The Swiss Family Robinson tells the story about a Swiss family who was shipwrecked in the East Indies while traveling to Port Jackson, Australia. As the ship battles a storm, the other passengers evacuate, leaving the Swiss family to survive on their own. The ship survives the night, and with the morning light, they see a deserted island. They make their way to it in rafts, and this becomes their home for the remainder of the novel. At first, they set up a makeshift camp as they explore the island and travel back and forth to the ship to bring anything useful to the island. The first structure that they live in is their famous treehouse, but as time passes, and after Elizabeth is hurt from climbing down the treehouse, they move into a cave.