Saturday, 7 May 2016

Q150 2009 South Esplanade

Q150 Heritage Plaque - 2 of 16 - South Esplanade
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 


 From the 1920’s many large guest houses operated along here.  Proprietors met the “Excursion Ships” and carried guests luggage over creeks and sand tracks, offering the attraction of specialty food and entertainment.


There are  references to guest houses and kiosks that catered for the tourists arriving on the Steam Ship “Koopa” as early as 1915.

Pictured Davies' Kiosk, at the Jetty
Guests disembarking from either the “Koopa “or the “Doomba” would be met at the jetty by the proprietors of the guest houses and assisted with their luggage.  The walk along the Esplanade at this time was a sand track through grass and trees.

There were as many as six guest houses as well as private homes, along South Esplanade.  In those early days the sand track of South Esplanade continued further south, following the beach, past the Amateur Fisherman’s Association headquarters cottage.  In the 1950s  and 1960s cyclones caused extensive erosion and the road was eventually washed away, and now turns inland at Renton Lane.

Some of the beachside guest houses along South Esplanade
For those who chose not to pitch their tent along the foreshore, the choice of guest houses along South Esplanade provided a more comfortable alternative.     

Glan-y-Mor guesthouse
“Glan-y-Mor” was another guest house  run by Bob Davies for board and residence in conjunction with his twin sisters, Rose and Lil, situated a little further away on the corner of Campbell and Banya Streets.  When the main residence was fully occupied, external accommodation was provided in the form of thatched roof open air shed with an added luxury of drop down mosquito nets for protection against midges and “mossies”.

Novelty Gardens around Glan-y-Mor
The Davies family also had a kiosk at the jetty and established “Novelty Gardens” around Glan-y-Mor  which featured shapes of animals carved and trimmed from young pine trees, which quickly became a tourist attraction and a garden venue for Rose and Lil to entice visitors for a cup of tea.  

Their dining room was renowned for their pea and ham soup and fresh fish dinners.

Happy excursionists disembarking from Steamship Doomba

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