Buses in Main Street, Mooloolaba ca 1947. Image credit: Picture Sunshine Coast.
Buses in Main Street, Mooloolaba ca 1947
Sunshine Coast timeline
The first inhabitants of the Sunshine Coast were the people of the Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi Kabi) language group whose ancestors came to the region as far back as 30,000 years. These people, when explorers came to the district and observed their Indigenous neighbours were at the time considered some of the healthiest Aborigines ever seen, due to the abundant food sources.

The Gubbi Gubbi language group comprised of four main clans which were the Undanbi (or Undumbi), Nalbo, Dulingbara and Gubbi Gubbi peoples.

1770

The first sightings and observations in the district were recorded by explorers occurred on 17 May, when botanist Joseph Banks who was on board Lieutenant James Cook’s H. M. Bark Endeavour observed water of a different colour discharging south into the ocean. This waterway was later to become known as Pumicestone Passage. Cook too observed the unusual surroundings in the district close by, noting the prominent hills and calling them the Glass Houses. These ‘prominent hills’ reminded Lieutenant Cook of the glass making furnaces in Cook’s native homeland around Yorkshire, England. He described their location in his log so as to guide future explorers to these conspicuous landmarks.

1792

Lieutenant Matthew Flinders, on board the sloop Norfolk was sent from Port Jackson, Sydney Town to explore Lt. Cook’s Glass House Bay (which is now known as Deception Bay) for the possibility of a large river. Matthew Flinder’s anchored at the southern end of the Pumicestone Passage and proceeded to explore by boat and on foot. After having an altercation with the Bribie natives, the area was then to become known as Point Skirmish. It was Flinders who named the narrow strait between Bribie Island and the mainland, the Pumicestone River, due to the vast amounts of Pumicestone scattered along the shoreline. At the time it was believed the Passage was a river.

1799

Lieutenant Matthew Flinders intrigued by the majestic mountains rowed up a creek which he named Glass House Creek, ‘Tierbum’ being the local native name. On 26 July, Flinders along with Sydney native Bongaree and two unnamed sailors from the ship ‘Norfolk’ climbed Beerburrum Mountain. Flinders and the sailors were the first Europeans to climb one of the Glass House Mountains. Flinders returned to Sydney without finding the big river he sought, which was the Brisbane River.

1822

John Bingle in the colonial cutter ‘Sally’ was sent from Sydney to seek a river believed to enter the sea somewhere north of Port Macquarie. Arriving at Point Skirmish on 6 March, 1822, Bingle took a boat party up the Passage and threaded his way through the mangroves and sand banks until he sighted the bar at Caloundra. This proved that the waterway was indeed a Passage not a river as Flinders believed.

1824

The settlement of Redcliffe and Brisbane or Moreton Bay Penal Settlement as it was then known bought more Europeans to this area. Convict runaways were the first Europeans to widely traverse the Sunshine Coast area. James Davis, or Duramboi, as he was known, who ran in 1829 lived with the Gubbi Gubbi people, attended Aboriginal Bonyi festivals at Baroon Pocket near Maleny.

1838

Andrew Petrie Superintendent of Works for the Penal Settlement in Brisbane made the first expeditions into the Sunshine Coast area, investigating timber resources and he collected specimens of the Bunya Pine.

1841

Archer Brothers settle in an area now known as Woodford, calling their station Durundur.

1842

Petrie’s report discussed the Aboriginal way of life and bought about the prohibition by Governor Sir George Gibbs of the entry of Europeans into the Bunya country and the cutting down of Bunya pines. This act published in the New South Wales Government gazette in April, 1842 was to be known as the Bunya Proclamation. Bunya Proclamation prevented settlement or the granting of timber or cattle leases on the land on which the Bunya Pine grew.

1843

Dr Stephen Simpson, of Redbank near Ipswich, blazed a track over the rugged Conondale Ranges, to the upper reaches of the Wide Bay River, later called the Mary River, whose headwaters start in the hinterland district.

1844

The explorer and naturalist, Ludwig Leichardt accompanied John Archer of Durundur to Baroon Pocket situated near the hinterland town of Maleny for a Bonyi gathering or feast.

1847

Captain John C. Wickham chartered the north shores of Moreton Bay and named a headland north of Bribie Island, Wickham Point.

1852

Bunya Proclamation is repealed in 1852 after Queensland became a state.

1853

Skyring brothers were granted pastoral leases in the Yandina area.

1854

Richard Jones was the first European to explore Buderim, seeking suitable timber for sawmill at Moreton Bay.

1859

New Colony of Queensland created.

1860

Bunya Proclamation lapsed, allowing squatters' and timbergetters' licences

1861

Thomas Martin Tripcony and his wife Catherine select their land, Cowie Bank on the mainland side of the Passage, between Glass Mountain Creek and Hussey Creek. Thomas Tripcony was involved in the plentiful oyster trade of Moreton Bay.

1861

Edmund Lander selected land on the 21 March after searching for Red Cedar. Travelling by boat up the Mooloolah River, he found the land and called it Mooloolah Plains.

1862

Lander sold his land to John Westaway on 2 April, as Lander was more interested in timber than cattle. Westaway’s two sons, William and Richard decided to settle on their fathers unoccupied run, Meridan Plains. The Westaways were the first Europeans to live near Caloundra, about 10 kilometres inland, near the Caloundra Bruce Highway turnoff. The Westaway family still live and farm on the property today, though the selection is greatly reduced.

