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Walk Buderim

Home > Queensland > Free | Historic Houses | Unusual Things to do | Walks
by Elaine (subscribe)
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 August 29th 2016
Memories of Yesteryear
Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
A colourful Walk through History - Image: Elaine de Wet


Join me on a self-guided historical walk through Buderim and discover the rich and colourful past of the little village on the Mountain. This year (2016) marks one hundred and fifty-four years since the first official record of Buderim was made by Tom Petrie. The name 'Buderim' is derived from the Aboriginal word 'badderam' which is the name for the Hairpin Honeysuckle, a type of Banksia, which used to grow on the lower slopes of Buderim and is still prolific in the gardens of Buderim.

The original Buderim inhabitants were the Gubbi Gubbi people and their descendants are a continued presence in this area.

In 1862, William Pettigrew, a Brisbane Timber Merchant, commissioned Tom Petrie for look for red cedar on the Sunshine Coast. Tom Petrie came to the area with twenty-five Aboriginal people, who took him to Buderim, where he found forests of fine timbers. Tom Petrie is recorded as the first European to fell a tree in Buderim.

In 1869, this area was surveyed for the purpose of farm allotments. The early settlers successfully grew coffee, bananas, sugar cane and citrus, before changing to the pest and disease-resistant ginger which is now what Buderim is synonymous with. Two sugar mills operated between 1876 and 1889, until over-production resulted in a drop in sugar prices. Many South Sea Islanders were employed as cheap labour from 1830 to 1930 and their descendants still live in the area.

1. Old Post Office - 50 Burnett Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Old Post Office - Image: Elaine de Wet


This is apparently the oldest building in Buderim CBD. John Burnett ran the Post Office from his general store until 1914 when the tram line was built and the Post Office was then re-located to the tram station. When the tramway closed in 1935, Jack Neil, who was the acting Postmaster, designed and built the post office building, which is now in community use. "Welcome to Buderim" Morning or Afternoon Teas are regularly held here to meet and greet new residents and help new residents to settle in and to meet new people.

Ironically, the Old Post Office does not sell stamps - but they do sell a variety of Buderim postcards and local publications, with the masterpiece being "The Flavours of Buderim" cookbooks, with tantalising recipes by Buderim locals. These cookbooks are at the top of the best-seller list in Buderim and now grace kitchens all over the world!

This old building, which has been beautifully renovated and restored, houses the Community Information Centre for Buderim.

2. Krauss Engine - Corner of Burnett Street and Lindsay Road

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Buderim Tram in Miniature - Image: Buderim-Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Inc FB page


The Krauss locomotive was commissioned from 1914 to 1935, to carry produce from Buderim to Palmwoods for distribution to Brisbane and surrounding areas. The railway tracks were removed after decommissioning, due to it no longer being financially viable. With improved road quality, more produce could be transported by trucks than by rail off the Mountain.  The original train was discovered locally and has recently been refurbished by the Buderim-Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Inc. to a stationary display condition. There are plans to exhibit the Krauss engine at the top of Lindsay Road, at the large roundabout, in the heart of Buderim.

3. Nonmus Sawmill - 1 Lindsay Road

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Image: Elaine de Wet


Around 1915, a sawmill was established at this site by Gilbert Nonmus, who chose the site specifically for the excellent spring water supply and the quantity of red cedar in the area. In 1916, Gilbert Nonmus sold his sawmill to the Lindsay family as he wished to enlist for military service in World War One. When he returned from service, he repurchased it.

4. Buderim Mountain Sugar Company Mill - 9 Lindsay Road

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Image: Elaine de Wet


A Brisbane businessman and sawmiller, James Campbell, financed this Sugar Mill. This Sugar Mill began crushing in 1880 and was managed by J.K. Burnett from Pioneer Cottage. The Mill was closed by the mortgagee in 1885 due to difficult times.

5. Buderim-Palmwoods Tramway Terminus - 44 Main Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Buderim Aquatic Centre now in this vicinity - Image: Elaine de Wet


Built in 1913/1914, this Terminus site included a storage and an engine shed. Between 1914 to 1935, this Tramway operated between Palmwoods and Buderim. The total construction cost of the Tramway was thirty-five thousand and three hundred and seventy pounds and was only seven miles in length. Passengers paid two shillings and six pence each way.

The Buderim Aquatic Centre is now in this vicinity.

