About Caboolture

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Caboolture – “Place of Carpet Snakes”:

Animal rich representation of Caboolture bush prior to settlement.
Animal rich representation of Caboolture bush prior to settlement.

Long before the arrival of the first white settlers to the region in the mid-1800s, the local Kabi Aboriginal people knew a place by the river named “Kabul-tur.” In the Yugarabul dialect, “Kabul-tur” was the ‘Place of Carpet Snakes.’

When the first free settlers pushed forward from the south in search of new opportunity, they would adopt the name Cabulture. It would later be varied to the current spelling, Caboolture. Presbyterian clergyman John Dunmore Lang is believed to be the first settler to apply the name in 1848. The town maintains a link to the first people through its name to this date. Its meaning has been embraced by the local rugby league team, the Caboolture Snakes. There is also a theory the town’s name was derived from the Aboriginal word “Cabbool” (carpet snake) and “cha” (the ground), according to local history book Spear and Musket – hence “The Carpet Snake’s Ground.”

Today, tens of thousands of cars each day stream up Morayfield Road – Caboolture’s main arterial. Their wheels trundle over the concrete bridge spanning the Caboolture River and linking the town’s two business centres. Most motorists are oblivious to the river’s momentous role in shaping the fast growing region.

The river begins its journey to sea in the heavily wooded D’Aguilar Range to the west. It weaves its way through the hilly terrain toward the coast like a giant carpet snake, leaving behind rolling hillsides hundreds of metres above sea level. The river ends its journey by washing into Deception Bay through the mangrove-lined mudflats of the sleepy hamlet Beachmere.

The ‘Red Gold’ rush:

To understand the river’s significance we must wind back the clock to the 1870s. More than half a century earlier, the celebrated explorer Matthew Flinders became the first European to sail around the point of Bribie Island and up Pumicestone Passage, which he and others mistakenly believed was a river. At the time there was no white settlement in the present-day Moreton Bay region, only dense bushland, mountains, rivers and streams to excite the curiosity of the intrepid explorer.

Felling a massive tree in Woodford.
Felling a massive tree in Woodford.

A settler standing upon the river bank at that time could watch as thick-girthed red cedar logs arrived from the west upon drays pulled by bullock teams. The logs were then rafted downstream for transport by steamer to market in Brisbane. Mt Mee and the Blackall Ranges had an abundance of highly sought after timbers, including red cedar. The “continuous roar of breaking timber” at one site could be heard miles away, according to one anecdote in the book Spear and Musket – a chronicle of the Caboolture region’s early pioneering days. The Caboolture River proved a valuable highway for the timber getters “red gold.” Enormous tree trunks were tethered together to create a raft. A man would ride atop this rough hewn ship, steering the precious cargo away from the banks of the river and other obstacles.

The Moreton Bay penal colony had been thrown open to free settlers in 1842. Land was available for 12 shillings an acre. The river was a ready-made transport system – and the only transport system -for the settlers to ferry their supplies downstream to Caboolture. These early settlers were journeying into unknown territory as far as European settlement was concerned. Caboolture then formed the northernmost border of New South Wales. The settlers eked out a rough existence living in tents until huts and houses could be built. Many had originally arrived from England and Scotland to hunt their fortunes.

The first free settlers:

Sketch of Durundur by Charles Archer, 31 July 1843. In the early 1840s Durundur, near present-day Woodford, was the most northerly pastoral run in Australia.
Sketch of Durundur by Charles Archer, 31 July 1843. In the early 1840s Durundur, near present-day Woodford, was the most northerly pastoral run in Australia.

The Archer Brothers, David, Thomas and John Archer, led the way. The trio earned their place in history as the first free European settlers in September, 1841 after establishing ‘Durundur’ station on the Stanley River. The station covered 200 square miles of land blanketing the entire area now known as Woodford. It was the most northern pastoral land in Australia at the time, earning the property its “cradle of European settlement” title. The Archer brothers had a notable guest a year after arriving in famous botanist and explorer Dr Ludwig Leichardt.

The Archer Brothers appear to have had a more compassionate attitude to the local inhabitants than some of their pioneering peers, according to letters contained in Spear and Musket. A letter written by one of the Archers states how his brother David “considers the black as the hereditary owner of the land and that it is an act of injustice to drive him from his hunting grounds – at the same time punishing any case of sheep stealing..” In taking this position, the Archer brothers appear to have gained the co-operation and forbearance of the local Aborigines in contrast to their neighbours, who endured continuous attacks. A corroboree in about 1865 drew between 400-500 Aborigines to Durundur.