1863

Caloundra becomes more widely known when on 6 April, thirteen men were marooned at Moffat Beach, after having been separated from their ship, the Queen of the Colonies. The castaways were returning from burying a Mrs Barnsfield, on Moreton Island, who had died at sea when they separated from the ship. The main party were rescued at Moffat Beach on 19 April and three others who had split from the party were found in a poor state on 22 April. The husband of the deceased woman was taken by sharks, when the men attempted to relaunch their gig and it overturned. These were the first known, though involuntary white residents of Caloundra. As a result of the tragic experiences of The Queen of the Colonies, Caloundra and its beautiful beaches and rocky headlands became a focal point in the Brisbane press at that time

1864

Durundur settler Alexander Archer rowed from Brisbane up the Passage and back. He returned to Brisbane recounting descriptive stories of the beauty of the area. Archer wrote, ‘This place is called Calowndra. It would make a capital sea bathing place, as there are beautiful sites for houses and there is good garden soil, but it is too far from Brisbane to be much frequented for such purposes for many years to come.’

Low and Grigor set up a timber depot near the mouth of the Mooloolah River and opened the first store in the Maroochy District.

1865

Sugar was first grown in the area by William Clark at Bli Bli.

1866

Botanist William Stephen employed by the Queensland Government to collect botanical species is murdered behind the site now known as the Rustic Cabin near the corner of Steve Irwin Way and the Bruce Highway, Glenview. The perpetrator was an Aboriginal man known as Captain Piper. When Piper was brought to trial thirteen years later he was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

1867

Gold is found at Gympie on 22 October. Near the coast there was no road to Gympie, apart from the occasional bush track made by the Aboriginals or timber getters. A rough track through Durundur Station, near present day Conondale was the only northern road. As soon as it became news men started to hump their swags north to these goldfields. The area north was a wild untamed country and diggers had trouble crossing the Pine, Caboolture and Mooloolah Rivers.

1868

Gympie Road is under construction to assist cartage of stores to the goldfields and the use of working bullocks to get the goods to the miners. The government passes the Crown Alienation Act of1868, which opens up closer settlement between Gympie and Brisbane.

Cobb and Co coaches establish a regular service on the Brisbane – Gympie run which takes two full days travelling time. Cobb and Co Staging Post is set up at Glass House Mountains Bankfoot House owned by William and Mary Grigor.

1871

Samuel Burgess erects a Temperance Hotel on Gympie Road, Mount Mellum or Landsborough as it is now called. A group of Quakers move to Charles Ballinger’s land holding near current day Little Mountain and start to grow and crush cane in a mill which they constructed, near the Mooloolah River. The mill was known as Friends Farm and was later abandoned due to flooding. Charles Ballinger was the first land owner proper in Caloundra, but as he never lived on the land and did not fulfil the selection conditions, the land was conveyed back to the Crown.

On 23 August 1871, Yandina (oldest surveyed township in Maroochy Shire) surveyed by Charles Warner (Government Surveyor). Known as Maroochie for many years, the name Yandina was taken from a nearby cattle run and was not generally accepted until the railway line was built. The area was originally known as Native Dog Flat.

1875

Jane Dunlop and her family select land on the Blackall Range at Bald Knob on behalf of William Pettigrew. Robert Bulcock is issued a new deed for 277 acres of land in the Caloundra district previously owned by Charles Ballinger. Bulcock at the time State Member for Enoggera purchases the Caloundra land on 8 November.

1877

John Simpson selects his property Bunya Aris, in the Peachester district, or Peach Trees as it was then known.

1878

On 13 November, Isaac H. Burgess selects 790 acres on the Blackall Range near present day Maleny. Robert Bulcock builds a house overlooking the beach which now bears his name and calls it ‘The Homestead.’ The area was then known as Deep Water Point. Bulcock’s home is used by him as a retreat from the political world.

1879

Joseph McCarthy selects land on the Blackall Range on 14 March.

Thomas Tripcony commissioned the first survey and beaconing of Pumicestone Passage by the crew of the Shadow in September of that year.

1880

James Campbell and Sons build a sawmill at Coochin Creek, approximately 6.4 kilometres upstream from Pumicestone Passage. This place was called Campbellville, and supported a school, store and a cemetery. Campbellville’s primary purpose was to transport goods and timber to and from Brisbane from the rafting grounds at the junction of Mellum and Coochin Creeks which was located close by.

1881

Thomas John Ballinger son of Charles selects land south of Lake Currimundi. Thomas builds a slab hut by the beach and was the first European resident in Caloundra. His land known as Ballinger’s Hill is now known as Battery Hill. Bulcock also builds an observation tower on his land due to the Russian scare. This land was located on the highest point in Caloundra next to the site of the present day light house in Canberra Terrace. The second resident in Caloundra was Samuel Leach, who owned land at the junction of Pumicetone Passage and Bell’s Creek, the southern extreme of Caloundra. Leach Park is named after him.

William Landsborough the explorer took up land in the area now known as Golden Beach and called his property Loch Lamerough. Mellum Creek changed its name to Landsborough to honour the well known explorer.

1882

Ballinger’s Hill is fortified during the Russian Scare and named Battery Hill by officials unaware of the previous naming.

James C Moffat acquires the deed to 20 acres on Portion 13 on 18 August.

1883

First public land sales in Caloundra take place on 9 April. Some of the purchasers at that sale were Edmund Lander, James Campbell, G. Campbell, John D. Campbell, A. McCallum, Captain J. Swain, Robert Cribb and others. Very few of these blocks were built on by these original owners. James C. Moffat, a chemist from Brisbane established a cottage on the headland which now bears his name – Moffat Headland.

1884

Maria Landsborough second wife of William Landsborough plants fig trees by the Passage, one still surviving to this day.

1885

Nathaniel Alder’s house in Shelly Beach is transformed into Caloundra’s first hotel.

1886

William Landsborough dies at Loch Lamerough and is buried beside the Passage. A stone cairn marks the spot at Golden Beach near the shopping centre. His body was later interred at Toowong Cemetery. Licence for the Hotel Caloundra is issued on 28 January. The hotel was still open in the 1890’s but was not a success due to distance. I. J. Burgess, it is recorded that in 1886 he shipped a red cedar log to the Colonial and Indian Exhibition held in England. This log, halved and polished, is now housed in the London Museum.

