AT THE POINT
Location: This site is within the Beerburrum East State Forest, about 6 km west of the waters of the Pumicestone Passage that separate Bribie Island from the mainland. It is about 6 km from the centre of Caboolture, the headquarters of Caboolture Shire, and 7 km west of the village of Donnybrook.
It was accessed by a forestry road that runs between Beerburrum-Donnybrook Road in the north and Rutters Road in the south, 2 km east of the Bruce Highway.
The Landscape: The site is on the low-lying coastal plain and has the undulating topography that is typical of the sandy hinterland of the Pumicestone Passage. There are numerous swampy streams that drain to the coast in the vicinity of the site. Some of the larger streams cut deeply into the plain giving rise to some steep local relief. Elevation is less than 50 m above AHD (mean sea level).
The soils at the site are shallow and sandy. They sit on top of alluvium which in turn is overlying much more ancient Landsborough Sandstone. The alluvium dates from Tertiary or Quaternary geological periods (between 10,000 and 2 million years old and the sandstone from the Triassic - Jurassic period (248 to 144 million years old).
The site is within a plantation of young slash pine which has a ground cover of native grasses such as kangaroo grass. The local vegetation is greatly changed from its original eucalypt-dominated woodland interspersed with Melaleuca forests along the drainage lines and wallum heath vegetation backing the coastal mangrove forests along the coast.
The fauna of the area is typical of the coastal zone, with Eastern Grey Kangaroos the largest of the many mammals commonly present. A very rich bird fauna is also present, especially if the shores of the Pumicestone Passage are included. That habitat is a major feeding ground for the migratory waders that visit the area every summer. Reptiles include the venomous Red-bellied Black Snake and the non-venomous Carpet Python. (The name 'Caboolture' is a local Aboriginal term for 'place of the carpet snake'.) Lace Monitors and a wide range of skinks including Blue Tongue Lizards are also common. A wide range of frogs are also found around this site including the endangered Wallum Froglet.
Commercial forestry is the dominant land use surrounding the site. The area is used for the cultivation of exotic pine trees for the local timber and pulp-wood market.
Point information and photos by: Ken Granger 2007-2008 and Audrey Johnston 2009-2010
IN THE DEGREE SQUARE
Country: The country within the degree square is very diverse in its landscape. There are four distinct topographic forms - the coastal plain; the off-shore sand islands of Bribie, Morton and the northern part of North Stradbroke; the estuaries of the Brisbane, Pine, Caboolture, Mooloolah and Maroochy Rivers; and the highlands of the Blackall, D'Aguilar and Conondale Ranges. The topography at the site is representative of the coastal plain. Elevations range from sea level to around 800 m above AHD.
Bribie, Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands are three of the great sand islands that form Moreton Bay. They have been built up of Pleistocene epoch (up to 1.8 million years) deposits of sand carried north by long-shore currents from the rivers of northern NSW. Moreton Island, the largest of these islands, has a maximum elevation of 280 m at Mt Tempest (one of the highest sand dunes in the world). Bribie Island, by comparison, has a maximum elevation that is only a few metres above sea level. Both islands support a range of vegetation including sedge swamp communities, wallum heaths and tall eucalypt forest.
The river estuaries have all been greatly modified by settlement. Large areas have been filled to provide land for facilities such as the Brisbane port and airport and for residential development. Some areas, such as the Boondall, Deagon and Tinchi Tamba wetlands have, however, been conserved in their natural state.
The mountain areas have a complex geology and include Triassic volcanic intrusions such as Mt Coot-Tha and Tertiary basalt flows such as the D'Aguilar Range around Maleny; Devonian - Carboniferous sedimentary rocks (410 to 298 million years ago) and more recent late Triassic granites (230 to 205 million years). Erosion has sculpted the ranges with many deep and narrow valleys. There is typically a steep escarpment of several hundred metres in elevation that separates the highlands from the coastal plain. The vegetation of these upland areas range from rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest, to open eucalypt forest and woodland. There are several national parks, such as Brisbane Forest Park and Mt Mee State Forest in which the original vegetation is preserved.
