A long-buried shipwreck emerged in a northern NSW town this week, causing a flurry of excitement as locals flocked to catch a glimpse.

The 128-year-old shipwreck of The Buster resurfaced on Woolgoolga Beach at the mouth of Lake Woolgoolga, leaving many locals shocked.

Lisa Nichols, the editor of local paper Woopi News, told news.com.au many long-term residents never knew the preserved ship was hidden under the sand.

"It's probably the most photographed thing in Woolgoolga at the moment," Nichols said.

"There's something more glorious about it at the moment. I don't know what it is.

"It just seems to look more spectacular this time."

The Buster was wrecked in Woolgoolga in 1893. Picture: James McLennan
The Buster was wrecked in Woolgoolga in 1893. Picture: James McLennan

 

 

 

The 39-metre-long Buster is a barquentine, originally built in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1884. It arrived at the Woolgoolga Jetty in 1893, to pick up a load of timber it was due to carry to New Zealand.

But when a storm hit, the ship's anchor cable snapped and its holding chains failed, and the Buster was eventually beached 200 metres down the beach near the mouth of the Woolgoolga Lake, according to the local tourism site.

"It's amazing to look at. The photos don't do it justice. When you see it, it's just petrified wood," Nichols said.

She said recent wild weather, including heavy storms and rough seas, had made the ship more visible than usual.

In the mornings there are crowds of people on Woolgoolga Beach photographing the wreck.

The Buster previously suffered damage

Ms Nichols said, some time ago, an off-road driver damaged the wreck while driving their 4WD on the beach.

"The (driver) broke a few pieces of it and the Maritime (authorities) decided it was best to bury the broken pieces of the ship."

The ship has resurfaced after recent heavy rains and wild surf. Picture: James McLennan
The ship has resurfaced after recent heavy rains and wild surf. Picture: James McLennan

Ashley Sambrooks from the Coffs Coast Council told news.com.au the site of the resurfaced ship was "all a bit exciting".

But she stressed the Buster was a historic wreck and fell within the The Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. Anyone visiting the wreck is encouraged to be respectful of the site.

Further images and information about the Buster can be found at the Coffs Coast website.

Ms Nichols said she first heard about the wreck 10 or 15 years ago, but had been visiting the area since she was a child.

"It shows how much the sands shift," she said.

She remembers playing cricket on the beach when she was a child, and using parts of the ship sticking out of the sand as wickets.

"But we never realised it was a shipwreck underneath us."

Originally published as 'Glorious' hidden shipwreck resurfaces



Taroom grazier catches up with Coles buyers at Beef

Premium Content Taroom grazier catches up with Coles buyers at Beef

Coles has announced it has partnered with 30 more Australian farming families.

Bring on 2024: Beef 2021 a triumphant success

Premium Content Bring on 2024: Beef 2021 a triumphant success

Attendance at the 2021 event is expected to surpass the 100,000 visitors from...

Woman helps friend break into home after eviction

Premium Content Woman helps friend break into home after eviction

The victim observed, via CCTV, people breaking into his house.