The year is 1898. Captain Poole Hickman Gore is coming to terms with reality; his beloved ship, the Hereward, ran aground on Maroubra Beach. Join the captain in his plight and let him guide you towards the magnificent Hereward shipwreck as if it were only yesterday.
On May 5th, 1898, the Hereward was en route from Sourabaya, a port in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), to Newcastle, New South Wales, to collect a cargo of coal for South America when it ran aground on Maroubra Beach.
As it was travelling north along the coast of New South Wales, a strong storm with winds of up to 76 km/h came into its path. Captain Poole Hickman Gore was powerless to stop the catastrophe as the winds tore off the ship’s sails and blew it in the direction of the beach. The Hereward ran aground on Maroubra Beach’s northern end, steering clear of the two nearby stony reefs.
To find out the fate of the Hereward, go down to Maroubra Beach.
Step back to the year 1898 and explore the shipwreck on Maroubra Beach amongst the curious crowd who have come from near and far to see the spectacular clipper ship. Among the crowd was photographer Arthur Allen. Why don’t you help him document history and take some photographs?
A crowd of curious sight-seers braved the gale and rain to see the Hereward washed ashore. At one time, there were several hundred people on the beach. The number of onlookers gradually increased until they spread halfway across the beach. The eagerly excited mass swayed to and fro as they stood on the shore and craned their necks to view the deck “He says her masts might go any time!” a voice could be heard saying, and instantly the crowd picked up the information and crept close to get the full benefit of such a sight; but the Hereward moved not.
Seven months after the incident, there was an attempt to save the stranded Hereward. However, just as the ship was about to break free, a southerly breeze arose and forced her back onto the shore, where she was battered by rough seas and split in two. The wreck was gradually pushed out to sea over the years that followed, and it is now shrouded beneath the ocean; only visible once every few years to scuba divers brave enough to descend into the depths of Maroubra's waters.
Step back in time to 1961 and hop aboard the final tram from Maroubra for a journey through history. Hear the delightful chatter from passengers as they reminisce about their experiences and listen to the unique perspective of the tram conductors. What are you waiting for? Grab your tickets and get ready to dive into the swinging 60s!
Sydney’s tram network operated for 100 years, with the last tram running from Hunter Street in the city to La Perouse in 1961, making a stop at Maroubra Beach along the way. When the decision was made to shut down the tram network, all trams that couldn’t be repurposed were stripped of usable parts and burned at the Randwick workshops.
At its peak, Sydney’s tram network was the largest in Australia and the second largest in the Commonwealth, serving as a vital mode of transportation for commuters and tourists alike. However, as the number of cars on the roads increased in the mid-20th century, accidents involving trams, pedestrians, and workers became more frequent as they competed for space on the city’s narrow and congested streets. Ultimately, the NSW Government accepted the argument that cars and buses would be faster and more efficient, leading to the demise of the tram network.
Welcome to the Coogee Pleasure Pier, a historical landmark built in 1928. The pier reached 180 metres out to sea and was a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Built with the boardwalks of English coastal towns in mind, it was lavishly furnished with a 1,400 seat theatre, a ballroom that could accommodate 600 dedicated foot-shufflers, a 400 seat restaurant, a penny arcade, and small shops.
Unfortunately, the pier was demolished just five years later due to diminishing crowds and storm damage. But today, we’re going to take you on a virtual journey back in time to experience the grandeur and glamour of the Coogee Pleasure Pier.
Wonderland City holds a special place in Sydney’s history. Once the largest open-air amusement park in the southern hemisphere, its immense popularity established new standards for outdoor entertainment and paved the way for the iconic Luna Park.
Operated by William Anderson and lasting only five years from 1906 to 1911, the 20-acre playground offered a host of thrilling attractions such as a high-altitude balloon, a miniature railway, an ornate carousel, and the highlight - elephant rides.
Although the park is now a distant memory, you can witness Alice the Elephant performing her incredible tricks just as she did during the park’s heyday. Step back in time and experience the grandeur of Wonderland City through this immersive experience.
Prepare to be amazed as you discover the hidden treasure nestled along the vibrant Bondi-Tamarama cliff walk. Behold the breathtaking aboriginal rock carving that graces this path, often overlooked but undeniably magnificent. Witness an extraordinary encounter as the carving comes alive, pulsating with vibrant animation and unfolding into a truly mesmerizing display of augmented artistry.
Interpretations of this remarkable carving vary, with some perceiving it as a majestic “whale,” while others discern the likeness of a graceful manta ray or a majestic basking shark. Before being re-grooved, a fascinating diagram depicted two tails alongside the carving, but today, only one tail remains visible. The small fish that once adorned the carving has gracefully weathered away over the passage of time, leaving a trace of its presence.
Rock carving techniques hold great importance in Aboriginal history as men would carefully select rocks based on their symbolic location, such as an orca (killer whale) carving positioned to overlook the ideal spot for observing orcas entering the river’s mouth, and utilizing pointed rocks, they would meticulously peck holes to form the outline, followed by rubbing lines between the pecks to create a profound symbolic location, such as an orca (killer whale) carving positioned to overlook the ideal spot for observing orcas entering the river’s mouth, and utilizing pointed rocks, they would meticulously peck holes to form the outline, followed by rubbing lines between the pecks to create a profound grooved contour approximately 25 mm deep, resembling a concept reminiscent of dot-to-dot drawing.
Captain James Cook, the famous British explorer, navigator and cartographer, made three influential voyages to the Pacific Ocean. He is best known for his pivotal role in mapping the coasts of Australia and New Zealand and for his exploration of the Hawaiian Islands.