Relations between the first European settler to arrive further south in Caboolture and the Aborigines were not so happy as those enjoyed by the Archers. Andrew Gregor had established his grazing station Forguie at what is now Upper Caboolture, about 40km from Durundur, in 1842. Disaster struck when Gregor and his housekeeper Mary Shannon were murdered by hostile Aborigines in 1846. Shannon had moved to the station with her husband Thomas and three young daughters, where she lived in a bark hut. Shannon was struck in the head with a tomahawk while emptying a pot in the garden and Gregor was attacked with a waddy during the “large scale attack.” Mary Shannon’s husband and children escaped unharmed. One theory has it that the attack was retribution for the murder of several Aborigines in the area by Europeans. One of the accused, an Aborigine named Yillbong, was killed weeks later by timber cutters and a reward claimed. Several other men believed to be involved in the Gregor attack were also killed by police. A paper by University of Southern Queensland’s Libby Connors contends that the deaths triggered a series of ritualistic “payback” attacks by the Aborigines under customary law, including the murder of two sawyers possibly involved in the death of Yillbong.

The unrelated shooting of several Aborigines was reported as follows in the 1863 edition of Pugh’s Almanac: “Several blacks reported to have been shot by the Native Police under Lieutenant Wheeler at the Cabulture, in consequence of certain depredations having been complained of by the settlers.”

Also see: http://mwweb.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Paper_11_Connors.pdf

‘Whishful’ thinking has bittersweet end:

Whish, Claudius Buchanan.
Whish, Claudius Buchanan.

By the 1860s, pastoralists had begun experimenting with sugar and cotton. A cotton plantation was established on the river in 1861. The Caboolture Cotton Co. was established at Morayfield to fill a shortage in England caused by the American Civil War. But the climate was soon found to be unsuitable for cotton. Captain Claudius Buchanan Whish and George Raff bought neighbouring parcels of the land to plant sugarcane. While Whish, an English-born military man who served in India, was not the first to grow sugar, his story encapsulates the trials and tribulations of the pioneers.

Captain Whish arrived in Queensland in 1862. He began creating his sugar plantation Oaklands on the south bank of the Caboolture River. Whish would later discover that the weather conditions were far from ideal for sugar cane. In 1865, Whish introduced 33 Kanakas (Pacific Island labourers) to the plantation – the first to be used in the Queensland sugar industry. The decision would reportedly put him out of favour with the people, but temporarily safeguarded his 5000 pound investment in the enterprise.

Whish tried and failed to win the seat of East Moreton in the Queensland Legislative Assembly elections of 1867. The same year, he produced his first barrel of rum. Whish’s decision to hire South Sea Island labourers fell under scrutiny when a committee on Pacific Island labour was told that whippings had occurred at Oaklands. But the claim was apparently discarded as it lacked credibility, with Whish being appointed to the Queensland Legislative Council in 1870.

Ironically, Whish would go down in history as the state’s first successful sugar grower, despite being declared bankrupt. His estate lost its value, forcing him to resign from the Legislative Council and sell his machinery. Just three years after joining the Legislative Council, he was declared bankrupt with a debt of 5598 pounds.

In 1889, Whish set sail for his homeland with his wife on the ill-fated RMS Quetta. Both perished at sea when the ship struck an unchartered rock in the Torres Strait in February of 1890 and sunk. Of the 292 people onboard, 134 died, making it the worst maritime disaster in Queensland’s history at the time. Nevertheless, Whish’s name lives on as the first Queenslander to sell commercial quantities of sugar and to produce high quality rum. In his own words, scribed in a petition to the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1868, Whish wrote: “your petitioner was the first to produce sugar in any quantity, and his shipment of it was the first to affect the market in any way, causing as it did an immediate fall in the price of imported sugar, and securing easier terms for purchasers – two most substantial benefits to the economy.” Further that: “your petitioner was the first to manufacture and supply rum to the colonial market..”

RMS Quetta – Wake of the Navigators Expedition December 2012 from Mike Ball Dive on Vimeo.