1888

Maleny town reserve proclaimed on 3 March. Caloundra’s first guesthouse Sea Glint opened on a ridge overlooking present day Moffat Beach. During this time Sir Thomas McIllwraith Premier of Queensland was a regular visitor to Sea Glint on the shore of Tooway Lake or Wilson’s Lake as it was then known. He was so charmed with the place he had a telephone line connected from Caboolture to the guesthouse so he could keep in touch with his colleagues.

1890

The 19.68 mile (approximately 32 kilometres) railway line from Caboolture to Mellum Creek (Landsborough) was officially opened on 1 February. Access to the blossoming North Coast towns became far easier and was an important milestone in the development of the area. T. Lahey commenced milling timber on the site of the present day Maleny’s IGA Store.

5 July - Maroochy Divisional Board was constituted, formed from the northern section of the Caboolture Divisional Board and the southern section of Widgee Divisional Board, with an area of 488 square miles and its headquarters at Nambour.

13 September - First election of Councillors - 3 for 3 Divisions.

4 October - First meeting of Maroochy Divisional Board.

First Church built in Nambour - St Joseph’s Catholic Church - on its present site in Currie Street. Original replaced in 1926 and again in 1951.

1891

Brisbane-Gympie rail connection was completed.

1893

Meteorologist, Inigo Jones of Crohamhurst near Peachester recorded Australia’s highest rainfall within a 24 hour period, resulting in the flood. The Great Flood of 1893 caused much hardship and chaos in Brisbane town and the surrounding areas. The cyclone that brought the rain caused considerable flooding as run off met king tides. On 4 February, the S. S. Dicky was caught in the blinding weather in the tail of the cyclone and blown onto the beach by the stern between present day Tooway and Currimundi Creeks. Captain James Beattie stayed on board, while his crew sough shelter at Wilson’s Guesthouse, Sea Glint.

1895

First Maroochy Shire chambers located Blackall Terrace (subsequently) moved to Station Square and in 1978 to Bury Street.

1896

On 12 March construction starts on Caloundra Lighthouse. The lighthouse completed in August of that year was built on land donated by Robert Bulcock. North West Shipping Channel a stable, safe and easy deep water channel is lit with three lights placed on the shore and three gas buoys moored to mark the extremes of the Spitfire, Western and Yule Banks. Two of the shore lights were leading lights on towers on Bribie Island, and the other was the newly built Caloundra Lighthouse used to direct vessels approaching the shipping channel leading into Moreton Bay. Governor of Queensland Lord Lamington visited the small settlement of Caloundra for a fishing trip. After enduring a three hour journey by horse and cart over boggy roads he stayed at Sea Glint. At that time there were only seven dwellings in the Caloundra area.

1897

Moreton Central Sugar Mill was completed at Nambour and commenced operation in 1897.

The North West Shipping Channel near Caloundra is declared the safest entrance into Moreton bay and, indeed the only entrance to be used in bad weather or by deep draught ships. Postal receiving office was opened, in a room in the lighthouse keeper’s residence next to the Caloundra Lighthouse.

1898

Second lighthouse constructed of a pre fabricated corrugated iron kit which had come from England.

1899

William Simpson Junior purchases Lahey’s mill and moves the mill plant to Peach Trees (Peachester) Margaret Wilson proprietor of Sea Glint drowns in Tooway Lake and the guesthouse Sea Glint is closed.

1900

Maroochydore was still a very quiet little village - some fishing, campers at holiday time, no roads in.

1902

Maroochy Divisional Board became the Maroochy Shire Council.

1903

Maleny was a very busy town due to the timber and dairy industries. Maleny Co-Operative Dairy Association formed on 3 May.

1904

Butter factory built in the main street of Maleny.

George Bury elected chairman of Maroochy Shire Council.

1906

Hotel Francis is built by Mr David Rooke on land near the corner of Albert Street and Stewart Way, Shelly Beach.

1907

Lighthouse Brand fish cannery opens near the northern end of Bribie Island.

1908

18 July - First land sale in Maroochydore. Thomas O’Connor (surveyor) purchased Pettigrew’s 2000 acres. Between 1908 - 1920 he subdivided and sold areas at Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland, and Mooloolaba. This made the development of these seaside resort towns.

1909

Worm infestation almost destroys the oyster industry in Pumicestone Passage.

1911

Two teachers drown at Kings Beach. Following the tragedy Caboolture Divisional Board places life lines and two life buoys on Kings Beach to assist with rescues. People visiting the seaside were expected to perform their own rescues.

1912

Landsborough Shire Council held its first meeting on 22 February in Dyers Hall. The shire was formed after separating formally from the Caboolture Divisional Board. Landsborough Shire Council’s first chairman was Mr John Tytherleigh and H. J. Hooper appointed as clerk. Landsborough Shire Council’s first shire office and shire clerks’ residence was built high on the hill overlooking Landsborough Maleny Road and the future Peace Memorial Park. Telephone line was extended from Landsborough to the lighthouse keeper’s house in Caloundra which also housed the telephone exchange. Postal and telephone services continued from the lighthouse until 21 November, 1934.

1913

On 17 June Landsborough Shire Council held its first meeting in the newly built shire office.

1914

Shire Chairman and storekeeper John Tytherleigh opened a new store in Landsborough on the corner of Cribb and Maleny Streets. Between 1914 and 1916 the Mellum Club Hotel at Landsborough was moved on skids from Old Gympie Road Cribb Street.

1915

Caloundra Lighthouse control passed from State to Commonwealth control. Conondale Provisional School opened on its present site in a building made by George Tilney and his sons Eddy and Ossie using local pit sawn timber.

1916

"Maroochydore" was established as the name for the area previously called Maroochi or Marutchi. Suggested by Thomas O’Connor.

