Wardang Island.
Today, the wreck lies underwater at a depth of about 8m.