New South Wales

Granite Falls, George Boyd Lookout, Walter Hood Bay Part 2

LINKS to other pages in the New South Wales website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

Home Page
1 : Stanwell
2 : Milton
3 : Granite Falls and George Boyd Lookout
4 : Walter Hood Bay
5 : Shoalwater River and Yalwal Valley
6 : Bateman's Bay and Nelligen
7 : Mogood Mountain and Shallow Crossing
8 : Ulladulla
9 : Bundanon and Arthur Boyd
10 : Journey's End and Guest Book
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A short walk from the George Boyd Lookout leads to a sheltered rocky area on the escarpment - just the place to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, and delicious cakes
(left and below)

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Our coach is waiting to take us to the site of the wreck of the sailing ship, 'Walter Hood' in Wreck Bay.....

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The information below is an edited version of material to be found on the Lady Denman Association website and which refers to "A Collection of Shoalhaven History" by A. Clark (1994).

The Walter Hood Monument Walking Trail to Monument Beach, in the Cudmirrah Nature Reserve, lies within the Conjola State Forest. Access to the memorial cairn (pictured above right and below) is via Bangalay Road, Bendalong.

The 937 tonne Aberdeen White Star wooden clipper, 'Walter Hood', named after her builder, was (in 1853) the largest ship ever built in Scotland. The ship had an over-all length of 41 metres, beam 9.2 metres, and depth 6.4 metres, and provided accommodation for some passengers as well as the crew. She became a regular and much respected trader between London and Port Jackson for 17 years.

On January 20 1870 she left London skippered by Captain Andrew Latto and with a crew of 32 and three passengers, Joshua Haynes, John Smith and James Smith. Along with a full cargo which included lead, machinery, railway lines, wire, salt, tiles for St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney and many barrels, hogs heads and bottles of beer and wine to the total value of 27,440 pounds sterling.

On the evening of April 26 1870 the Walter Hood ran into a fierce gale, the ship began to labour heavily and was in great trouble. The rigging and most of the sails had been torn from the ship by the wind and, with no means to control the vessel, she was blown out to sea. The next morning land was sighted, but the storm still raged and the 'Walter Hood' crashed into rocks about two hundred yards from the shore on the southern side of Wreck Bay.

Captain Latto was injured and later perished as the ship began to break up. Seaman James Davis was washed over board and died. On the following day boatswain James Sinclair, passenger Joshua Haynes and seaman Joseph Ashton, being able to see the shore through the storm, attempted to swim for the beach but all were drowned in the swell. Later that night Edward Harvey, the ships cook, died of exhaustion.

The next day, during an attempts to swim for shore, Charles Bransonwas drowned but Robert Williams made it to the beach. Fifteen year old Charles Pritchard, First Officer William Hewison, Second Officer Cullen, seaman McPherson and apprentice Henry Gale also made it to shore.

On the fourth day the survivors still left on board were suffering from exposure, hunger and thirst. They killed the ships dog and drank its blood in an attempt to survive until they were rescued. That same day James and John Smith along with seaman Croy made it to shore.

On the fifth day of the ordeal the steamer Illalong rescued the remaining survivors on the 'Walter Hood'. Six of those lost on board were buried on the shore. In 1927 their remains were moved to higher ground. A cairn with an inscribed marble tablet (below) marks the graves today. The wreckage now consists of some recognisable machinery, railway lines, coils of wire, barrels and pieces of tiles and bottles, all lying in approximately six metres of water.

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Wreck Bay, site of the 'Walter Hood' disaster (left and below)

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