Maroochydore Life Saving Club and Swimming Club was formed making it only the second life saving club in Queensland.

Governor of Queensland Major Sir Hamilton Goold–Adams, and his wife, visits Beerburrum to inaugurate the Beerburrum Soldiers’ Settlement. They arrived by special train with T. J Ryan, the Labor Premier of Queensland. The governor’s wife drew marbles to allocate the first farm plots of 20 to 40 acres (8 -16ha) The Soldier Settlers Scheme was designed to give repatriated soldiers an opportunity to start a small farm and assist to populate areas where growth was encouraged. In September Glass House Mountains School of Arts opens.

1917

Unveiling of honour board at Landsborough School of Arts on 19 February which listed the names of the fallen soldiers and those wounded during WW1 from the surrounding district. This included the names of the three fallen and three wounded Gilvear brothers from Glass House Mountains. Robert Bulcock Jnr. commenced subdivision of the Bulcock Estate which extended from Black Flat to Dingle Avenue. This was the beginning of housing development in Caloundra.

First rural school in Queensland opened in Nambour.

1918

Failure of experimental farming of sheep at the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement due to dingoes attacking the sheep.

1919

September of that year the Nambour Chronicle reported on the relocation of a building from Woodford to Bulcock Beach which became Caloundra’s biggest guesthouse. The imposing two storeys wooden building was renamed Caloundra House. The lighthouse keeper’s wife was appointed postmistress in Caloundra. It had 34 bedrooms and held up to 100 guests at Christmas and Easter. Diphtheria outbreak in Maleny.

1920

H. R. H. Prince Edward stopped in Beerburrum on Tuesday, 3 August after visiting the North Coast.

1921

Bubonic Plague is registered in the district.

1922

Landsborough – Maleny Road under construction. Rinaldi’s Store opens in Bulcock Street selling everything and anything. This store was also an agency for the Commonwealth Bank.

1923

Landsborough Ambulance Station officially opened in April which brings welcomed emergency first aid assistance to the district. Cream of Boats boat hire service opened by Alf Round at Bulcock Beach. The hire of boats catered for recreational fishermen.

On 14 July, the Landsborough Shire Council Chambers were officially opened by Shire Chairman, Councillor John Grigor of Maleny. The same building now houses the Shire of Landsborough Historical Museum. The building, constructed of native hardwoods, hoop and bunya pine, was built by A. E. Round at a cost of 824 Pounds. The architect was W.C. Voller. These chambers were used for 44 years until 1968, when the Landsborough Shire Council moved to their new chambers in Bulcock Street, Caloundra. Fire destroyed shops in Maleny which included the shops of Jack Grigor’s butchery, Alderdice Bakery, Fred Knott’s grocery store and the tailor’s premises. Bald Knob Hall officially opened as well as Landsborough School of Arts Memorial Hall on 8 May. Landsborough School of Arts opening was a grand affair opened by the Queensland Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable William Lennon, followed by a parade of vehicles and floats to entertain the local crowd. John Tytherleigh donated the land and stumps for the Landsborough Memorial Hall.

1924

5 January - Nambour fire - 17 businesses were destroyed in Currie Street.

1925

Australian writers Vance and Nettie Palmer move to Caloundra. During their time in Caloundra 1925 – 1929 Vance Palmer wrote the book titled ‘The Passage’. Most of the needs for Caloundra still came by boat through The Passage.

1926

First plane lands in Caloundra when it nose dives on soft sand at Kings Beach.

1927

Metropolitan a Brisbane based life saving club as well as Royal Life Savers from the Mooloolah area start beach patrols on Kings Beach. William Farlow’s store at Kings Beach opens for the first time on Christmas Day.

Nambour - Electric power was first made available and administered and operated by Maroochy Shire Council.

1928

Golden Beach Estate subdivided for housing from land located on Black Flat. The name was selected because of the golden blooms of the wattles and other native plants which flowered abundantly in the Wallum country. Bert Hinkler passes over Caloundra on his England to Australia flight.

1929

23 October - Nambour fire - number of businesses, Town Hall and its picture show, Town Library, and bank destroyed.

Grigor Bridge which spans the Mary River at Conondale is officially opened in October. It was named in honour of Jack Grigor, a chairman of Landsborough Shire and a member of the first council formed in 1912. Landsborough Shire Council decided that bullock teams would no longer be permitted on council roads, which were primarily gravel based.

1930

The largest Soldier Settlement scheme of its sort in Australia located at Beerburrum fails. Due to the worsening financial climate local business people in Maleny produced a booklet to promote tourism. This booklet was a forerunner to real estate and tourist advertising and promoted scenic, social and health virtues of the area. The first aeroplane lands near Maleny.

29 January - Maroochy District Hospital (now Nambour General Hospital) opened.

1931

Caloundra School of Arts and library were officially opened on 28 March by Queensland Minister for Education, the Honourable R. H. King. Conondale National Park is gazetted and the first stage is an area of 640 acres (259ha). Tidal surge in Pumicestone Passage the wave came from Pumicestone Passage side of Bribie Island and partly covered Bribie Island.

1932

Minister for Agriculture, Mr Bullock, introduced a Tobacco Settlement Scheme in an attempt to create work for unemployed farmers on the abandoned pineapple farms at Beerburrum.

1933

Queensland Government sponsors plantings of slash pine about ten kilometres from Beerburrum Township. Police officer George Weldren patrols by horseback from Landsborough district to Maleny and Caloundra. Maleny Show is postponed due to the influences of the Great Depression.

1934

Great North Coast Road later to be known as the Bruce Highway is constructed and opened parallel to the Gympie Road. The Bruce Highway was named after Mr Henry Adam Bruce, the Queensland Minister for Public Works on 27 September. Shire Clerk and secretary of the Great North Roads Committee, Herbert Layt documented in the Landsborough Shire Chambers the resolution which was carried, naming the Bruce Highway. Landsborough Shire Council advocated strongly for Landsborough Shire to be connected with Brisbane by an all weather road. Layt Bridge, just south of Landsborough Township on Steve Irwin Way is named after Herbert Layt.

