Shipwrecks near Brisbane

the old whaling station to create a sheltered haven behind. Wreck of the Gayundah, Woody Point. A grand old lady HMAS Gayundah – Royal Australian Navy.

One of the easiest shipwrecks to see by anyone living in Brisbane is the HMS Gayundah at Woody Point Beach in Woody Point (near Redcliffe). It’s best viewed from the Gayundah Arboretum and while it’s not a particularly grand sight, it’s an interesting addition to what is otherwise a leafy picnic area.
HMQS Gayundah was a flat-iron gunboat operated by the Queensland Maritime Defence Force and later the Royal Australian Navy (as HMAS Gayundah). She entered service in 1884 and was decommissioned and sold to a civilian company in 1921. She then served as sand and gravel barge for in Brisbane until the 1950s, when she was scrapped. In 1958, Gayundah was run aground at Woody Point near Redcliffe, to serve as a breakwater structure.

HMQS Gayundah

Exposed wreck of the SS Dicky today – the iron steamboat ran aground in Caloundra during heavy seas on February 4, 1893

  • At Dicky Beach in Caloundra, on the Sunshine Coast, you will find the SS Dicky. This shipwreck, which has been here since 1893 when it ran aground in heavy seas, won’t be around for much longer though, as it’s scheduled to be relocated at some point in the future. The remains of the shipwreck – its exposed ‘ribs’ of the hull and keel – will be relocated in coming months, after a council taskforce deemed the wreck a public safety risk for swimmers.

    Bulwer – Morton Island

There are 3 ships at The Bulwer Wrecks that were scuttled on the beach at Bulwer, Moreton Island by Robert Alexander Gow deliberately for a sheltered area to load and unload his 12 metre boat in the early 1930’s. The main ship was the Kallatina, a steel steamer of 628 tons which was Built at Glasgow in 1890 and bought from the State Government by John Burke Ltd, It was scuttled in 1931. The Hopewell was scuttled in 1930, which is the ship on the right when looking at the ocean. At the back running parallel to the beach is the 716 ton Mt Kembla also scuttled in 1930, it was 180′ long and built in England in 1885 for Mt Kembla Coal and Oil Company.

Tangalooma – Moreton Island

One of the most famous wrecks on Moreton Island is the Tangalooma Wrecks. Fifteen vessels that were deliberately sunk to form a break-wall for small boats also creating an amazing wreck dive and snorkel site. Snorkeling and scuba diving at this site is an incredible adventure. The crystal clear waters provide fantastic visibility to view marine life and coral formations such as wobbegongs, trevally, king fish, yellow tail and an array of tropical fish.

  • The Tangalooma wrecks came about in 1963 as a result of lobbying by recreational boat owners for a safe anchorage. The wrecks consists of a line of old Harbours and Marine Department steam driven dredges and barges on the edge of a sandbank that were deliberately sunk with the Maryborough being the first vessel.

    Maheno- Fraser Island
The most well-known shipwreck in the Queensland, possibly even Australia, the Maheno Shipwreck is located on the eastern side of the even more well-known Fraser Island. Admittedly, it will take longer than a day to visit it from Brisbane, but Fraser Island is somewhere you should go at least one, so remember the ship when you are here. It’s a must-see on any tours to the island, though it can get quite busy and climbing on the frame is no longer permitted.
The Maheno was built in Scotland in 1904 and was the world’s first ever triple screw steamer, weighing a massive 5323 tonnes. It also held the blue ribbon in trans-Atlantic crossing for several years after she was launched. The Maheno was then used as a hospital ship in WW 1, following which it was purchased by a Sydney shipping company who planned to use it between Sydney and New Zealand. After several years of this trans Tasman journey the Maheno was sold to a Japanese shipping company, that at the time were running very low on funds. The company made the decision to sell the huge brass propellers from under the still-working Maheno. The reason behind this was to fund the towing of the Maheno by a ship named the Ottawa back to Osaka, Japan. Once in Japan the Maheno was to be melted down and be sold as scrap metal. It was on this journey that the Maheno was hit by an unseasonal cyclone off the coast of Fraser

Under the peat of the 18 Mile Swamp on North Stradbroke Island, Queensland lie the remains of a mysterious shipwreck, built of European oak, known as the Stradbroke Island Galleon. In Queensland in the 19th century a few whites and certain Stradbroke Aborigines knew the shipwreck’s location but over the years this important historic knowledge has been lost.  Stradbroke oral history says that the shipwreck was a Spanish expedition exploring the edges of their Pacific domain and that the survivors of the shipwreck were helped by the Stradbroke Island Aborigines and, unable to return to Spain or Manila, the shipwrecked Spanish sailors were absorbed by Stradbroke’s Aboriginal population.

Published by Ladymaggic

Artist, Traveller, Researcher and Writer, currently living in Australia where I photograph and share experiences and events as I travel. Travel photos and videos about many places in Australia​ and the world

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