The SS Dicky Shipwreck: Coastal Heritage

ss dicky shipwreck sunshine coast

The SS Dicky shipwreck, once a poignant reminder of maritime history, evolved into a captivating subject for photographers along the Sunshine Coast. During my university days, I would head down to Dicky Beach every month or so with my Nikon D60, to try my hand at some sunrise shots. On busy mornings there would always be other photographers there justling for position as they setup their compositions.

dicky beach shipwreck the ss dicky

Other photographers at the SS Dicky for sunrise photos

If you were there at the right time when the waves were at the perfect height between tides, you could capture a long exposure shot at sunrise or sunset where the water would create this cool ‘misty’ effect around the rusting metal like in the shot below.

ss dicky shipwreck sunshine coast

The boat was originally registered in Hong Kong in 1886 before being re-registered in Sydney in 1888 to service the ports of Southern Queensland. After leaving Rockhampton on the 1st of February 1893, it headed down towards the Port of Brisbane but was struck by a heavy storm and was forced to anchor in Noosa while the crew emptied water from the ship’s stoke hold. As the ship made its was further down the Sunshine Coast towards Brisbane the captain reportedly steered the ship leeward to avoid more bad weather.

the ss dicky shipwreck

The SS Dicky Shipwreck at Sunrise

As a result of heading off course, the ship became beached at Caloundra Head and was not able to be successfully re-floated after multiple attempts. The parts of the ship were then sold at auction and the hull of the boat was left to rust on the beach, eventually becoming a tourist attraction and having the beach (Dicky Beach) named after it. After 122 years the shipwreck was removed from Dicky Beach for public safety.

SS Dicky Shipwreck Caloundra

A closeup image of the rusted hull of the SS Dicky on Dicky Beach.

The SS Dicky shipwreck not only served as a canvas for photographers but also as a symbol of resilience against nature’s might. While the physical structure may no longer grace the shores of Dicky Beach, the memories and images captured by countless sunrise and sunset sessions continue to immortalize its legacy. The shipwreck’s story—from its service across the seas to its final days as a serene photography spot—remains a poignant chapter in the coastal heritage of the Sunshine Coast.

There are many great great walks around this location with other attractions and prisitne beaches to see. Check out some of the walking trails below;

Currimundi to Dicky Beach Walk

Caloundra Coastal Path from Currimundi Lake to Kings Beach

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