Stradbroke Island

  • James Cook

    Lieutenant James Cook had already sailed by in 1770, charting the outer reaches of Moreton Bay and naming several prominent features of the Island, including Point Lookout by way of warning fellow explorers to be aware of the rocky outcrop.
  • Mattew Flinders

    Matthew Flinders in 1803, he came ashore in search of fresh water.
  • Emigrant

    Some twenty years later in 1823, three timber getters, Pamphlett, Finnegan and Parsons were shipwrecked on Moreton Island and spent eight months exploring around Moreton Bay. Upon their arrival at Pulan (Amity Point) the trio was welcomed by the Noonucals who fed, housed and shared knowledge with them. The Noonucals showed the three men how to make a canoe from the local timber and it was in this vessel that they departed six weeks later.
  • Pilot Station

    In 1825 Amity Point was set up as Moreton Bay’s first Pilot Station, and upon Oxley’s strong recommendation, Minjerribah was destined to become a penal settlement. This marked the beginning of permanent contact between Europeans and the Aborigines in the Redlands.
  • Renaming

    In June 1827, Minjerribah was renamed Stradbroke Island by Governor Darling in reverence of the Honourable Captain J.H. Rous, son of the Earl of Stradbroke and also Viscount Dunwich.
  • Conflict

    Over the following years, tensions erupted between the convicts, local Aborigines and the Europeans. One of the first known conflicts erupted in 1828 when a cotton plantation was established at Myora, near Dunwich – the site was a favoured Aboriginal campsite and tempers flared. The site was inexplicably abandoned within six months.
  • More Conflict

    Between 1831 and 1832 there were more than ten violent clashes between the Europeans and the Minjerribah people resulting in deaths on both sides.
  • Rewards, Gratitude and Leaving

    Not all relations were soured however and when the “Sovereign” sank in the South Passage in 1847, considerable recognition was granted to the Minjerribah people and the Ngugi people of Moreton Island for their valiant efforts to rescue the stricken crew. They were rewarded with a boat and breastplates in gratitude for their assistance. It was in this year that all the Ngugi people moved to Minjerribah, leaving Moreton Island permanently.
  • Fishing

    From 1850 onwards fishing became a major industry. No more convicts had been sent to Moreton Bay for some time and the Island had been opened up to free settlers. Houses were constructed and the men set their sights on supplying the Redlands area with fish and their byproducts.
  • The "Emigrant"

    On July 16 1850, Dunwich was proclaimed to be Moreton Bay’s Quarantine Station. Only a few weeks later a ship called the “Emigrant” pulled into port with Typhus onboard. All of her passengers were put into quarantine at Dunwich. Fifty six of them died and many are buried in the Dunwich cemetery. The quarantine station closed in 1864 and Peel Island was declared as Moreton Bay’s official quarantine station, and Dunwich was nominated to accommodate the Benevolent Asylum which was completed in 1867
  • Thomas Welsby

    The township continued to prosper in the ensuing years, farming was established and dugong fishing had resumed. Employment was available in the asylum for women as nurses and aides, and the men found work fishing or farming. Amity Point also prospered throughout this time. Small schools were set up and the population of the Island grew. In 1892 well known historian Thomas Welsby set up a dugong boiling down plant near Myora to extract the dugong oil used in lamps, for cooking, and in medicine.
  • Seperation

    Prior to 1894 North and South Stradbroke were one and the same island. The two islands were separated after a barque; the "Cambus Wallace" was shipwrecked in a narrow passage off the island that was carrying explosives that had to be detonated in the passage. It is believed that the recovery of cargo from the Cambus Wallace, the detonations, and a severe storm caused the separation of the island creating North and South Stradbroke as we know it today.
  • Murder

    Murder came calling in September of 1896, at the hands of Matron Marie Christensen at the Myora Mission. She was charged with murder, later reduced to manslaughter for killing five year old Cassy whom she beat to death for swimming with the boys.
  • Oyster Farming

    By 1901 oyster farming was well established on the Island, but a plague of mud worm wreaked havoc on this enterprise. Oyster farming had been the biggest seafood industry in Queensland at that time, employing many Aboriginal and European workers for years. The outbreak of mud worm was devastating but not terminal, and through perseverance the industry survived and still prospers in Moreton Bay.
  • The "Prosperity”

    1902 saw the sinking of the “Prosperity” off Point Lookout, it is believed that a skeleton revealed on the beach in 1956 with a boot still intact on the foot, was the remains of the cook from the “Prosperity”. The discovery of these remains was the origin of the name given to the beach on which they were found – Deadman’s Beach at Point Lookout.
  • Tourism

    Tourism came to the Island much later, when in the 1930’s, Bert Clayton bought land above the South Gorge to build a guesthouse. His first guests were accommodated in tents which he gradually replaced with one room cabins, the next owners of the property renamed it Samarinda. Samarinda still exists in a very modern form on the original site today. Bert Clayton also started the first bus service to Point Lookout.
  • Lighthouse

    The Point Lookout Lighthouse was constructed in 1932 and the materials used in its construction were deposited on one of the beaches including the cylinders used for assembling the light. The beach was named Cylinder Beach for this reason. In spite of the new lighthouse, the “Rufus King” ran aground in the South Passage Bar in 1942. It was a supply ship loaded with cargo from Los Angeles bringing supplies to Brisbane and field hospitals.
  • The "Centaur"

    On the 14th of May 1943, the Australian Hospital Ship “Centaur” was torpedoed off the Island and 268 of its passengers were killed, leaving only 64 survivors
  • Ferry, Lifesaving

    The first vehicular ferry service commenced in 1947 with the “Amazon” soon renamed the “Karboora”. That same year the Surf Lifesavers began patrolling Point Lookout’s beaches. The following year saw the Point Lookout Club being affiliated with Queensland Surf Lifesaving and a permanent club house was erected on the Main beach Headland where it remains today.
  • Sand Mining

    Sand mining was first established on the Island in 1949 when Zinc Corp set up their operation. In the early stages sand was dug up by hand from Main Beach and sent by truck to Dunwich, this hands-on approach solved the unemployment problem on the Island giving jobs to many local residents. Some five years later Titanium and Zirconium Industries set up a more elaborate operation building a dredge on Main Beach and utilizing a trans-island ropeway to transport the sand overland to Dunwich.
  • Still Sand Mining

    Sand mining is still the number one employer on the Island with Consolidated Rutile Ltd, established on the Island in 1963 still in operation today.
  • Regular Ferries

    Stradbroke Ferries began a regular service to the Island in 1964 and over the years, the Island has seen many changes in its population, industry and construction.