Lost footy ground

Lost footy ground: Quarantine Station, Torrens Island, Adelaide


Quarantine Station, Torrens Island, Adelaide

I visited the quarantine station as part of a history tour last Sunday. It’s not easy to access and you have to be on an organised tour run by the South Australian Maritime Museum and pass through the security gates of the Power Station. This is OK because the quarantine station is now protected from vandals who caused a lot of damage after it was closed in 1980. One thing the vandals didn’t remove were the goalposts on what was obviously a kid’s footy ground and which I spotted on the walk to the Isolation Hospital and Morgue on the farther reaches of the site.

About Bernard Whimpress

Freelance historian (mainly sport) who has just written his 40th book. Will accept writing commissions with reasonable pay. Among his most recent books are George Giffen: A Biography, The Towns: 100 Years of Glory 1919-2018, Joe Darling: Cricketer, Farmer, Politician and Family Man (with Graeme Ryan) and The MCC Official Ashes Treasures (5th edition).


  1. Incredible – no red point posts!!?!

  2. “spotted on the walk to the Isolation Hospital and Morgue on the farther reaches of the site”

    Sheesh, the abandoned old overgrown kids footy ground would be depressing enough on it’s own… Sounds like the basis for a Smiths song!

  3. bernard whimpress says

    Evidently only 17 people died there in over 100 years and one immigrant wrote that it was ‘a place for healing, rebuilding and regaining health’. Living conditions were certainly far superior to those many of the 10 pound Poms experienced aboard ships in the 1950s. I was heartened by the footy ground and the idea of kids leading something like a normal life and for migrant children being exposed to the Australian game. On further checking I discovered the site was used in the 1990s as a children’s wilderness camp so the goalposts might date from that later period. Of course, one doesn’t want to find out too much because then the poetry of the place is lost.

  4. Top photo. One for the ages.

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