1950-1999 on the Sunshine Coast

Official opening of the Caloundra Hospital on 21 October 1967 | Picture Sunshine Coast.


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.


Caloundra Golf Club is opened with competition starting in 1952.


Wildhorse Mountain Fire Tower is built near Glass House Mountains.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Maroochydore connected to water supply; Maroochy Airport opened.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


Drive In Movie Theatre opens at Caloundra in December.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


Inaugural race meeting is held at Corbould Park, Caloundra.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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