The Glass House Mountains, a group of Tertiary volcanic remnants (1.8 to 65 million years old), form the most interesting landscape and a major tourist attraction within this area. The nine peaks are known by their Aboriginal names of Tibrogargan (364 m high is the father), Beerwah (at 555 m the highest of all the peaks is the mother), Coonowrin (377 m - the narrow and most dramatic of all the volcanic plugs the eldest child), the twin peaks of Tunbubudla (293 m and 312 m) with Coochin (235 m), Ngungun (253 m), Tibberoowuccum (220 m), Miketeebumulgrai (199 m) and Elimbah (129 m), being the other children. A magnificent panorama of the Glass House Mountains can be seen from Mary Cairncross Park, on the edge of the escarpment near the hinterland town of Maleny. This park preserves a magnificent area of remnant rainforest which contains several massive Flooded Gum, Red Cedars, Bunya Pines and Hoop Pines and is home to a great cross section of rainforest birds including the Noisy Pita and the rare Coxen's Fig Parrot.
Images from the Mary Cairncross Park and surrounds
Mount Coolum was formed by Volcanic activity about 25 Million years ago. Magma intruded upwards into the plain of ancient sandstone and shale which stretched from the Sandgate area north to Nambour. As there are no signs of lava flows around the mountain, it is likely that the lava was exposed to air. Instead, it cooled under a thin layer of sandstone which, through the millennia, has eroded leaving only a thin veneer around the perimeter.
Lower hills in the area are outcrops of Triassic volcanic rock and Jurassic sedimentary rocks up to 255 million years old. The flood plains and coastal dunes are less that 10,00 years old. Beneath these surfaces and exposed during severe weather conditions are deposits of " coffee rock", a softer form of organic sandstone.
The Climate: The site has a moist subtropical climate with a relatively dry winter. The nearest climate station at Caloundra (25 km to the north east) has an average annual rainfall of 1575 mm. The key climatic averages from Caloundra are as follows:
Caloundra Signal Station (site 040040) 1970-2000
Extremes of Nature: The site and its immediate surrounds have experienced a wide range of extreme weather events including severe drought, tropical cyclones, severe thunderstorms and heatwaves. In 1967, for example, the area experienced the impact of four tropical cyclones - Dinah, Barbara, Elaine and Glenda - and three east coast lows. Weather related hazards including floods and bushfires have also been experienced. A major bushfire in 1994 burnt out the mature pine plantations at the site.
Cyclone tracks within 200 km of the confluence, 1906 to 2006 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)
Inigo Jones, regarded by some as the 'father of long range weather forecasting', established his meteorological recording station at Crohamhurst, the family property, near Peachester in 1892. On 2 February 1893 he recorded 907 mm of rainfall in 24 hours - an amount that still holds the 24 hour rainfall record for Australia. That extreme rainfall event produced the great flood of 1893 in the Brisbane River. The original Victoria Bridge was swept away and several people were drowned.
1974 Landslides in Maleny
The 1893 flood was significantly higher than the better known 'Australia Day' flood of 1974 which took 16 lives, injured 300 and made 8 000 people homeless. This flood was produced by the heavy rainfall brought by Tropical Cyclone Wanda that crossed the coast in the vicinity of this site. In addition to the floods in all of the region's rivers, the rainfall brought by Wanda also produced well over a thousand landslides, especially in the hinterland ranges around Maleny.
The Indigenous Story: The site falls within the home range of the Aboriginal Gubbi Gubbi tribal and linguistic group (also called the Karbi Karbi tribe). This major group was made up of several 'tribes' of which the Undanbi were said to occupy the coastal areas. The coastal people led a largely sedentary existence living off the abundant fish, mammal and bird life of the area. They were very accomplished fishermen and Dugong hunters, employing seine nets made of bush fibres, some of which were up to 80 metres in length. They also used bark canoes. Early white settlers reported that the local Aboriginal's shelters were typically made of sheets of Melaleuca bark supported by a tripod of small saplings.
There was regular contact and trade between the coastal people and those of the inland and hinterland, particularly during the seasonal gatherings for the Bunya Pine harvest.
Redcliffe Moreton Bay area
LEGEND OF THE GLASSHOUSE MOUNTAINS
One day, when Tibrogargan was gazing out to sea he noticed a great rising of the waters. Hurrying off to gather his younger children in order to flee to the safety of the mountains to the westward, he called out to Coonowrin to help his mother who, by the way, was again great with child. Looking back to see how Coonowrin was assisting Beerwah, Tibrogargan was greatly angered to see him running off alone. He pursued Coonowrin &, raising his club, struck the latter a mighty blow that dislocated Coonowrin's neck & he has never been able to straighten it since.