1935

All weather gravel road is built from Bruce Highway to Caloundra by Queensland Main Roads. As well, a project linking the 48 kilometres of roads being Landsborough, Maleny and the Mary River is officially launched in Maleny on 1 November which assisted local men find work. Norfolk Pines planted along the shores of Bulcock Beach. Amusu Theatre, a picture show theatre was opened as well as John Tytherleigh’s store in Bulcock Street, to cater for the growing number of residents and tourists.

Roy Henzell and partner Bill Farlow establish Farlow and Henzell Real Estate Agency in Bulcock Street. Collapse of the sand dune at the northern end of Bribie Island causes erosion at Golden Beach.

1937

Caloundra Road has a bitumen surface applied ensuring a more reliable access to the seaside township. The fashionable Spanish style architecturally designed Kings Beach Pavilion, with kiosk and changing sheds is completed to cater for the influx of tourists enjoying the first surfing beach north of Brisbane. At this time the sand dunes close by were levelled to make way for a car park. Currimundi House near Caloundra was built for the Queensland Governor, Sir Leslie Wilson. The Governor had bought four blocks on the corner of Neill Street. His large stately house was called Currimundi. ‘Semloh’, Holmes spelt backwards was built at Dicky Beach for Mrs Holmes of Landsborough. ‘Semloh’ a café and guesthouse was operated by Mrs Holmes till 1957.

1939

Caloundra’s first police station opened in King Street, manned by police officer John ‘Jack’ Kann his official police transport being a bicycle. Bulcock Street has a bitumen surface applied in November. Ambulance Station opened for business at Kings Beach. The very popular Glideaway Hall is opened and featured as a big event for Caloundra. Fancy skating demonstrations were held as well as dancing. Permits were required to enter Caloundra as it was a restricted zone during the war years. Currimundi at this time is gazetted for training, manoeuvres or other military purposes as part of a Federal Government designation as a ‘Controlled Place or Area’. Late 1939 Caloundra Artillery camp is set up at Battery Hill. The Commanding Officer of the Coastal Artillery in Caloundra was Lieutenant Colonel A. G. Thomson. In Caloundra a private house Buena Vista is commandeered and used as Observation Post for North West Shipping Channel for defence from sea borne attack of Caloundra and the approaches to Moreton Bay.

1940

The Royal Australian Navy establishes No1 R.A.N. Signal Station on the curve in Victoria Terrace on Caloundra Headland on 9 September. In front of the signal station a three storey signal tower was constructed of 300mm thick concrete. Here the signallers checked all shipping. Ships on the eastern sea board travelled in convoys protected by warships and destroyers and vessels lined up off Caloundra Headlands. Many of the local men who signed up late 1939 early 1940’s and trained in the area went to the 8th Division which was captured by the Japanese in Singapore. Electricity came to Maleny town centre in February of that year. Mrs Edney later to be known as Ma Bendall purchases Harmony Court flats located on the Esplanade, Bulcock Beach.

1941

Land titles are transferred to Landsborough Shire Council from land owned by Thynne family of Maleny to preserve the original nature of the scrub which later is to be known as Mary Cairncross Park. Electricity is brought to Caloundra. Caloundra Lighthouse is connected to electricity at the start of 1942. Landsborough Queen Competition is held on 29 September to raise money for a training plane. The venue was the Landsborough School of Arts and the hall was packed with locals and defence force personnel wanting to assist the war effort.

1942

During World War II - Military authorities considered Noosa to Caloundra a logical beachhead for an enemy landing. A great number of soldiers, many returned from Middle East, were camped in the area.

From 1942 to 1944 Currimundi and Kawana areas were used primarily for live firing practice by the military, Army engineers built a bridge over Currimundi Creek to gain access to those areas. Thousands of troops camped and trained in the local areas. General Douglas MacArthur visited Fort Bribie during this time. Mrs McArthur pays a highly classified visit to Caloundra to see American refugees rescued covertly by US Special Forces and taken by submarine from the Philippines to Darwin. These American families were then housed by the Red Cross in guesthouses such as Strathallen in Lower Gay Terrace, Caloundra. The children attended school in Caloundra and were sworn to secrecy as it would endanger those left behind until they could be rescued. Throughout the Caloundra district there were many military installations including two Vickers machine guns mounted at either end of Kings Beach. Caloundra State School is commandeered for Australian Military Headquarters. The children received their lessons in split shifts at the local scout den. Glideaway Hall was taken over by the army for their bulk store. Francis ‘Frank’ Nicklin, M. M. was made commander of 6th Battalion Volunteer Defence Force in an area from Mount Cooroy and Noosa in the north to the southern areas of Caloundra and Caboolture, and included Kilcoy and Kenilworth in the west. Nicklin was responsible for planning the evacuation of civilians at short notice as well as organising local defence. Peace Memorial Park at Landsborough becomes a convalescent camp run by the 2/6th Field Ambulance. The Shire Clerks house was converted to a hospital and nearby houses accommodated the doctors.

1943

On 14 May, the fully illuminated Australian Hospital Ship (AHS-47) Centaur en route from Sydney to Port Moresby was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine 1-177 somewhere off Moreton Island. Two hundred and sixty eight people were killed.

1945

Cyclones cause erosion to coastal beaches. At Kings Beach the Metropolitan Caloundra club house is moved back by bulldozers and locals to stop the building falling into the sea.

