The Singing Ship

Emu Park is a small town south of Yeppoon on the Central Queensland coast.

In May 1770, Captain James Cook sailed into the bay off the coast of this area, and named it Keppel Bay. It’s a stunning area dotted with coral reefs, idyllic tropical islands, and long wide beaches to the south.

“The Singing Ship” was erected in 1970 to honour the bicentenary of Cook’s voyage.

It is a magnificent sculpture which captures the essence of a sailing ship, with a small difference.

It sings.

Cleverly constructed tubes descend from “sail” to the “deck” of the structure. The prevailing winds pass through strategically placed holes in those tubes, causing them to resonate like a huge pipe organ. Or perhaps like the wind in the shrouds of a sailing ship.

The result is a gentle pleasant musical chord that rings out over the water.

I think this is wonderful work of art which aptly honours the memory of the great navigator, James Cook. It’s large and bright, with huge sweeping sail shape that gives an impression of motion. The musical tones add to that feeling. As you stand at its base, its not difficult to imagine that you’re on the deck of fantastic sailing ship, ploughing the waters of Keppel Bay.

This is public art as it should be – creatively capturing people’s imagination, engaging the senses, and reminding us of the great lives that have preceded us.

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