Originally called "Koongalba" (small water) by the Aboriginal people

Loading logs brought by bullock team to Yandina Railway Yard, Yandina, ca 1910. Image credit: Picture Sunshine Coast.

Origin of name

Yandina was called "Koongalba" (small water) by the Aboriginal people, and "Native Dog Flat" and "Maroochie" by the early pastoralists. It was not generally known as Yandina (Aboriginal for "to go on foot"), the name of the cattle run east of Mt Ninderry, until the railway line was built.

Early history of settlement

The first Europeans to occupy the Yandina district were the Skyring brothers, who in 1853 applied for and were granted leases for three cattle runs extending northward from the Maroochy and South Maroochy Rivers.

Timbergetters were the next arrivals in the late 1860s. Cedar was the first timber taken, but the timbers that sustained the industry until the early part of the 20th century were beech and pine. Logs were rafted down the river to Maroochydore, dragged by bullocks to Mooloolaba and shipped to Brisbane. From 1891-1898, Pettigrew operated a sawmill at Maroochydore. After 1898, timber was sent by rail to various sawmills. Timber remained an important industry until the late 1920s.

It was from the ranks of the early timbergetters that most of the first selectors came. James Low operated the timber rafting ground from opposite Dunethin Rock when gold was discovered at Gympie in 1867. He led a party which cleared a dray road from his depot to the goldfields. This road resulted in the first Post Office between Brisbane and Gympie being established at Low's depot in 1868, with Low as Postmaster. In 1868, legislation was passed allowing land selection in settled districts, and Low secured the first selection in Yandina. This was also the first selection in Maroochy Shire.

The Brisbane-Gympie Road was completed in 1868, and Cobb & Co. coaches were soon travelling its length. By then, Low had built a store and stables and accommodation for travellers on his selection, and transferred the post office to this depot. In 1869, he was granted a publican's licence and the depot became the Maroochie Hotel - the first commercial centre in the Maroochy Shire.

The town of Yandina was surveyed by Charles Warner in 1870, making it the first gazetted town in the Maroochy district. The first sale of town lots was held that year. The Maroochy Provisional School was opened in 1879 and the Yandina Provisional School in 1889.

The coming of the railway in 1891 marked the beginning of Yandina as a business centre, which by 1894 included several stores, butchers, boarding house, blacksmith, hotel, post and telegraph offices, railway station, and police station.