1800-1849 on the Sunshine Coast

Bunya trees planted by Bob Breton at the entrance to his property on Bretons Road, Crohamhurst near Peachester, 1988 | Picture Sunshine Coast


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.


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.


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.


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


Petrie’s report discussed the Aboriginal way of life and bought about the prohibition by NSW Governor Sir George Gipps 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. The Bunya Proclamation prevented settlement or the granting of timber or cattle leases on the land on which the Bunya Pine grew. The effect of the Proclamation of 1842, was to create an aboriginal reserve, which was bounded on the north by the Maroochy River, on the west by the Great Dividing Range, and to the east it extended to the Pacific Ocean.


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.


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.


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