HMQS Gayundah -Woody Point. Qld.

Beth  Wode

Redlands, Australia

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Woody Point. Qld.

HMQS Gayundah was launched at Newcastle upon Tyne on May 13, 1884 and commissioned in the United Kingdom during October. Gayundah sailed for Australia in the November of that year under the command of Captain Henry Townley-Wright arriving in Brisbane on the 28 March 1885. Upon arrival in Brisbane, Townley-Wright refused to relinquish his command and was eventually removed by a boarding party of Queensland Police. Over the next few years she served as a training ship, conducting the first ship to shore radio transmissions in Australia. However, with the depression of the 1890s Gayundah was assigned to reserve duties in 1892, being reactivated for annual training at Easter.

Following the Federation of Australia, the gunboats joined the Commonwealth Naval Forces, and in 1911 both were integrated into the newly formed Royal Australian Navy.

From 22 April – 25 August 1911, at the instigation of the Departments of External Affairs and Trade & Customs, Gayundah sailed under the command of Commander G.A.H. Curtis from Brisbane to Broome, Western Australia to enforce Australia’s territorial boundary and fishing zone along the north-west coast of the continent. At Scott Reef, on 25 May, Gayundah boarded and detained two Dutch schooners with illegal catches of trepang (sea cucumber) and trochus shell (Trochus niloticus), escorted them into Broome on 29 May, then remained at Broome until mid-July so the officers could appear as witnesses in the resulting court case against the masters of the schooners. For this cruise, the 6" bow gun was removed to provide greater bunkering for coal to increase the ship’s range.

Gayundah was extensively refitted in early 1914. With the outbreak of World War I, Gayundah was assigned to coastal patrols of Moreton Bay and the east coast of Australia.

In 1921 she was sold to Brisbane Gravel Pty Ltd, who employed her as a sand and gravel barge on the Brisbane River.

Gayundah was eventually scrapped sometime in the 1950s, before being run aground in 1958 at Woody Point at Redcliffe, to serve as a breakwater. Much of her rusting hull can still be seen today. 27.262° S 153.10713° E
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