Maheno Shipwreck

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By 1935 the ship had been declared outdated and taken out of service and was sold to a scrapping company in Japan.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.

Maheno Shipwreck & Eli Creek

Early yesterday we took a drive around a few of the inland tracks while we waited for our friends to arrive on the island.

As this was their first visit to Fraser Island, after setting up camp they were ready to start exploring so we headed off to check out the shipwreck and go for a swim in Eli Creek.

The Maheno shipwreck is one of the must see things when you visit Fraser Island.

The Maheno was driven ashore in 1935 during a cyclone.

The Maheno was once a well-known trans-Tasman liner and was bound for a Japanese wrecking yard when she was washed ashore.

Next stop for us was Eli Creek. Eli Creek is the largest creek on the eastern beach of Fraser Island. Apparently up to 4 million litres of fresh water pours from the creek into the ocean every hour.

The boardwalk winds its way along the creek and as you reach the end it’s the ideal place to jump in and float down the fast flowing creek.

Lake Allom / Maheno Shipwreck / Eli Creek

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 Lake Allom (known to us as Turtle Lake) is one of our favourite places to visit on Fraser Island.  You never have a visit there without seeing turtles, they come right up to the viewing platform.  I love turtles and these little guys are so cute, it’s awesome to be able to see them this close up.

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Lake Allom is one of the inland freshwater lakes and it’s surrounded completely by Mellaluca trees.  The water of Lake Allom is black, which is as a result of the tannin from the trees surrounding the lake.

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The pic above is just one of the examples of amazing trees you will see on Fraser Island.  This tree was down at Lake Allom and was so dead straight and so tall, amazing!  And this little boy was waiting at our car when we got back to the carpark.  There is a picnic area just up from the lake so I’m sure that’s why these guys are always hanging out there!

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SS Maheno shipwreck

This is another ‘must visit’ place on Fraser Island. The Maheno was built in Scotland in 1905 and was the world’s first ever triple screw steamer.  She was built as a luxury passenger ship. During World War 1 she served as a hospital ship and later was 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 overnight, the Maheno beached on the east coast of Fraser Island.

The Maheno was unable to be re-floated and no buyers wanted her, so she was abandoned on the beach and remains there today.

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The Maheno when she first beached on Fraser Island

On the way back to camp we called in to Eli Creek.  As usual, the water was freezing and being later in the afternoon there was no way we were swimming!  Eli Creek is the largest creek on the eastern beach and up to 4 million litres of fresh water pour into the ocean each hour.

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What a beautiful way to end the day.