1946

Real Estate agent Roy Henzell purchases William Landsborough’s Portion 27, some 2372 acres (960 ha) being sold to cover unpaid rates. Today this property is Golden Beach and Pelican Waters. Electricity is turned on at Witta and Reesville five years after Maleny. A massive works program was decided upon after the war years to bring the coastal town up to date. Little had been built due to the shortage of building materials after the war and lack of labour. Army huts from Bribie Island were used extensively for housing after the war years while building restrictions were in place. Caloundra’s first postal deliveries started in December with two deliveries on weekdays and one on Saturday. Rough seas and high tides cause severe erosion to Golden Beach foreshore.

1947

Dicky Beach is developed for housing. A surf life saving club and patrols is established at North Caloundra (Dicky Beach) after a drowning. First newspaper for Caloundra, known as the Caloundra Topic is published with a cost of one penny (1 cent). Golden Beach Progress Association is formed.

1948

Mayes Estate off Bowman Road is developed into housing blocks. Caloundra Cricket Club is formed on land donated by Roy Henzell. Whitecliff Hospital opened on 13 May in the former naval signal station on Wickham Point. Byerlee’s Caravan Park known as Tooway is opened. The caravan park one of the first in Queensland was of a very high standard. A new store and post office facilities was built for Mr J. Arthur at Moffat Beach. Landsborough Shire Council takes over responsibility for Military Jetty, Golden Beach from the Commonwealth Government.

25 April - Nambour fire - Maroochy Shire Chambers in Station Square severely damaged.

1950

North Caloundra Surf Life Saving club moves into a new two storeyed building built above the rocks separating Dicky and Moffat Heads, ready for the summer surfing season.

1951

Caloundra Golf Club is opened with competition starting in 1952.

1952

Wildhorse Mountain Fire Tower is built near Glass House Mountains.

1953

New post office and telephone exchange is opened in Bulcock Street on the site of the old post office.

1954

One hundred acres transferred to the community by Misses E. G., M. M. and M. P. Thynne. This transfer of land was made to preserve the original nature of the Maleny scrub, in honour of their mother Mary Thynne (nee Cairncross). The transfer of the Thynne land titles to the Landsborough Shire Council had been effected in 1941.

An unnamed cyclone causes enormous damage in the Caloundra area with record wind gusts. Cyclonic weather caused extensive damage to Bulcock Beach as well as Kings Beach and the Hotel Francis. Ithaca Royal Life Savers start patrols at Bulcock Beach. From Golden Beach to Dicky Beach there were 1,450 homes by mid 1954.

1955

Fire destroyed the Pacific Café and Guesthouse at Kings Beach. Alerted the Nambour Fire Brigade managed the journey to Kings Beach in less than thirty minutes and took control. A local ‘bucket brigade’ had stopped the fire spreading to other businesses close by.

1956

Hotel Caloundra, a splendid new building offering luxury accommodation suites is opened. The dining room was large enough to seat over two hundred guests.

1957

Hibiscus Caravan Park is opened and leased by Jack Johnson. August, 1957 Hotel Perle is officially opened at Kings Beach. The hotel was rebuilt in 1991 and became the Kings Beach tavern. In January, Hotel Francis is closed with a gala event of over five thousand attending. Premier Frank Nicklin had the honour of locking the old hotel doors at 10 pm. Loch Theatre in Roderick Street was built for popular Metropolitan Caloundra life saver and Landsborough Shire Councillor Ben Bennett who also owned the Strand Theatre.

1958

British Prime Minister Harold McMillan visits Caloundra and watches a surf life saving carnival conducted at Kings Beach. Kathleen McArthur writes a regular column ‘Our Wildflowers’ in the Caloundra Weekly.

1959

Construction of the coastal highway between Noosa and Caloundra begins. The name Sunshine Coast was launched at a dinner on 14 August at the Hotel Perle, Caloundra. Backed by Maroochy identity Eddie De Vere and Premier Sir Frank Nicklin the name change sprang from a move by Doug Biggs and C. D. Edwards of the North Coast Branch of the Real Estate Institute. It was gazetted a few years later. Princess Alexandra of Kent visited Caloundra on 3 September. Princess Alexandra attended a function at the Hotel Perle. Princess Alexandra stayed at the home of Mr and Mrs Stumm of Caloundra during her tour of Queensland. Kathleen McArthur publishes Queensland Wildflowers and starts to sell wildflower prints and stationery.

1960

Early 1960s - name "Sunshine Coast" becomes official for the area.

Kerosene taint affects the mullet fishing industry severely disrupting commercial fishing in Moreton Bay and the Passage for the next fifteen years. Once pollution flowing into Moreton Bay was reduced the Kerosene taint diminished.

1961

Maroochydore connected to water supply; Maroochy Airport opened.

1964

Bridge over Currimundi is officially opened on 18 January. This bridge gave access to a number of allotments along Currimundi Lake at Wurtulla.

1965

Construction of the Nicklin Way and named after the late Premier Sir Francis ‘Frank’ Nicklin.

1966

Naming of the “Sunshine Coast” - In November 1966 Maroochydore, Noosa and Landsborough Shires all voted separately to adopt the name “Sunshine Coast” for the region. The name was officially gazetted on 22 July 1967 and took effect from 1st of August 1967. The name Sunshine Coast was first launched in December 1958 at the inaugural dinner of the Sunshine Coast Branch of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, held at the Hotel Caloundra. The Branch had begun a drive to popularise and obtain recognition for the name, to replace the term ‘Near North Coast’, which was not considered distinct enough, and had ‘no significance for southerners.’ The idea of changing the name was controversial and only adopted after 8 years of debate.

The sole remaining daughter of Mary Cairncross, Miss Elizabeth Thynne, donated a further five acres to the Council on 11 December. The Landsborough Shire Council and its successor Councils have honoured the terms of the Trust Deeds for the land which now forms the core of Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve near Maleny. The Premier Frank Nicklin unveiled the opening of a new fire brigade building the first for Caloundra.

1967

Caloundra Hospital in West Terrace was officially opened by Frank Nicklin on 21 October.

