Why is the Maheno Shipwreck so famous?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/12/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

The Maheno Shipwreck is one of the many fascinating landmarks to see in K’gari.

Maheno Shipwreck K'gari

K’gari (Fraser Island) is a beautiful island that sits on the east coast of Australia. On the island lies this huge and now rusted ship.

In 1935, New Zealand sold the SS Maheno to Japan for scrapes. When the ship was being taken to Japan, a cyclone broke the chain, which led the Maheno to be washed up on K’gari’s 75 Mile Beach.

What were the Maheno ships used for?

The SS Maheno was first used to transport people between Auckland and Sydney. But during WWI, the ship was a hospital ship and would carry soldiers who were wounded or the casualties.

Where can I see the Maheno Shipwreck?

The Maheno Shipwreck was washed up on K’gari’s 75 Mile Beach. But of course, that’s a 120 kilometre long beach where the ship sits on. If you’re planning to check it out, it’s best to go on a tour or search it up on your digital maps.

Maheno Shipwreck Fraser Island

Other things to see nearby

K’gari is the world’s largest sand island, so you can only imagine everything you can see here! From swimming holes to amazing lookouts and more, the island has it all.

• The Pinnacles
Along 75 Mile Beach is where you can see K’gari’s own Pinnacles. The Pinnacles are interesting multi-coloured towers of sand dunes.

We recommend seeing the Pinnacles at sunrise as the light starts to light up the range of colours of the Pinnacles.

• Eli Creek
Eli Creek is a freshwater swimming hole that is the perfect place to cool off. Follow the boardwalk along the creek and find a spot to sit down. Eli Creek is also a popular picnic spot to relax in the shade and somewhere to enjoy some snacks.

• Lake Wabby
Lake Wabby is K’gari’s deepest lake and is an emerald green colour. The lake sits against the trees and has sand that walks you down into the water.

If you go swimming here, you may feel something brush against you, and it could be one of the 13 different fish species.

Lake Wabby

• Indian Head
Indian Head is easily one of the best lookout points on K’gari. The lookout has views of the coastline and the glistening blue water.

Indian Head is also one of the few places on the island that isn’t made of sand! This part of the island is volcanic rock from millions of years ago.

To see the Maheno Shipwreck for yourself, make your way to K’gari either with a hired 4WD or book a tour. You can book a tour and leave from Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.