Somewhere along the beach at Waitarere are the remains of the Hydrabad which was caught in a severe storm in 1878. Captain Holmwood ran the ship aground in the hope that passengers and crew would survive the huge seas. Luckily no lives were lost in the shipwreck. The remains of Hydrabad were washed further and further up the beach by later storms, and today the wreck lies well above the high water mark. But where had it got to? We drove slowly along the beach on Sunday searching for the remains but could not spot it. Locals told us that it is now buried in the sand dunes and only a tiny portion remains visible, if you know exactly where to look.
The wreck of the Hydrabad
We remembered climbing over the ship quite some years ago. After searching through the old caravan club photo albums we came across these memories from 1987! There was quite a bit of the ship visible back then as can be seen from these old photos. Goodness me, don’t we look young!
The wreck of the Hydrabad in 1987
As the wide beach between Waitarere and Hokio is a designated road, traffic is allowed along this stretch of coastline. Robin drove our 4WD slowly up and down the beach while we searched for the missing shipwreck. Huge pieces of driftwood littered the beach with much of the wood half buried under the sand, giving testament to the power of the tides. It is sad that the shipwreck has now all but disappeared from view under the sand hills.
It was low tide and the beach was dotted with sea gulls searching along the shoreline for titbits to eat. A few people and their dogs were out walking in the brisk salty air. Further along the beach a group of riders were exercising their horses in the surf. It was hazy offshore with Kapiti Island partly obscured.
There is something quite soothing about being on a wide sandy beach on a nice day. Altogether quite a different sort of day from the storm back in 1878 when the Hydrabad was tossed about in the stormy seas and ran aground – what a day that must have been for those aboard the ship, fearing for their lives.