Now You See It/ Now You Don’t: Management of the Buster Shipwreck at Woolgoolga, NSW
Dr. Brad Duncan (University of New England / Heritage New South Wales)
In 1884, the barquentine Buster wrecked on Woolgoolga Beach after being cast ashore in a gale. This robustly built Canadian vessel has survived largely intact in the intertidal zone at Woolgoolga Beach for over 140 years. The wreck periodically uncovers to not only reveal its secrets to various extents but has also resulted in the continuing degradation of the site, both through environmental and anthropogenic damage. This paper highlights the documentation and the challenges of management of the site from 2012 -2021. It examines ongoing research to identify unusual construction features of the ship, the development of a predictive model to determine its anticipated exposure periods using 3D photogrammetric models, aerial imagery and local anecdotal knowledge, which may be early indicators of climate change. These observations have potential utility for the access to and management of other similar sites in littoral zones along the east coast of Australia.