Raff’s homestead – a stairwell to the past:

Morayfield, the residence of George Raff, Brisbane, ca.
Morayfield, the residence of George Raff, Brisbane, ca.

Remnants of George Raff’s sugar plantation can still be found today on the banks of the Caboolture River, including the porch stairs. Raff named his plantation Moray Field after his birthplace in Scotland, Morayshire. The name now signifies the region’s retail centre, home to a major shopping centre, chain stores and residential development. The remains of Raff’s homestead lie on the site of the North-East Business Park development.

Like Whish, Raff was a pioneer of using South-Sea Islander labour. Raff is reported to have been commended for his treatment of the workers by clergyman John Dunmore Lang. He would also give evidence to the committee hearing on Pacific Island labour. In 2011, three men, Vanuatu MP Abel David, representative of Vanuatu chiefs Richard David and Caboolture resident Daniel Awiyawi visited the site to inspect where their ancestors worked in the mid-1800s. The site has been proposed for heritage listing. Raff was elected to represent Brisbane in the first parliament of Queensland in 1860. He also became part of the Board of National Education and the Exhibition Commission.

The Gympie Road and beyond:

The discovery of gold at Gympie in 1867-68 paved the way for a new way of transport: the railway. Caboolture became the stop-over point for miners travelling north by Cobb and Co. in the hopes of striking it rich during the gold rush. The thoroughfare was aptly named the Gympie Road. Marked trees were used to peg out the route. It would take over from the region’s waterways in determining the path of future development. Horses and men needed to be fed along the route, leading to the building of towns that exist to this day. The road originally travelled through Conondale west of the present-day Moreton Bay council region, but was later shifted toward the coast, passing through Caboolture.

By 1870, there was enough work for a blacksmith to open shop on the site of the present council chambers. The population of Caboolture in 1886, however, was still just 162 people, with just more than 12,000 people living in the greater region. That would change when trains replaced coaches in 1888 as the main mode of transport.

Electric trains were introduced on the Caboolture line in June, 1986. The overhead electric lines were officially opened at Caboolture station by Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson. More than 500 people turned out for the occasion, according to a report by Channel Nine’s Nick Whitehead. Described as a landmark in Caboolture’s development, the electrification of the railway line was part of a larger plan to link Brisbane to Rockhampton by 1989 at a cost of $29 million. For $2.50 commuters could travel the 50km to the Brisbane CBD in just 42 minutes, according to the report. The same journey today costs $7.70 and takes about 56 minutes. The railway corridor will undergo a major expansion with the building of the long-promised Rail to Redcliffe, linking Petrie and Kippa-Ring.

A bridge to last the distance:

Caboolture River Bridge Facing South / [picture] / P White Caboolture.
Caboolture River Bridge Facing South / [picture] / P White Caboolture.

The need for reliable roads and road infrastructure resulted in work beginning to bridge the two banks of the Caboolture River as early as 1873. Constant repairs to the bridge due to flooding led to plans being hatched for a more solid structure. The sturdier new bridge would prove the single most discussed topic by the council than any other matter of business, according to Spear and Musket. The new concrete bridge opened with fanfare in 1919.

A town rises:

Beerburrum Road - Caboolture / [Picture] / Joyce Blinks and Morris Blinks.
Beerburrum Road – Caboolture / [Picture] / Joyce Blinks and Morris Blinks.

By 1869, Caboolture boasted a postal service, store and hotel. A Mr Roach is recorded as the original owner of the land on which the town was settled. In the early days, a ferry service would carry settlers across the Caboolture River. By the late 1940s, the Caboolture township was beginning to take shape. According Pugh’s Almanac (1949), the town boasted a co-op dairy factory and a range of other shops, as well as Carmody’s Royal Hotel on the corner of King St and Beerburrum Rd, and five churches. The Caboolture and District Co-operative Cash Stores opened its doors in the 1930s, selling tobacco and petrol. The town’s population began to grow after World War II, increasing rapidly in the 1970s.