His first voyage, from 1768 to 1771, had a dual purpose: to observe the transit of Venus and to search for a possible southern continent. Cook’s voyages not only expanded European knowledge of the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Hemisphere, but also had a major impact on the development of British imperialism and the settlement of Australia and New Zealand.
Cook’s voyages were crucial to the study of natural history and anthropology, as he and his crew collected numerous plant, animal and artefact specimens and made detailed observations on the customs and cultures which they encountered.
The Cenotaph represents the sacrifices and memory of Australian soldiers who served and died in World War I. The heritage-listed monolithic stone block located in Martin Place, with two bronze statues guarding it, is inscribed with the phrase “To Our Glorious Dead” and “Lest We Forget.”
Step back in time and witness a young Australian man wrestling with the decision of whether to enlist in WWI. As he weighs the pros and cons, you’ll gain a unique perspective on the reasons behind Australians going to war and sympathise with the tough choices that individuals had to make. This immersive and emotional experience brings history to life like never before.
George and Hunter Street is vibrant crossroads in the heart of Sydney, abuzz with the energy of the bustling city. The sleek, modern hotel, the A by Adina, did not always stand there. Hold up your phone and lay your eyes upon a vivid reconstruction of a historic structure that once stood in the same spot in 1961, the United Chambers Insurance Company building.
With this AR experience, you are taken on an immersive journey into the past and offered a glimpse into the city’s rich architectural heritage. Transport back in time to an era when brick and mortar dominated the urban landscape and witness Sydney’s skyline’s evolution over time.
Discover the captivating story of British naval officer William Bligh, who made a name for himself as a young sailor on Captain James Cook’s third voyage. Bligh’s career spanned many years, and he became famous for his leadership on the HMS Bounty, which sailed to Tahiti to collect breadfruit plants but ended in a mutiny. Despite being placed in an open boat with meagre rations, Bligh navigated the boat 3600 miles to Timor, demonstrating remarkable endurance and navigational skills.
Immerse yourself in Bligh’s story through this experience and learn about his adventurous past. Don’t miss the chance to hear the incredible tale of a much-maligned and gallant man whose reputation endures despite his portrayal in modern media as a tyrant.
Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of Cadmans Cottage, the second-oldest surviving residential building in Sydney. From being a home for governmental coxswains to serving as the headquarters of the Sydney Water Police and a Sailor’s Home, this heritage site has a captivating story to tell.
On this spatial storytelling experience, join Elizabeth Mortimer as she shares the story of her and her husband, John Cadman, on their journey to build a new life. Explore the bustling dockyard and experience the sounds of lively dock workers, as Elizabeth’s tale of resilience and hope comes to life.
Are you ready to be transported to a pivotal moment in Australia’s history and engage with the past? Step back in time and discover the rich history of Sydney’s European pioneers at the First Impressions Monument. This larger-than-life sandstone sculpture depicts a soldier, a farmer, and a convict, paying tribute to the convicts, soldiers, settlers, and pioneers who founded Sydney. As you explore the monument, hear the soldier’s orders, witness the convict’s struggles, and meet James Ruse, the first free farmer.
See and hear firsthand the challenges and triumphs of the early settlers who arrived in Australia on the First Fleet. In 1788, the fleet brought over 1,400 people, including convicts, marines, sailors, civil officers, and free settlers to Botany Bay, New South Wales, where a penal colony was established.
Travel back in time to Playfair Street in 1900, where the sights and sounds of Sydney’s past come to life. This street embodies the rich cultural heritage of the city, with immigrants forming a diverse community. But life was not without its struggles, with poverty and disease an ever-present concern.
The mid to late Victorian terraces at Nos. 17-31 were built by local builders. Today, these terraces stand as a testament to the resilience of the community and are part of the revitalized Rocks precinct restored in 1972 by the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority.
Step into the rich history of Cumberland Place, a heritage-listed laneway nestled in The Rocks, Sydney. This hidden gem, with its series of steps and worn stones, holds the stories of generations past. It has been in continuous use since at least 1808 and is one of the oldest known pedestrian streets in the area. The area was owned by George Cribb, a convict butcher who purchased properties in the vicinity.
He was known for his involvement in the meat trade and had multiple wives. The laneway has historical significance in showcasing the early urban development of The Rocks and its response to the rocky topography of the area. Susannah Place, a terrace of four houses, is located nearby and provides a glimpse into the domestic working-class life from 1844 to 1990.
Watch as a photograph from 1901 comes to life before your eyes, capturing the vibrant spirit of a working-class family, their faces etched with determination and hope.
Carahers Lane was built in the 1830s as a passage between Cribbs Lane and Longs Lane. The lane was named after Owen J. Caraher, a prominent landowner who resided in the area during the 1870s. European settlers quickly settled in the vicinity following their arrival in the colony. For over 70 years, the lane was a refuge for these European immigrants and their families. However, poor terrace construction and poverty led to multiple health hazards for residents.
While most buildings from the pre-1850s era have been demolished, the design of the blocks and lanes has been maintained. The region is rich in history and has been the site of numerous archaeological excavations, including the Big Dig, which uncovered more than 750,000 artefacts.
Transport yourself back to 1901 and relive the past by walking down the lane and exploring a life-sized photograph of a group of children who lived on Carahers Lane. It has been suggested that the children on the doorstep of No.1, the building on the right, are Bess, Margaret Iris and William Foy.
Photograph Source: NSW State Archives.