The Maheno shipwreck is one of those must visit places on Fraser Island. You’ll find it on 75 Mile Beach on the eastern side of the island, not far past Eli Creek.
The ship ended up beached on the island during a cyclone in 1935 and has laid there wasting away ever since.
The Maheno was built in Scotland in 1905 and was the world’s first ever triple screw steamer. She was initially built as a luxury passenger ship. During World War 1 she served as a hospital ship treating and transporting the wounded from Gallipoli and the Western Front. She was later used by a shipping company for journeys between Sydney and New Zealand.
By 1935 the ship had been declared outdated and taken out of service and was sold to a scrapping company in Japan.
On 8 July 1935, while under tow to Japan, the Maheno became caught in a cyclone and the towline broke. After drifting in rough seas, the Maheno eventually beached on Fraser Island.
The ship was unable to be re-floated and no buyers wanted her, so she was abandoned on the beach and remains there today.
It is said that the locals put the shipwreck to use in the year or so after it washed ashore by holding weddings and concerts aboard. Years later the wreck was used as bombing practice during World War 2.
She has definitely been showing her age in recent years as the constant battering of waves and the environment take their toll on her. Our photos of the Maheno from our first visit to the island 13 years ago compared to now definitely show the deterioration.
Today, the rusting hull is all that remains and this is gradually being washed away with every tide, wave and storm that hits.
Definitely still one of our favourite places to visit and photograph on the island though.