1968

Caloundra was chosen as the site for the new Landsborough Shire Council Chambers which were built in Bulcock Street and officially opened on 29 July.

1969

Kathleen McArthur campaigns strongly for the preservation of Pumicestone Passage and the remnant of coastal heath land on the northern bank of Currimundi Creek.

1970

Bob and Lyn Irwin purchase just less than two hectares near Beerwah.

1971

Drive In Movie Theatre opens at Caloundra in December.

1972

Cyclone Wendy battered the Sunshine Coast in the first week of February, causing extensive damage to the Kawana stretch of beaches. The ocean breached the reduced dunes at Kawana Beach, near present day Talinga Street, Buddina on the 7th February. The dune had been reduced during development of the area by Kawana Estates Pty Ltd. The developers and Landsborough Shire Council had bulldozers working to stem the flow of ocean water into the residential development area into the night, under lights. Caloundra Airfield, built by the Landsborough Shire Council, was officially opened by the Premier of Queensland, Joh Bjelke-Petersen on 19 August.

1973

Pa Bendall the oldest competitive surf board rider passes away at age 64. Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park owned by Bob and Lyn Irwin opens.

1974

The largest mail robbery in Australia takes place at Beerburrum. The thieves were caught not long afterwards. Landsborough Shire Council adopts the King Orchid as its floral emblem on 7 October.

1975

North Caloundra surf club burns down. Declaration of 52 acres (21 ha.) of Currimundi Lake Conservation Park (renamed Currimundi Lake Kathleen McArthur Conservation Park in 2003).

1976

Census taken 30 June 1976 showed population for Maroochydore - Mooloolaba as 10,283 and Caloundra 16,982. On 19 November, Ewen Maddock Dam the official water supply for Caloundra was opened by William Knox the Deputy Premier of Queensland. Caloundra’s first public library is opened on 15 October in Felicity Park. Dawn Maddern was the Shire Librarian.

1980

Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen attended the official opening of the Landsborough Shire Civic Cultural Centre in Caloundra on 28 November. Two theatres, restaurant and meeting rooms catered for residents of the district. During this time the fishing fleet was relocated from Caloundra to Mooloolaba due to Pumicestone Passage changes and the creation of dangerous bar conditions. Only 20 dairy producers remain in the district of Maleny after the industry declines.

1981

Butter production ceases at the Maleny Butter Factory. The ship Anro Asia runs aground on the northern tip of Bribie Island. Eighty five containers were removed using Chinook helicopters before the ship could be pulled free.

1983

On 22 June 250mm of rain fell in three hours on the Sunshine Coast. Known as Wet Wednesday many areas of the Sunshine Coast were severely flooded.

1985

Inaugural race meeting is held at Corbould Park, Caloundra.

1986

John L. Beausang Library is officially opened on 31 October due to a larger library needed for the growing population of Caloundra. The library was opened by Governor of Queensland, Hon. Sir Walter Campbell, Q C. The library's name honours Councillor Jack Beausang, who was in council from 1955 -1988 and was Chairman of the Landsborough Shire Council 1964-1987 and first Mayor of Caloundra City when he retired.

15 August - Nambour Civic Hall and old Council Chamber’s irreparably damaged by fire.

1987

Landsborough Shire was declared a City on 19 December. The name Caloundra City was chosen and the first Mayor was Alderman John L Beausang. Maleny districts, Mike Ahern Member for Landsborough becomes Premier of Queensland in December.

1988

Construction of Baroon Pocket Dam begins with a planned surface of 400 hectares, average depth of 15 metres and capacity of 61, 000 mega litres. Baroon Pocket Dam was planned to supply water to much of the Sunshine Coast. First electric train from Brisbane to Landsborough.

1989

Former Nambour Civic Hall demolished to make way for new Civic Hall and Centenary Square construction.

Queensland Premier Mike Ahern officially opened the Baroon Pocket Dam in July. Pelican Waters canal development undertaken by Henzells Agency starts near Golden Beach. Kawana Library opens and is situated on land donated to council by developer Noel Burns of Kawana Estates.

1991

Caloundra resident and politician Joan Sheldon becomes the first Liberal female party leader in Queensland.

1992

Steve Irwin marries and takes over the responsibility for his mother and fathers Reptile Park. The park has a name change and becomes known as Australia Zoo.

1994

Glass House Mountains area experiences severe bush fires over 1000 people are evacuated. Severe fires raged throughout the Beerwah, Beerburrum, Glass House Mountains area during September and November. Fire balls jumped the Pumicestone Passage spreading the fires throughout the railway corridor towns. The Glass House Mountains were badly burnt during the days of heat and burning, with the National Parks Department closing all walking tracks for 12 months to allow the vegetation to regenerate. The Bruce Highway and Glass House Mountains Road were blocked by flames and were closed. Caloundra City Council’s newly completed recreation centre on 50 hectares of land fronting the Ewen Maddock Dam, briefly called the Ewen Maddock Recreation and Environment Centre, was officially named Camp Koongamoon. Named after the Maddock family’s home

1995

The newly completed Caloundra City Council Administration building in Omrah Avenue was occupied by the Council officers on Tuesday 25 July. All Council's administration services moved from their Bulcock Street building, which had been in use since 1968.

1996

The Sunshine Coast University College at Sippy Downs was officially opened at 11.00 am 26 April, by Queensland Governor Mrs Leneen Forde with a plaque unveiling to commemorate the occasion.

1998

Caloundra City’s Peg Burnett Library opens in Coral Street, Maleny.

2000

Des Dwyer Beerwah and District Library named after popular Caloundra City mayor is officially opened. A new police station and lockup is also opened for the Beerwah district. Caloundra’s Kathleen McArthur passes away at the age of 84. A fierce campaigner Kathleen McArthur fought and won many significant battles for the waterways, beaches, wildlife and landscapes throughout the Sunshine Coast as well as the Cooloola Catchment of the Noosa River.