When the floods had subsided & the family returned to the plains the other children teased Coonowrin about his crooked neck. Feeling ashamed Coonowrin went to Tibrogargan & asked for forgiveness but, filled with shame at his son's cowardice, Tibrogargan wept copious tears which, trickling along the ground, formed a stream that flowed into the sea. Then Coonowrin went to his brothers & sisters but they, also, wept at the shame of their brother's cowardice. The lamentations of Coonowrin's parents & his brothers & sisters explain the presence, today, of the many small streams that flow to the ocean.
Tibrogargan called Coonowrin asking him why he had deserted his mother at which he replied that, as Beerwah was the biggest of them all, she should have been able to take care of herself. He did not know that Beerwah was pregnant -which was the reason for her great size. Tibrogargan turned his back on Coonowrin & vowed that he would never look his way again.
European Exploration and Settlement: The first Europeans to sight the area were on the Endeavour with Cook who, on 17 May 1770, sailed north along the coast. During that transit Cook sighted and named the nearby Glass House Mountains. Matthew Flinders, in the Norfolk, visited the area in July-August 1799 during which time he mapped and named the Pumicestone 'River' and visited the Glass House Mountains. His landing on Bribie Island was opposed by Aborigines at the location still known as Skirmish Point.
Durandur, near present-day Woodford (22 km west of the site), was, the first settlement in Queensland outside the convict colony. It was settled by David Archer and his family in 1841. Their property became the 'jumping off' point for many of the early explorations into the interior and the north, including that of Ludwig Leichardt in 1844.
The main activities in the area up until 1900 were the growing of cotton, logging and the milling of timber, the produce being mainly transported down the Caboolture River by steamers. The 'Cabulture Cotton Company' was established by 1861, however, cotton proved to be unsuccessful and soon gave way to sugar. Captain Claudius Wish imported kanaka labour to his sugar plantation along the Caboolture River in 1862. He was the first in Queensland to commercially produce sugar and rum. The railway reached Caboolture in 1888.
Development in the area was generally slow up until WWII when it became a major staging and training area for Allied troops engaged in the Pacific Campaign and the defence of the 'Brisbane Line'. Defence needs saw many kilometres of road built and other infrastructure developed or greatly upgraded.
Following the War, the area reverted to being essentially an agricultural centre. It was not until the 1980s that the current period of major urban growth commenced to cater for the rapid growth in the population of South-East Queensland as a whole. The immediate vicinity of the site has been used for forest plantations since the early 1960s.
Within the degree square, at the 2011 national census, lived 1,252,245 people, the second largest population within any of the Queensland degree squares. In 1996 the population within the same area was about 933,700 and in 2001 it was around 1,033,950. It includes the northern half of Brisbane City, all of the Moreton Bay Region and Sunshine Coast Region on Brisbane’s north. This is one of the fastest growing urban populations in Australia. The key demographic statistics from the past four national census are shown in the next table.
The economy of the area is dominated by the service industries that support the growing population. Agriculture is now plays a largely secondary role though dairying and beef production remain important in the hinterland, whilst crops including pineapples, strawberries, ginger, citrus and avocados are important on the coastal plain. The single largest rural land use, however, remains forestry, with large areas under exotic pines. The main extractive industries are quarrying and sand mining to support the region's massive construction industry. Commercial fishing is conducted out of bases at Mooloolaba Bribie Island and Sandgate.
The area contains the two most significant items of transport infrastructures in Queensland - the Brisbane port facilities and the Brisbane International airport. Other key facilities along the lower Brisbane River include two fuel refineries, chemical industries and the commercial hub of the Brisbane CBD. These facilities play a significant role in the economy of the whole State as well as having interstate and international significance.
The area also contains the major elements of the water supply that services much of the population within the Greater Brisbane area - the Somerset, Wivenhoe and North Pine Dams. There are no power stations within the degree square, however, several major power transmission lines pass through the area.
Also within the Brisbane section of the square are key community infrastructure facilities including Royal Brisbane Hospital and Prince Charles Hospitals, both of which provide the highest levels of medical services. Key higher educational facilities within the precinct include the campuses of Queensland University of Technology and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Parliament House and the headquarters of most of the public sector agencies are also located within the precinct. The headquarters of the local government administrations of Brisbane City, Redcliffe City, Pine Rivers Shire, Caboolture Shire, Caloundra City, Maroochy Shire and Kilcoy Shire are also located within this square.
