S.S. Dicky wreck

The S.S. Dicky was an iron-hulled steamer, driven ashore at Caloundra during a cyclone in 1893.

A number of efforts were made to re-float the Dicky but on each occasion it beached and was eventually abandoned as a total wreck.

The wreck has long been an attraction to both tourists and locals, however it was badly eroded by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald in 2013. It continues to deteriorate and pose a safety risk, as remnants of the wreck are repeatedly exposed by erosion associated with natural costal processes.

Balancing heritage value and community safety

In 2013, the S.S. Dicky taskforce came together to evaluate and provide recommendations on how to balance the heritage value of the wreck and community safety.

As a result, portions of the S.S. Dicky were removed and have now been relocated a display in the nearby park.

The remaining part of the wreck has continued to deteriorate and in early 2023, council deemed it extremely unsafe for our community and closed a section of the beach.

Council is exploring longer-term measures; such as removing or relocating the majority of, or the entire wreck, to safeguard this area into the future with the aim to reopen the beach when safe to do so.


2013 - taskforce S.S. Dicky

A taskforce with members from council, Queensland Government, community heritage and the Dicky Beach Surf Life Saving club worked together to consider the future of the wreck.

2015 - parts of the wreck were removed following a strict protocol

On 18 June 2015, council endorsed the recommendation by the taskforce to:

  • remove the exposed stern, starboard and port ribs
  • continue to manage the loose pieces as the wreck breaks up into the future
  • leave the main portion of the wreck in situ
  • deliver a wreck interpretive display as part of a greater open space landscape plan for the area
  • conserve remaining removed pieces.

2015 - the S.S. Dicky documentary

A short film was released that documents the community connection to the historic shipwreck. View the S.S. Dicky documentary.

S.S. Dicky documentary

2016 - preserving the S.S. Dicky

3 replica bells are caste from the original bell for the interpretation display and 3D scans of the removed pie.

A 3D virtual reality tour of the S.S. Dicky is created to give an in-depth look at the vessel.

S.S Dicky 3D scans of salvaged wreck artifacts are created by DittoLabs on Sketchfab.

2017 - S.S. Dicky on tour

S.S. Dicky museum box exhibition travels between council libraries to share its story with our community.

2021 - maritime history has a new home onshore

The S.S. Dicky propeller has a new home ashore at council's newly developed Dicky Beach precinct.

2022 - restoring part of the S.S. Dicky

Some pieces of the historic S.S. Dicky wreck were restored for display at Dicky Beach and Landsborough museum.

2023 - remembering in the Dicky Beach park

An interpretive display was created in the nearby park to honour the wrecks significance to the area.

2023 - wreck presents more risk to community

Council undertook a review of the safety risk linked to the wreck as it continues to deteriorate.

Council is working in collaboration with DES, marine archaeology experts, and our cultural heritage team to ensure due process is followed relating to preservation of the wreck.

In the short term, other temporary protection measures have been implemented, including:

  • temporary partial bathing reserve closure 20 metres each side of the wreck (40 metres total)
  • installation of new prominent signage and red flags to identify the hazard and bathing reserve closure zone
  • increased public warnings from the Dicky Beach Surf Lifesaving Club
  • map and information flyer distributed to Dicky Beach Caravan Park and other relevant local businesses
  • Dicky Beach Surf Lifesaving Club to notify council of all incidents or hazards related to the wreck.

More information