2001

Kings Beach Park was officially opened by Caloundra City Council Mayor, Don Aldous, on Saturday 2nd December. Thousands of people took the opportunity to enjoy the Centenary of Federation celebrations, the Mountains to the Sea Festival, which were held to coincide with the opening of the $12 million redevelopment of the Kings Beach site. Construction commenced on the Jack Ferris Lookout, situated on the Trachyte Ridge between Mt Beerburrum and Mt Tibrogargan in August. The look out was named after long term Bankfoot House resident of the Glass House Mountains area, Jack Ferris, aged 100 years old in 2001. State and Federal Government Grants funded the construction of a car park, walking tracks and the lookout as part of the Centenary of Federation. The Centenary of Federation Walking Track and Jack Ferris Lookout were officially opened on 1 December 2001. Ma Bendall passes away aged 91. The Ma and Pa Bendall Surfing Competition is held each year to honour the Bendalls and their contribution to the sport of surf board riding. A park at Moffat Headlands is also named after them.

2002

Kathleen McArthur of ‘Midyim’ Caloundra is acknowledged and declared the Sunshine Coast Citizen of the Century.

2006

Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin of Australia Zoo, Beerwah dies after being pierced in the heart from a stingray barb whilst swimming with stingrays off the Queensland coast. There is a huge outpouring of grief for this popular Sunshine Coast identity who had became a world-wide celebrity. On 27 September the Queensland State Government announces a permanent tribute to Steve Irwin by renaming the 30 kilometres of the Glass House Mountains Road the Steve Irwin Way. Prime Minister John Howard announces that the Glass House Mountains is to be placed on the National Heritage Register.

2008

On 14 January Caloundra City Mayor, Don Aldous, announced that he would not be running for election for the new Sunshine Coast Regional Council. On 15 March, the councils of Noosa Shire, Maroochy Shire and Caloundra City amalgamated to form the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. The first elected Mayor for the newly amalgamated Sunshine Coast Regional Council is Mayor Bob Abbott.

2009

A search led by David Mearns, who had previously lead the team that found the wrecks of HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran, discovered Centaur’s wreck on 20 December. Centaur was located about 30 nautical miles off the southern tip of Moreton Island, off Queensland’s south-east coast. The wreck will be protected by the Australian government’s Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. The site will therefore become a memorial to the lives that were lost on that ill-fated voyage.

2010

At its meeting of 5 February, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s Strategic Register Committee, as delegate for the Queensland Heritage Council, resolved to enter the old Caloundra Lighthouse, situated in Canberra Terrace, Caloundra, in the Queensland Heritage Register as a State Heritage Place, under the Queensland Heritage Act 1999.

Sources

The timeline has been compiled from various references which include:

  • Alcorn, Berenis, The Maroochy River and its people, Maroochy River Catchment Area Network, 1994.
  • Alcorn, Berenis,Maroochy towns: a study of factors contributing to the formation and growth of towns in a Queensland district, Master of Arts thesis, University of Queensland, 1990.
  • By Obi Waters, Maleny and District Centenary Committee, 1978.
  • Chronicle territory: 75 years in a day, Nambour Chronicle, Nambour, Queensland, 1978.
  • Donald, Ron Moreton Bay Queensland in World War 11, Victory Press, Bribie Island, 1999.
  • Fink, Fred, History of Maroochydore-Mooloolaba, unpublished, Nambour Library, 1992.
  • Fink, Fred, A history of Yandina, Yandina Historical Society, 1998.
  • From Spear and Musket 1879 – 1979: Caboolture Centenary, Caboolture Shire Council, 1979.
  • Gregory, Helen, Making Maroochy: a history of the land, the people and the shire, Boolarong, Brisbane, Queensland, 1991.
  • Gubby, Craig Campbellville and the cedar days, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane, 1994.
  • Harbours and marine, port and harbour development in Queensland from 1824 to 1985, Department of Harbours and Marine, Queensland, 1986.
  • Hankinson, Dave, Reminiscences of Maleny, 1978.
  • Heap, E.G, In the wake of the raftsmen, Part l, Queensland Heritage, Vol. 1, No. 3, November, 1965.
  • Kerkove, Ray, Sunshine Coast Aboriginal culture before the white man. Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research, 1986.
  • McKay, Gary, Times of Change: A history of Caloundra City, Caloundra City Council, 2007.
  • Mann, Charles Harold, The wreck of the Dicky, Shire of Landsborough Historical Society Museum, Landsborough, 1985
  • Maroochy Shire handbook, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Queensland, 1976.
  • Maroochydore-Mooloolaba:then and now, Maroochy Shire Library Service, 1994.
  • Petrie-Campbell, Constance Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of early Queensland, Ferguson and Co., Brisbane, 1904.
  • Riis, Erica Growth of Caloundra. Landsborough Shire Museum, 2002.
  • Smith, Steven Trent, The rescue a true story of courage and survival in World War 11, John Wiley and Sons, Canada, 2001.
  • Steele, J.G. Aboriginal pathways in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland, 1984.
  • Symons, Pat & SymBush heritage: an introduction to the history of plant and animal use by Aboriginal people and colonists in the Brisbane and Sunshine Coast areas. Nambour, Qld, 1996.
  • Tainton, Rev. Joseph, Marutchi: The early history of the Sunshine Country, 1976.
  • Trundle, Gwen, The early days of Caloundra (to 1900) Queensland Women’s Historical Association, Brisbane, 1960.
  • Tutt, Stan, Pioneer Days, Caboolture Historical Society, Caboolture, 1974.
  • Want, Barbara, Nambour street names: their origin and history, Maroochy Shire Council, 1995.
  • Welsby, Thomas, The collected works of Thomas Welsby. Jacaranda Press, 1967.