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“The Glass House Mountains, located south-west of Caloundra, was first sighted through European eyes by James Cook from the deck of HM Bark Endeavour in 1770.
In the 1820s, the Sunshine Coast saw its first white inhabitants: three castaways (Finnegan, Pamphlet and Parsons) who shared the life of the local (Kabi Kabi) Aborigines for eight months. Thereafter, during the 1830s to 1840s, the district became home to numerous runaway convicts, being only slightly north of Moreton Bay (Brisbane) penal colony.
In 1842, Governor George Gipps had the entire Sunshine Coast and hinterland from Mt Beerwah north to roughly Eumundi declared a ‘Bunya Bunya Reserve’ for the protection of the bunya tree, having been advised of the Aboriginal importance of bunya groves by Andrew Petrie. However, during the 1840s and 1850s, the Bunya Bunya Reserve and its vicinity became the scene of some of the most bitter skirmishes of Australia’s ‘Black War.’ The Blackall Ranges, on account of the tri-annual Bunya Festival, served as both a hideout and rallying point for attacks against white settlement. By the 1850s, timber getters and cattlemen were exploiting the area and in 1860, the Bunya Bunya Reserve was scrapped.
Many of the Sunshine Coast’s towns began as simple ports or jetties for the timber industry during the 1860s and 1870s, as the area once had magnificent stands of forest. Likewise, the region’s roads often began as snigging tracks for hauling timber. Timbergetters used the region’s creeks, rivers and lakes as seaways to float out their logs of cedar – the resultant wood being shipped as far afield as Europe.”