In 1978, the Caboolture and District Co-operative Cash Stores opened a store on the corner of King St and Beerburrum Rd. Other buildings at the time included the National Bank premises in the new Centrepoint Plaza on the corner of King St and Beerburrum Rd, the Commonwealth Bank building in King St and the Ampol Garage, housed in one of Caboolture’s oldest buildings at 22 Beerburrum Rd (corner of Bertha St). Shops had sprung up in Station Plaza opposite the railway station on Matthew Terrace, including a sports store, coffee shop, real estate agency, clothing store and furniture store. The shops have since been bulldozed. Morayfield took over from Caboolture as the region’s retail heartland with the opening of the Morayfield Shopping Centre in April, 1997. A major extension was completed in 2005.

The surrounding areas:

Bribie Island:

Drawn by Matthew Flinders.
Drawn by Matthew Flinders.

On a winter’s night in 1799, explorer Matthew Flinders dropped anchor close to the southern tip of Bribie Island. By morning’s light he set sail in search of a place to examine damage to his sloop “Norfolk.” The events of that day, July 16, would lead to the naming of Skirmish Point on Bribie Island and prove worthy of mention by Flinders in his journal A Voyage to Terra Australis. As told by Flinders in his own words in his journal: “There was a party of natives on the point, and our communication was at first friendly..but after receiving presents they made an attack, and one of them was wounded by our fire.” Flinders named the spot of the brief run-in Skirmish Point. However, it is though the place of his landing on today’s maps is actually South Point, on the side of the island facing the mainland, rather than the present day Skirmish Point, just south of Woorim.

Matthew Flinders

After making history as the first European to explore Bribie Island, Flinders made his way up the Pumicestone Passage. He named the waterway Pumice-stone River on account of the deposits of pumice stone found on its borders and upon the mistaken belief it was a river. Flinders found a landing place nine days later and set out on foot with his friend Bongaree, an Aborigine from Sydney, after whom the present-day Bribie Island suburb is named. The pair explored the Glass House Mountains, climbing Mt Beerburrum, before returning to their sloop. Upon return they had a friendlier encounter with some Aborigines, which Flinders wryly attributed to “their opinion of us having undergone a salutary change from the effect of our fire arms at Point Skirmish.”

The aboriginal population would have numbered in their hundreds at the time. Journalist and explorer Archibald Meston wrote in 1891 that there were 600-1000 Aborigines on Bribie Island in the early 1840s, but “today there is not a soul left.” Flinders observed aboriginal huts on the island of up to four metres long. The aboriginal called the Island Yarron, meaning hunting ground. Yaroon and Yarun are variations on the spelling. Another school of thought is that the Island’s name was Yirin, meaning mudcrab. The Island was inhabited by the Joondoburrie, or Joondoobarrie people. Kal-ma-kuta, also known as Alma Turner, is recorded as the last of the tribe. Born in 1857, she married oyster fisherman Fred Turner. The couple had a contract to light and maintain the beacon lights at Toorbul Point – warding ships away from danger. She died in 1897. A memorial erected in 1962 at Toorbul Point reads: “In memory of Kal-ma-kuta, last of the Joondoburri Tribe, who passed away A.D. 1897 Honoured and Respected by all who knew her.”

The shipwrecked trio Richard Parsons, Thomas Pamphlet and John Finnegan were next to arrive in 1823. The men, who had travelled from Sydney, lived with the Aborigines in the Toorbul area for about four months before two of the men, Pamphlet and Finnegan were rescued. Parsons spent two years living with the Aborigines in the Mary River region before returning south.

But it would be a convict named Bribie the Basket Maker who is believed to have inspired the current name of the Island. Bribie lived with the Aborigines on the Island for many years up until the 1840s. Little is known about how he received his name, but the late author Thomas Welsby rather poetically writes that after falling in love with an Aboriginal girl, the skilled basket maker and fishermen took up permanent residence on the Island with the tribe and was made a chief. He was a free man by this stage in any case.

Bribie Island is one of the few places in the Moreton Bay region where relics of World War II can be found. Fort Bribie was placed close to the Island’s northernmost point during World War II in an effort to secure the passage south. A number of gun emplacements line the Island’s oceanside. One can be found by walking north from Woorim beach, while others are by 4WD access. Shifting sands have exposed the northern searchlight structure and hidden gun emplacements behind the dunes.

One of Bribie’s most famous residents was the recluse Ian Fairweather, who is revered as one of Australia’s greatest artists. The British-born former soldier and Slade School scholar shunned modern cons to live in a self-built thatched hut on the Island near Woorim in 1953, where he would continue to paint his works using whatever material he could find at the time. He was still living and painting on the Island when he died in 1974.

