Ship ahoy! Fraser Island's famous SS Maheno shipwreck will play a pivotal role in the ANZAC Day centenary commemorations in region... and you could be part of this historical event on the world's largest sand island.
The SS Maheno, named after a tiny rural town in the South Island of New Zealand, was originally built as a luxury cruise liner operating on the trans-Tasman run between Australia and New Zealand. As World War I broke out, the liner was converted to a hospital ship and, some four months after the Gallipoli campaign started, was anchored offshore and served as a floating hospital for thousands of Australian and several hundred New Zealand soldiers.
When ANZACS were transferred to the French western front, the Maheno was there to transport soldiers from particularly bloody battles in Fromelles and Somme.
With ANZAC centenary celebration planning underway, the folks at Rotary have stepped in to fund the passage of seven school children, their families and teachers, from the town of Maheno, who will bring the original ship's bell across the Tasman. A replica will ring during a special ANZAC ceremony on April 25 and another will be given to the Maritime Museum in Brisbane. And here's what's happening a little closer to town...
WHAT: Anzac Day Centenary Commemoration on Fraser Island.
CEREMONY TIME: 10am sharp (high tide on the Eastern Beach 0043/1339). The ceremony will go for 1 hour.
WHAT TO BRING: Please bring water, a hat, snacks and sensible sun gear (this will not be available for purchase on the day).
Day guests travelling from Hervey Bay can book a pick-up from Marina Kiosk (the Big Whale) at Urangan at 0600 sharp and will be transferred to River Heads (walk-on ferry) for the 0645 service to Kingfisher Bay Resort and 4WD coach transfer to The Maheno for the service. Cost: $95* per person. Guests will return on the 1400 or 1700 service ex Kingfisher Bay Resort. Bookings are essential. Transfers are not available from Rainbow Beach.
Please pre-book in advance and meet at Reception at 0720 SHARP where you will be transferred by 4WD coach to The Maheno for the service. Cost is $50* per person. Approximate return to the resort 1330.
The folks at Kingfisher Bay Resort* are offering one night in a standard hotel room on April 24, with buffet breakfast and walk-on ferry for $220 twin share. This offer is not available with any other offer and ceremony transfers are not included (see above).
TO BOOK: Ring Kingfisher Bay Resort Reservations on 1800 072 555 (it's a free call within Australia).