The Killcare Wagstaffe Trust began
in 1981 in response to community concerns about a proposed development
that would have adversely affected the area.
Maitland Bay is named after the coastal paddle steamer S.S.Maitland (880 tons), which was wrecked at Bouddi Point in the early hours of 6 May 1898, with heavy loss of life.
The S.S.Maitland left Sydney for Newcastle on the night of 5 May in company with the South Australian, an opposition boat .The weather was quickly blowing up into a terrifying gale which was to wreak havoc on the coast and which would become known in later years as "The Maitland Gale".
At 1.30 AM a sponson (paddle-wheel housing) was ripped away by a wave and large quantities of water began to come on board.
The crew and passengers worked hard to pump water out of the ship. Captain Skinner ordered the deck cargo thrown overboard to lighten the ship and decided to turn back to the shelter of Broken Bay. Shortly after, the second sponson was carried away and the water filling the hold put out the boiler fires. The Maitland drifted helplessly and at 5.45 AM it crashed onto the bombora and broke in half.
After three attempts, a line was secured ashore by a passenger, John Russell, and most of the passengers and crew who had survived the breakup of the ship were brought ashore before the line snapped. Captain Skinner, the first mate, three crewmen and a baby remained on the stem section of the ship until a new steel cable was secured on the following day. They were then successfully winched ashore in a basket, Captain Skinner being the last to leave.
In the historical accounts, estimates of loss of life vary considerably, but probably 15 passengers and 12 crew died and 36 persons were rescued.
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Bouddi Peninsula study
This 108 page
document is a comprehensive study of the history and geography of the
"Bouddi" area. It can be downloaded from here as a PDF file (NOTE, this file is over 3,000Kb). Hard copies of
this important document, edited by Beryl Strom in 1986, are available for sale at the Maitland
Coastal Open Space System - COSS
One of the most distinctive features of the landscape of Gosford City is its wooded hillsides. In 1984 Gosford City Council formally adopted the COSS, where large areas of bush covered hills, creeks and wetlands were identified as being of significance to the city's diverse and abundant natural heritage. Many of these areas were in private ownership and have been acquired by purchase or a process of dedication to Council. Presently over 3000 hectares of bushland has new been dedicated. A colourful brochure on COSS is available at the Maitland Bay Centre.