Up until 1953s, those travelling between Bribie Island and the mainland would take the beloved “Queen of Moreton Bay” – the SS Koopa. The Koopa would originally ferry passengers between Brisbane, Woody Point, Redcliffe and Bribie Island. During its 31 years it would ferry thousands of holiday-makers to the Island. The Bribie Island Bridge opened in 1965, making it the only Moreton Bay island to be connected to the mainland. Some locals were vehemently opposed to the two-lane bridge, fearing it would destroy the quiet charm of the island.

About an hour’s drive from Brisbane, Bribie Island continues to draw holidaymakers and day trippers to its shores. The island’s white sands stretch more than 30km, with more than 55 sq m of its land protected national park. Jet skiing, four-wheel driving and fishing are among the recreational activities on offer. A permit is required for four-wheel driving on the beach. The population in 2009 was just over 17,000 people.

Wamuran and Burpengary:

Originally known as Wararba, the Wamuran area was the next to be settled after the Upper Caboolture region. According to Spear and Musket, it had the Bushman’s Arms Hotel in an area of Wamuran named Paddy’s Pinch (now Bracalba). The hotel’s licence was transferred to D’Aguilar in about 1911. Early industries included timber getting and tobacco farming. Banana plants blanketed the area by the 1920s and continue to be grown. Before four-wheel drives, bunches of bananas were transported down the hillsides using pulleys and overhead wires. Charlie Hall and James England are credited with introducing banana crops to Wamuran in 1910.

Settlers had reached as far as Burpengary by as early as the 1850s. Burpengary State School was the first school to open within the area in 1876. One of its earliest people was the Aborigine Jackie Delaney. Delaney’s real name was Menvil Warmuarn, though he also had the title “King of Stoney Creek.” He took the surname of pastoralist Joe Delaney, who had land stretching from Upper Burpengary Creek (Stoney Creek) to Redcliffe. Jackie Delaney lived on a creek bank with his wife Kitty, who is said to have been the daughter of Queen Beauty. The suburb of Wamuran was named after him and a memorial stone has been erected in his honour.

The fruit is fruitier? Caboolture Real Fruit Yoghurt hits the mark:

Caboolture gained a reputation as the home of farm fresh yoghurt thanks to a successful television advertising campaign in the 1980s. The region has a rich dairying history, with the Caboolture Co-operative Association owning manufacturing plants at Caboolture, Pomona and Eumundi. Dairy farming was in full swing in Upper Caboolture as early as 1893. The Caboolture butter factory began work in 1907. By the 1930s, the Caboolture factory was producing about 30 pounds of butter a week. In 1972 the Caboolture Co-operative Association became the sole distributor of pasteurized milk and cream. More than a decade later, a catchy tune and wholesome farming scenes would make Caboolture Real Fruit Yoghurt a household name.

The advertisement begins:

What makes Caboolture real fruit yoghurt so much tastier?
Well out here the birds are chirpier, the air is cleanier
The grass is greenier, the cows are happier
They make it much creamier, with fruit that’s fruitier
In bits much chunkier, the breeze blows gentlier
The whole world’s friendlier, and things are less hastier

That’s why it’s tastier. Caboolture real fruit yoghurt.

There’s nothing artificial about Caboolture.

The birds became less chirpier, however, when yoghurt production eventually came to a halt – ‘sadlier’ to the disappointment of fans who still take to internet forums to lament the loss. The folksy marketing campaign has nostalgic value as an anthem for an age of innocence for the big country town that was Caboolture.

The local economy also suffered a blow with the closure of the Dairy Farmers factory, which was wedged in the advantageous location between the river, railway line and King St, Caboolture. The Dairy Farmers co-operative, which was feeling the pressure of intense market competition, announced in 2005 that it would close the factory to consolidate its operations at Booval.

Agriculture continues to play a role in the region’s economy. Caboolture may have lost its yoghurt, but the Moreton Bay council region is now one of the biggest growers of strawberries in Australia. Other commercial crops include bananas and pineapples. Testament to its farming roots, it boasts one of Australia’s largest outdoor trade shows in the annual Farm Fantastic.

