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Maritime heritage review

Published 8 February 2024 Assessing threats to marine historic heritage and recommending strategies to manage those threats.
content image The wreck of the barquentine Buster Photo by: Brett Vercoe.


Why is this project important?

Maritime heritage is a significant feature of our marine estate and can tell us a lot about the cultural history of an area and its value to the community. Knowledge of maritime heritage can:

  • help us understand how our ancestors shaped our history
  • strengthen our sense of identity
  • establish an area as an exciting tourist destination.

What are we doing?


The maritime heritage project aims to identify, protect and interpret significant maritime heritage of NSW by:

  • showcasing the maritime heritage of selected items, sites or other features within the marine estate
  • raising the awareness of maritime heritage sites to protect them from potentially damaging activities
  • identifying potential threats and risks to maritime heritage and ways of managing the threats and risks.

What have we achieved?


Woolgoolga, on the NSW mid-north coast, has a rich history that is closely linked to the sea. In the late 1800s, Woolgoolga was a remote settlement striving to grow and develop its abundant natural resources.

Timber around the creeks was cleared to make way for sugar and maize plantations. With no roads to speak of in the district, Woolgoolga looked to the sea and shipping as a way of getting produce to markets.

The project in Woolgoolga:

  • recorded items and areas of significant maritime heritage
  • identified potential threats and risks to the maritime heritage
  • produced signage that explains the area’s heritage
  • installed a CoastSnap site in the Woolgolga Lakeside Holiday park to monitor beach erosion around the Buster shipwreck
  • erected the only remaining section of the Woolgoolga jetty at the site of the original jetty
  • produced a Youtube clip detailing Woolgoolga’s maritime heritage.

For more information go to Woolgoolga's maritime heritage.


Statewide and Woolgoolga

Local government areas - Statewide

Lead agency

  • Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries


  • Coffs Harbour City Council
  • Coffs Harbour Regional Museum
  • NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (NSW DCCEEW)

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