UNCOVERED: You can view the shipwreck but care must be taken.
UNCOVERED: You can view the shipwreck but care must be taken. Carl Porter.

Explained: How to view CQ's century-old shipwreck

FOR over a century, it lay beneath the sand until wild weather uncovered the secret.

But if you want to set eyes on this rare treasure, you'll have to get the timing right.

Initial tests suggest the shipwreck uncovered at Sandy Point on the Capricorn Coast could be the ketch Violet, which ran aground during a storm in 1896 while on a voyage south from Mackay.

Since The Morning Bulletin reported the discovery on Saturday, social media has been abuzz, with people hoping to get a glimpse of the wreck.

It was found at Sandy Point, the beach access to Corio Bay at the end of Farnborough Beach.

John McGrath, president of Capricorn Coast Surfrider Foundation, said there were more reasons than just the wreck to venture out to the area.

"It's quite an outstanding place visually because of these 4-5m tides which transform the bay from this essentially dry, sandy bay to this huge thing covered in water on high tide,” he said.

"It's quite striking. It's a beautiful place to go with the family.”

Section of Byfield National Park map.
Section of Byfield National Park map. Queensland Government

But John warned there were things to keep in mind before visiting.

"It's also really important environmentally for birds that fly all the way here from Siberia and they come here to feed and rest and the poor little things will die if they don't get to eat and rest without too much distraction or annoyance,” he said.

"Flatback turtles do nest along Farnborough Beach and around Sandy Point.

"I understand a lot of people are interested in seeing this wreck, we just ask that people don't drive on the dunes where the turtle nests are.

"Also, by driving on the dunes you're really adding to the damage to the dunes which means the point will continue receding and just change the whole landscape.

"Park on the beach, do the right thing and don't go driving over the dunes.”

While Sandy Point is only accessible to four-wheel drives, there are still ways to get to the area.

John said it was possible to drive up past Capricorn Resort, into Byfield National Park and parking at the end where the beach is accessible on foot.

No matter when you're planning to go, understanding tides is crucial with the wreck only visible at certain times.

With the wreck sitting about 150m out, John said it was completely covered at high tide and would need a tide of lower than 1.5m before exposed.

John said those travelling to Sandy Point should also be mindful of how fast tides could change, saying people had "got into serious trouble” in the past.

"People need to be really mindful it is a beautiful place, but things can go wrong really quickly and it's got potential for someone who doesn't know what they're doing to have a very bad day indeed,” he said.

"I think it's incredible you can have mysteries pop up and get solved after 100 years.”



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