Saturday, 7 May 2016

Q150 2009 Camping Grounds

Q150 Heritage Plaque - 4 of 16 - Camping Grounds
The Bribie Island Heritage Plaques Waterfront Walk Bongaree consists of 16 bronze plaques located on the "Heritage Walk" along the walking path beside the Bongaree beach from the southern point of South Esplanade and finishes just north of Kangaroo Avenue.
These 16 bronze plaques set on a white concrete square record various aspects of the history of Bribie Island: Record Rainfall, South Esplanade, Campbell's Store, Camping Grounds, Bribie Island heritage quote from A. Meston, Ian Fairweather, First Shop, Bribie Island Heritage quote from Stan Tutt, First Avenue, Fishing Records, Welsby Parade, Bribie Island Wartime, First Car, Shirley Creek, Castaway Convicts and Fish Cannery.
The following excerpt is from the 2009 booklet produced prior to the plaques placement.  The Heritage Plaques Waterfront Walk Bongaree project was a Q150 Community Funded Program, initiated by the Rotary Club of Bribie Island and supported by Moreton Bay Regional Council in conjunction with Bribie Island U3A and Bribie Island Historical Society.
A copy of the map for the Bongaree Waterfront Walk can be found at


In the 1920’s there were few shops, no services, and less than 100 permanent residents.  Many thousands came every week by Ship from Brisbane and pitched their tents here to enjoy cheap and healthy holidays.

The Development of  Tourism on Bribie Island
¨ In 1903 The Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co. was formed, planning to run boat trips from Brisbane to Bribie, and develop tourism interests on the Island.

Tents pitched along the Bongaree foreshore in the 1920s.
"The 12 Apostles" holiday huts can be seen in the background.
¨ In 1911 the company’s ship SS Koopa, which had been  purpose built in Scotland,  began regular trips to the newly built jetty at Bongaree.

¨ The holiday and weekend excursions from Brisbane to Bribie often brought more people to camp on Bribie than lived in the entire Caboolture Shire. This was  the forerunner of mass tourism as we know it today.  Some came for a day trip, others came for long camping and fishing holidays.

Foreshore at Bongaree, 1921.
      ¨ The SS Koopa was capable of carrying over 1200 people and many of these camped  along the foreshore  in todays Brennan Park area.  

           A dozen waterfront holiday huts were built for hire, and became known as “The 12 Apostles”  and  were located  in front of  the present day Library and Bribie Island Bowling Club.
Camping 1925.

¨ Brennan Park was a popular tent campsite for sixty years until 1974.
¨ A variety of small shops in Toorbul Street provided campers, tourists and the few residents with their basic needs.  “Hall & Bestmann” had a General Store on the northern corner and “Ormiston” at the southern end.
¨ Sally and Bernie Brennan, after whom this park is named, had a shop in this row for over 30 years.
¨ Tent poles could be hired from the local shops and drinking water had to be brought by ship from Brisbane for the thousands of campers.
Camping in Brennan Park.

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