Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published April 1st 2020
Take a snapshot into our past
As we get older, we tend to reminisce about places, stories and people from our past … we take personal trips down memory lane that are important to our families, because they help us to understand better who we are and where we have come from.
As a community, it is the sharing and retelling of historical stories that mould our identity as a people and affirm the importance of being a Sunshine Coast local. We, as Sunshine Coasters, need to continue to preserve and appreciate our heritage, whether it be with a physical historical marker or by connecting with the local communities, who know and value the significance of the past.
Whilst these eight significant historic sites on the Sunshine Coast only provide a snapshot into our history, visiting these sites is a great way to immerse oneself into the region's cultural heritage and celebrate who we really are!
I. Buderim Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Walk 4A Telco Road (on the corner of Mons Road), Buderim
The Buderim to Palmwoods tramway was a narrow gauge (2ft 6in) railway built to accommodate the needs of farmers and residents of Buderim and surrounding areas. The tramway (which was actually a railway) facilitated a link to Brisbane, via the main-line in Palmwoods, for farm produce, fruit and timber. The first tram ran in 1914 and the last tram in 1935.
A portion of the original railway still remains today, running behind Mons Road. When walking this tramway walk, look out for examples of the cut-and-fill process that was implemented to create a gentle gradient for the train to run through the steep terrain of this area. There are still remnants of the original sleepers to be seen and probably more exciting is that some of the rock faces still show remains of the drill holes that were used to dynamite the rocks.
Remains of rock blasting drill holes and original sleepers are still to be found
II. Dularcha Railway Tunnel Dularcha National Park, off Paget Street, Mooloolah
The 93.5 metre Dularcha Railway Tunnel
The Dularcha Railway Tunnel is a state heritage-listed railway tunnel south of Mooloolah township. The Dularcha Railway Tunnel is important as it is part of the original formation of the track between Brisbane and Maryborough. This tunnel is further evidence of the significance of railway as a means of transportation in the late 1880s.
The 93.5 metre long curved Dularcha Railway Tunnel provides a dark (and believe me, it's very dark), protected site for seasonal roosting by a variety of small bats, including the large-footed myotis. Trust me, I am very happy to declare that our visit must have been off-season as we luckily weren't exposed to any of these furry little mammals.
Light at the end of the tunnel!
Access to the Dularcha Railway Tunnel is either via Mooloolah (the shorter route) or via Beech Road in Landsborough, the latter giving keen bushwalkers a six-kilometre or two-hour return trip. This free walk is open every day of the week.
III. Eumundi School of Arts Hall 63 Memorial Drive, Eumundi
The heritage-listed Eumundi School of Arts Hall was designed by William David Fenwick and built-in 1912 by William Henry Bytheway. When the Eumundi School of Arts Hall first opened in November 1912, it was considered to be one of the finest buildings on the Sunshine Coast.
School of Arts 1914 - Image: Eumundi School of Arts Hall via Sunshine Coast Community Halls
For more than one hundred years, the Eumundi School of Arts Hall provided a venue to a host of different activities, including card nights, indoor bowls, badminton, roller skating and even debutante balls. In today's world, this venue can be hired for weddings and other events, including yoga, indoor bowls, dance classes and community meetings.
To have a peek into the Eumundi School of Arts Hall, an appointment will be necessary and can be made by calling (07) 5442-8762.
IV. Kings Beach Pavilion
Ormonde Terrace, Kings Beach, Caloundra
The state heritage-listed Kings Beach Bathing Pavilion was initially built as part of a large development plan, designed to make Kings Beach a top-notch holiday attraction.
Capturing the Sunshine Coast's holiday heritage spirit
According to the local press of the day, the dressing sheds were designed to be functional as well as an aesthetically pleasing addition to the beach. The Kings Beach Pavilion features of brick and plaster with a red roof successfully add a touch of vivid colour to a picturesque scene. The Pavilion has remained in use since 1937 and captures the spirit of the Sunshine Coast's holiday heritage.
The Kings Beach Pavilion is open every day from 6.00am to 2.00pm and is free to access.
V. Moreton Central Sugar Mill Worker's Housing
Mill Street and Bury Street, Nambour
Image taken by Sheryl Walshe to Smile, Click and Snap QLD, taken at Moreton Central Sugar Mill Workers housing
Moreton Central Sugar Mill Worker's Housing is a group of buildings that were added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 2008. The Mill Street cottages, built between 1897 and 1917, are the former residences of senior staff from the Moreton Central Sugar Mill Company. The house on Bury Street, completed in 1911, boasts a substantial mature-treed garden and used to be the home of the mill manager.
In days gone by, providing housing to workers was a common practice within various industries in remote areas or new towns - I suspect today in certain industries, this is still the case. The Moreton Central Sugar Mill Worker's Housing today provides a rare insight into the sugar industry that drove the economy of Nambour from 1897 to 2003.
Unfortunately, these historic properties are not open to the public for viewing.
VI. Moreton Central Sugar Mill Cane Tramway
Howard Street, Mill Street, Currie Street, Nambour
Travelling along Howard, Currie and Mill Streets in Nambour towards the former mill site (which is now Nambour Mill Village Shopping Centre), visitors will find the remains of the old cane tramway. The mill houses in Mill and Bury Streets (see No. V above), along with the machinery at the museum are the only remnants of the Moreton Central Sugar Mill, which dominated the local Nambour economy from 1897 to 2003.
The Cane Tramway line between Nambour and Coolum was also used for passengers in the 1920s and 1930s and played an integral part in the development of tourism in the region. With the Sugar Mill's closure in 2003, no longer would the smell of cane, the spilt cargo and wire cane bins trundling along the streets, be part of the Nambour streetscape.
VII. Site of the SS Dicky Wreck
Beerburrum Street, Dicky Beach, Caloundra
A bit of trivia! Did you know that Dicky Beach is one of a few recreational beaches in the world to be named after a shipwreck? The SS Dicky was an iron-hulled steamer, driven ashore during heavy seas in 1893. It was refloated, but with heavy seas once again, the ship did an about-turn back onto the sand, where it stayed for 122 years. Decades of storms and cyclones gradually reduced the once-mighty iron steamer to a remnant of its former self.
In 1963, the SS Dicky's propeller was removed to use on a memorial cairn, accompanied by a plaque provided by the Queensland Women's Historical Association.
SS Dicky propeller
The exposed elements of the SS Dicky wreck were removed by the Sunshine Coast Council in 2015. The main portion of the keel and hull remains buried at the beach and maybe uncovered in extreme tidal conditions.
VIII. The Big Pineapple
76 Nambour Connection Road, Woombye
Since opening in 1971, the Big Pineapple has had a special association with thousands of road-tripping tourists on the old Bruce Highway. This popular landmark tourist attraction is the most photographed BIG thing on the Sunshine Coast.
The most photographed BIG thing on the Sunshine Coast, the Big Pineapple