Solitary Islands Marine Park

Mysteries of the deep revealed

By Matt Deans - Coffs Coast Advocate

The history of shipwrecks of the Solitary Islands Marine Park, underwater Gallipoli battlefields and even a Japanese midget submarine will be revealed at the National Marine Science Centre later this week.

The deputy director of the Heritage Branch, NSW Department of Planning and NSW State Government Maritime Archaeologist, Tim Smith, will share his knowledge of some of the historic wrecks he has been involved in identifying, mapping in Australia and internationally.

Marine Parks Authority officer Chantelle Burns said maritime archaeology is important because it helps us to explore our past and protect it for future generations.

“The Solitary Islands Marine Park has a number important shipwreck sites like that of the Buster, sometimes exposed and visible on Woolgoolga Beach,” Ms Burns said.

“The 310-ton timber barquentine Buster was driven ashore near the mouth of Woolgoolga Lake during a storm in 1893.”

Mr Smith’s presentation will focus on the maritime heritage of the Solitary Islands and also some of his recent work mapping the underwater battlefield at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, Turkey.

He will also provide an insight into the ongoing management of the Japanese midget submarine site M24, which sank off Sydney in 1942.

His presentation on Thursday will begin at 6.30pm and is free.