This was one of the first adventures that James and I went on as a couple and there really isn’t anything much more adventurous than exploring shipwrecks in the Coromandel.
Driving down the coastline past Kaiaua in the Firth of Thames you would be forgiven for not knowing that she was even resting on the rocks or that you could venture over to see her bones by picking your way through the old shingle works.
Forever the explorer James knew that it was there though! And just incase you don’t have a James – here is a map to find it (see – it’s like being a treasure hunter already!)
We pulled up and happened to have the farmer pass at the same time – James called out to ask if we could shortcut across the farm – something that I (forever the city girl) would never have dreamed to ask. He agreed and we were off.
It was a cool June morning, the type that sees the fog blanket the Hauraki Planes until the middle of the morning with the pale winter sun finally breaking through so the setting couldn’t have been more perfect.
In the years since the she has been resting here Terns have settled in to live there and trees grow out of the roof – it really is quite spectacular.
We sensibly listened to the warning signs to not go in the shipwreck but we were still able to get so close to see inside this once proud ship – trying to build her up in our heads as to how she may have looked then.
We spent a good hour there exploring, taking photos (seriously a photographer’s dream location – I would love to come back here when it was foggy or at sunset) and then headed off down the road to the Bay View Hotel for a well earned beer and burger. They don’t have a website but you can find out more about them here…
Once home and looking at my photos curiosity kicked in and I had to do a bit of searching on the ship wreck – here’s what we found (we have to remember it as we have a canvas of her on our wall which visitors ask about her history)…
- This boat is actually the HMNZS HINAU – a Royal New Zealand Navy WWII minesweeper, but she is widely credited with being the wreck of the Guy C Goss boat – the ashes of which this boat does indeed rest upon – both sharing the same final resting place
- To share some more of the history of the Guy C Goss (the more romantic and acclaimed of the two) she was build in 1879 in the US
- She spent two decades salmon fishing in Alaska
- She sailed to NZ in 1926 but was embroiled in a dispute around wages
- After languishing in the Auckland Harbour she was auctioned off in 1927, partly dismantled and towed to the Firth of Thames and run ashore and used by a shingle company as a store ship and workers residence
- In 1935 a fire burnt her to the waterline leaving her in the state we see her now, some 80 years later
- In 1998 she featured on the cover of Dave Dobbyn’s album – The Islander
Whatever her name or how she got here she is a beauty well worth visiting. There’s a great link to a video of here as well..