The making of a super council:

It did not take long after settlement for local government to take form. The Caboolture Divisional Board was established on November 11, 1879. It was centred on Caboolture and its immediate surrounds, but also took in the neighbouring areas of Redcliffe, Caloundra, Pine Rivers, Kilcoy and as far north as Maroochydore.

The name was changed to the Caboolture Council in 1902, with the council achieving statutory recognition as a shire in 1903 when the Local Authorities Act was enacted. The old Caboolture Shire Chambers can be found in the Caboolture Historical Village. Caboolture Shire Council ceased to exist on March 27, 2004 when the amalgamation of Queensland councils took effect. Caboolture Shire Council was amalgamated with the neighbouring Redcliffe City Council and Pine Rivers Shire Council to create the Moreton Bay Regional Council. The new super council covers an area of 2,011 square kilometres and has a population of more than 380,000 people, making it Australia’s third largest council. It is represented by a mayor and 12 divisional councillors. It’s population is projected to grow to 533,170 people by 2031.

Caboolture today:

The Moreton Bay region is one of the fastest growing in Queensland. As at June 20, 2011, the region had a population of 389,661 people. Retail trade is now the biggest employer in the region, followed by healthcare, social assistance, education and training, manufacturing and construction. Large chain stores now line Morayfield Rd, having radiated out from the Morayfield Shopping Centre. Morayfield Road now carries up to 42,000 vehicles per day. The Caboolture CBD has a smaller retail precinct but remains a centre of government business for the area, with council meetings and business continuing to be conducted from the precinct. The Caboolture Hub development contains a business and learning centre, gallery space and conference facilities.

A place of festivals:

Farm Fantastic:

Farm Fantastic

Held each winter, Farm Fantastic is the region’s major trade expo, selling everything from farm equipment such as tractors to crs, hardware and home decor. It is held in July on land at the corner of the Bruce Highway and Pumicestone Rd, Caboolture.

Abbey Medieval Festival:

Abbey Festival

Before Game of Thrones there was the Abbey Medieval Festival. The festival has grown over the years to become a major event drawing up t 37,000 visitors to the region each July. Re-enactment camps, jousting, falconry, roving entertainers, re-enactors are just some of the highlights. Many festival goers arrive in medieval costume, with some even donning armour. The festival is anchored by the Medieval Banquet, where guests are treated to a sumptuous medieval banquet and entertainment. The medieval tournament is the centrepiece of the festival and draws competitors from around the globe, including the UK, US and New Zealand. Competitors travel the international jousting circuit, picking up a strong fan base as they go. The festival is held on the grounds of the Abbey Museum, off Old Toorbul Point Rd, Caboolture.

Urban Country Music Festival:

The festival was launched in 2004 and set out to combine the best of the urban and country experience. The festival is traditionally held on the first weekend in May. For three days, visitors are treated to free entertainment by country music artists, buskers, ute competitions and more. The main concert features a line-up of the nation’s best country music talent. This has previously included Troy Cassar-Daly, John Williamson, Lee Kernaghan and Beccy Cole. A rodeo caps off the event. Caboolture’s biggest country music talent is inarguably Keith Urban. Urban was born in New Zealand but moved to Caboolture with his family when he was a toddler. Urban grew up in Caboolture, attending Caboolture State High. Urban was already a successful music artist when he married Nicole Kidman, later scoring a spot as a judge on reality television show The Voice. He is yet to appear at the Urban as a performer, but recorded a birthday message for the town to mark the festival’s 10th anniversary in April, 2013. In the recorded message, Urban says: “When I used to live there, because I grew up in Caboolture, we used to have to travel miles to get to a country festival, so it would have been nice if the festival was running then. I could have played the gig and been home in bed.” The festival’s events were originally scattered between Centenary Lakes, the Town Square and the Caboolture Showgrounds, but events are now concentrated on the Show Grounds and surrounding parcels of land.

Woodford Folk Festival:

Woodford Folk Festival

The festival has been running for 27 years, including 19 years at the Woodfordia site at… It is held annually over six days and six nights from the 27th of December to the 1st of January. More than 2000 performers and 438 events are on the festival program. Events include concerts, dances, street theatre, writers’ panels, acoustic jams, debate sessions, art workshops, parades and a children’s festival. Festival-goers can drop in for one day, or stay the entire festival by pitching a tent in the campgrounds surrounding the grounds. The site, off Woodrow Rd, is in a valley in Woodford surrounded by bushland. It affords views of the Glass House Mountains from the hilltop above the festival grounds. It takes an about an hour to reach the site from Brisbane by car, or 40 minutes from Caloundra.

