The Wallabies slumped to their fourth straight Test loss - their worst streak in four years - in a bitterly disappointing display in front of 43,715 stunned fans on Saturday night.
Never before had Australia lost to the Springboks in seven meetings at the old Lang Park but that unbeaten record was dead in the water with 20 minutes to play.
The Boks dominated the scrum, the collisions and the breakdown throughout to lay the platform for a four-tries-to-nil drubbing that gave the visitors their biggest win against the Wallabies on Australian soil.
It more than doubled the margin of their previous best - 18-6 at the SCG in 1971 - and also gave the South Africans their first win on the east coast in 14 matches since the code went professional in 1996.
The Wallabies had aimed to run the big Boks pack into the ground but were badly beaten at the breakdown and consistently under pressure at scrum time.
Instead it was the South African backs who lit the game up with a three-try blitz in eight minutes to blow the home side away midway through the second half.
Although they were unable to go close to scoring in the first hour, Australia were still in the contest at 19-12 before Boks skipper Jean de Villiers started and finished a brilliant blind-side raid.
There was more specials skills from Ruan Pienaar and Willie Le Roux to put Zane Kirchner over four minutes later, and then Le Roux rubbed salt into Wallaby wounds by punishing a Quade Cooper turnover.
It wasn't a great night for Cooper in his long-awaited return to the No.10 jersey as he struggled to spark Australia's under-pressure attack.
He also gave away the penalty that led to the Springboks storming to an early lead with reserve prop Coenie Oosthuizen barging past him to score in the sixth minute.
Israel Folau's move to fullback failed to reap the rewards expected as the game-breaker was often ignored out wide, while the Boks impressive loose-forwards also forced a first-half penalty goal by trapping him after a kick-return.
But largely it was a painful experience for the Wallabies' greenhorn pack who sorely missed captain James Horwill (hamstring) as well as other sidelined enforcers.
Australia failed to get any attacking rhythm or momentum with the visitors' defence holding firm, and their forwards forcing a string of penalties and turnovers at the breakdown - the area the Wallabies traditionally dominate.
The Springboks also slowed down the game effectively, and were helped by extra big-screen replays that referee George Clancy regularly demanded.
Christian Lealiifano scored Australia's only points through four three-pointers as they failed to capitalise on some first-half attacking chances and the early sin-binning of flanker Willem Alberts.
Michael Hooper was also yellow-carded in the second half when he pulled off a tip tackle on Bryan Habana, but the Boks wreaked their havoc when he returned to the fray.