The most significant transport corridor that links Brisbane with the rest of Queensland runs directly through the area. The Bruce Highway and the main northern railway pass within 2 km and 5 km respectively of the point.
The best known steamer was the Koopa (its name means flying fish) began a service on 25th December, 1911. Licensed to carry 1153 passengers originally it sailed from Brisbane to Woody Point, Redcliffe & Bribie Island, the return fare 2/6.
Built in England the Gayundah (its name means lightning) arrived in Brisbane in 1885. In 1903 it became the first warship in Australia to use wireless telegraphy. Today the rusting hulk forms a breakwater at Woody Point.
Bridges: Hornibrook Bridge
Manuel (later Sir Manuel) Hornibrook was a builder and self-taught engineer who specialized in building bridges. During the Great Depression, with high levels of unemployment, his business needed a major project.
With the Toll Act passed in 1931 he began construction of the bridge which bears his name, connecting Sandgate & Redcliffe. 8806 feet (2686m) long & 26 feet wide, it consisted of 290 30foot spans & 4 smaller spans, with concrete piles, timber decking & bitumen surface. The official opening of the bridge took place on 4th October, 1935. Following the expiry of the 40-year franchise held by Hornibrook, the bridge was handed over to the Government.
The second Gateway Bridge
Named the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge, mirroring the size & shape of the existing bridge, costing $2.12 billion, the Gateway Upgrade Project is the largest bridge & road project in Queensland's history. The Bridge alone cost $350 million. Significantly upgraded northern & southern approaches, 24 new or widened bridges, interchanges or round-abouts, etc, earth fill & landscaping accounted for the balance of the total cost. The first Gateway Bridge opened in 1985.
The bridge opened to traffic in May, 2010 but the total project may not be completed until 2011 or 2012. Six lanes will carry southbound traffic across the river while a 4.2m pedestrian & bicycle path is at the eastern side of the structure.
1.63km in length, 26.92 m wide & 64.5m at its highest point the bridge's main span is 260m long with side spans of 130 m each.
The new bridge features innovative safety arrestor islands around each pier to divert, or ground, off-course ships. Each pile cap is also strengthened by stainless-steel outer reinforcement to prevent corrosion.
The most southerly of the three main islands protecting Moreton Bay and the largest, North Stradbroke Island is 33 km long and 10 km at its widest. Neither Capt Cook (1770) nor Matthew Flinders (1799) recorded the passage known, today, as The Southport Bar. In 1896 a storm tide cut through the sand spit which connected North and South Stradbroke at today's "Jumpinpin". Cook did not record the passage between Moreton & Stradbroke Islands but Flinders did.
Sand Mining on Stradbroke Island
The Lakes of "Straddie"
"Straddie" Island sign
Clem 7 Tunnel
Constructed at a cost of $3.2 billion, in a project begun in 2006 & connecting Woolloongabba & Bowen Hills, the 6.8km Clem 7 Tunnel was opened to traffic in March, 2010. It is claimed that use of the tunnel will cut traveling time between the two points by up to 75%.
Because of the extremely hard rock - Brisbane Tuff & Neranleigh Fernvale rock - a combination of construction methods was used. In the cut-and-cover method the tunnel walls were created first then a concrete slab laid across. Following that the material was excavated underneath and floor & internal walls completed.
In driven tunneling two major types of tunnel excavation machinery were used - two 4,000tonne imported Tunnel Boring Machines & a road-header.
Ventilation shafts, with mechanical & electrical services, were constructed near both entrances of the tunnels.
Working on the Clem7 Tunnel
Compiler: Ken Granger (2007-8) and additional information by Audrey Johnston.
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle
Caboolture Shire Council, 1979: From spear to musket - 1879-1979: Caboolture Centenary, Caboolture Shire Council, Caboolture.
Queensland Museum, 1995: Wildlife of Greater Brisbane, Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Queensland Museum, 1996: Wild places of Greater Brisbane, Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Queensland Museum, 2003: Wild plants of Greater Brisbane, Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Willmott W., 1983: 'Slope stability and its constraints on closer settlement on the Mapleton-Maleny Plateau, Southeast Queensland', Department of Mines Record 1983/9, Brisbane.