Equestrian Centre events:

The Queensland State Equestrian Centre holds a series of events each year. The centre is the state’s premier equestrian sport and multipurpose events venue. It is spread over 30 hectares and includes an all-weather arena able to seat 3200 equestrian spectators or 5200 spectators at concert events. A variety of state championship competitions is held at the centre each year.


Caboolture Historical Village:

The Village has 70 buildings on display. Most of the buildings have been relocated to the 12 acre property from sites around across the Caboolture region. There are also more than 100,000 artefacts on display. The Historical Village offers buildings for hire, including a hall, hotel, chapel and village grounds. A range of events are held at the Historical Village each year. Open daily from 9.30am-3.30pm. Phone 5495 4581.

Where: Caboolture Historical Village is situated at 230 Beerburrum Rd Caboolture Caboolture.


The Caboolture Country Markets are held at the Caboolture Showgrounds each Sunday from 5.30am-noon. There are more than 500 stalls selling fresh produce, baked goods, plants, bric-a-brac and more.

Where: Caboolture Showgrounds, corner of Old Gympie and Beerburrum Roads.

Sheepstation Creek Conservation Park:

This 231 hectare park offers several easy-grade walking tracks through remnant bushland. Walks take between 20 minutes to 1.2 hours. Horse riding is permitted.

Where: The recommended access point is at Phelps Rd, Morayfield.

Woorim Beach, Bribie Island:

Woorim Beach is the Island’s main surf beach. Its gentle surf makes it a popular spot for body boarding and swimming. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards during busy times. Woorim has parks, playgrounds, picnic areas and barbecues. There is also a hotel overlooking the beach and several cafes/eateries.

Where: Access to the beach is via First Avenue.

Bribie Island Seaside Museum:

Opened in 2010. Includes exhibits on renowned artist Ian Fairweather, explorer Matthew Flinders and Aborigine Bongaree, how Skirmish Point was named and the US troop occupation during Word War II.

Where: 1 South Esplanade, Bongaree, Bribie Island.

Brennan Park, Bongaree (Bribie Island):

On the island’s “calm side,” Brennan Park is ideally situated just metres from the beach, restaurants and fish and chip shops. The park is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Bribie Island bridge. For the children, there is a playground beneath a giant fig. Markets are held in the park every second Sunday o the month.

Where: Brennan Park, Toorbul St, Bongaree.

Woodford main street:

The main street of Woodford offers visitors a range of stores and cafes. Browse for antiques and collectibles or drop in for a bite to eat at one of its cafes, such as Jalla’s Cafe or the Woodford Village Hotel.

Where: D’Aguilar Highway, Woodford.

Stony Creek, Bellthorpe:

A popular spot for a swim or a picnic. The spot has a rock pool, waterfalls, toilet facilities, wood barbecues and picnic tables surrounded by bushland and rainforest.

Where: The day use area is on Fletcher Rd at Bellthorpe (off Stony Creek Rd).

Centenary Lakes, Caboolture:

Built to celebrate the town’s first 100 years in 1979, the lakes attractive figure-eight shaped lake, fountains, play equipment, barbecues, picnic tables and birdlife make it popular year-round. The Lakes is a popular spot for wedding photographs and social gatherings.

Where: The main access is off Morayfield Rd at Caboolture, just north of the Caboolture River bridge.

Mt Mee look-out:

The Mt Mee look-out west of Caboolture offers panoramic views over Moreton Bay. Visitors to the look-out, on Mt Mee Rd, are treated to views of rolling green hills and Glass House Mountains.

Where: Mt Mee Rd, Mt Mee.

Rocky Hole, Mt Mee:

The swimming hole is found in the Mt Mee section of D’Aguilar National Park. Swim in the cool clear waters of the large rock pool beneath a waterfall. This section of the park is about a 90 minute drive north-west from Brisbane.

Where: Turn off Mt Mee Rd onto Sellin Rd to access the park.

2 replies on “About Caboolture”

Wow! Thank you for a very comprehensive look at Caboolture’s history. I’ve just registered and am enjoying exploring the site immensely. Well done 4510TV!

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