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Gayundah Wreck at Woody Point

Home > Brisbane > Outdoor | Picnic Spots | Places of Interest | Unusual Things to do
by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer living in Brisbane.
Published July 14th 2017
Check the Wreck before it goes
The Gayundah Wreck at Woody Point is returning to the ocean. Not a last voyage though; the relentless waves are quickly breaking up the landmark at the cliffs near Redcliffe.I urge you to visit this historical old girl before she disappears. She is performing her "swan song" in a final effort to hold back the ravages of the sea.

Gayundah_wreck, wreck, Woody Point cliffs
Gayundah Wreck 1 (image by writer)


A Brief History of the Gayundah
HMQS Gayundah was a flat-iron design Gunboat. It was commissioned by the Queensland Maritime Defence Force from the famous ship-building yards in Newcastle-on-Tyne in England. It took the 36 metre ship four months to arrive in Australia in 1884. Gayundah is an Aboriginal word for "lightning". It was used to protect the Queensland coastline and it was a training ship. It was passed onto the Royal Australian Navy in 1911 and became HMAS Gayundah and was used as a mine sweeper until the end of World War 1. It's main claim to fame is that it was the first warship in Australia to use ship-to-shore wireless telegraphy.

Gayundah_wreck, wreck, Woody_point, cliffs, wrecks
Gayundah Wreck 2 B&W (image by writer)


It was subsequently decommissioned and then sold to a civilian Melbourne company in 1921. It became a sand and gravel barge on the Brisbane River until the 1950s. It was finally scrapped in 1958 and beached at Woody Point to be a breakwater structure. It then protected the shore, not from enemies, but from erosion. The bow collapsed in 2016 so its story is almost complete.

Guyundah_wreck, Woody_point, cliffs, wrecks, breakwater
Gayundah Wreck 3 (image by writer)


Reasons to Visit the Wreck
It is one of the few beached ships in Queensland.
You can have a beautiful walk in the vicinity - with or without your dog.

Great place for a run - as the locals know.
You can picnic on the grassy knoll.
Or you can visit one of the many excellent cafes in the area.
Bike riders are well catered for along the waterfront.
It's a photographer's paradise (I hope you like my photos).
Artists can sketch or paint an ever-changing subject.
It has its own film: Mutiny on the Gayundah.
And last but not least, it won't last much longer.

guyundah_wreck, wrecks, woody_point, breackwater, wrecks
Gayundah Wreck 4 B&W (image by writer)


A final word of warning: It is dangerous. Keep off the wreck!

Guyundah_wreck, keep_off, woody point sign
Keep Off (image by writer)
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Why? See it before it disappears under the waves.
When: Anytime - but make ut soon
Where: Cliffs of Woody Point near Redcliffe
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great story and pics May. I wrote an article about Gayundah and the other gunboat Paluma in 2015 which was published in Townsville Bulletin. I didn't know that's where Gayundah ended up
by Roz Glazebrook (score: 2|234) 128 days ago
What an interesting story. I must visit next I'm that way. Are there other sites like that in QLD?
by lockb (score: 1|63) 113 days ago
Very fascinating! Nice photos!
by Anthony Carrick (score: 2|240) 127 days ago
What an interesting story! I must visit the next time I'm up that way. Are there other sites like this in SE Queensland?
by lockb (score: 1|63) 113 days ago
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