6. War Memorial Gates - 42 Main Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
War Memorial Gates - Image: Elaine de Wet


The original Memorial Gates were built in 1953. They were designed by Sybel Whittle and officially opened by the Hon. Sir Josiah Francis. The white beech wooden gates lasted for thirty years and have now been replaced by a metal structure which was funded by community contributions - the gates are white with stone pillars on either side and one smaller stone on the right-hand side. These Memorial Gates are in honour of those who have served and display a small plaque on the right-hand side pillar inscribed with: We will Remember Them

7. Buderim Mountain State School - 8 - 42 Main Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Buderim Mountain School - Image: Elaine de Wet


In 1875, Buderim's first school was built on the Eastern slopes of the Mountain. It was replaced in 1886 with a new building at the present school site. In 1946 the pupils planted the pine plantation as a memorial. During World War II this area was used for trench drills.

8. Sion Singh's Grocery Store - 4 Main Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Singh's Grocery Store location is now Meg's Boutique - Image: Elaine de Wet


In 1907, Sion Singh bought ten acres at this location, where he established a farm and built a residence with a corner store. Sion Singh supplied fruit and vegetables to the local community as well as to the many tourists and day trippers who visited his store. This site is now part of the Gloucester Centre, which has numerous retail outlets, a restaurant, a hairdresser as well as a health and beauty centre, Bliss on Buderim.

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Original bricks and metal oven doors have been used for this Memorial - Image: Elaine de Wet


Gloucester Centre also houses the location of the First Bakery in Buderim, the first ovens being built by William James Salway around 1919. The bricks for these ovens were supplied from Brisbane and the sand from Forest Glen, also on the Sunshine Coast. William Salway employed Jack Cahill as the baker. More than one thousand eight hundred loaves a week were delivered to Buderim and Mooloolaba, using a two-horse drawn bread wagon. The bakery ceased operating in 1948.

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Memorial to the First Bakery in Buderim - Image: Elaine de Wet


Utilising the original bricks and metal oven doors, local tradespeople built this Memorial, as a dedication to Buderim's early Pioneers. The sculpture was designed by Montville artist Kevin Oxley.

9. Methodist Church - 2 Gloucester Road

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Original Methodist Church built in 1907 - Image: Elaine de Wet


What is now the present Church Hall used to be the original small Methodist Church built in 1907. In 1963 the new Methodist Church building was built and over the years gradually extended. In 1977 the Methodist Church became part of the Uniting Church of Australia.

10. School of Arts - 1 Main Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
School of Arts now known as the Memorial Hall - Image: Elaine de Wet


In 1885 the School of Arts was founded by James Lindsay Jnr. In 1924 it was replaced by a new building and in the 1960's became known as the Memorial Hall. The hall was re-aligned in 1989 and a new entrance, designed by architect, Lindsay Clare, was added.

11. Buderim Library - 3 Main Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Buderim Library - Image: Elaine de Wet


Just twenty years after Buderim was first settled, the Buderim Library was initiated by James Lindsay, one of Buderim's original settlers. James Lindsay organised the supply of library books with the Brisbane School of Arts. The books were delivered by packet steamer to Mellum Creek (now Landsborough) and were then transported to Buderim via a horse-drawn vehicle. Mr. Lindsay loaned the books to fellow settlers from his home, Ryhope. Soon afterwards the Buderim School of Arts was built and the library was moved there.

When money was available, books were purchased from either Brisbane booksellers or directly from Gordon & Gotch in London. In 1924 a new building was opened for the School of Arts and the library had a permanent home. In 1962 a Memorial Section was introduced - allowing the community to donate books in memory of loved ones. Buderim Library has been running for 120 years solely by volunteers - it is possibly one of the oldest libraries in Queensland. Today 35 volunteers work a total of 120 - 150 hours per week.

For readers who are unable to get to the library themselves, the Library offers 'Books on Wheels' where books are delivered once a fortnight on Thursdays.

12. Anglican Church - 9 Main Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
St Mark's Anglican Church - the old section - Image: Elaine de Wet


In 1917 St. Marks Anglican Church was built by a Mr. Kuskopf, at a cost of three hundred and fifty pounds. Renowned artist, William Bustard created The Good Shepherd stained glass window in 1941, which is now in the east wall of the new Church. The bell in the Tower is from an original tramway locomotive.

13. First Ginger Factory - 27 Main Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
First Ginger Factory site - Image: Elaine de Wet


The first Ginger Factory was established in an unused blacksmith's shop at this address in 1941. In the first season, sixteen tons of ginger were received, proving the site to be too small. In 1943 the factory was moved to the present Woolworths site. 27 Main Street in Buderim is now a vacant area and used by locals for parking.

14. Middy's General Store - 29 Main Street


Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Middy's - Image: Elaine de Wet


A general store was built here in 1914 by Ernest Middleton, who supplied food, farm equipment, clothing and all household requirements to the community. The buildings on this site have all changed, but the site is still affectionately known as 'Middy's' and now houses numerous retail outlets and businesses.

15. Site of South Sea Islander Dwellings - 8 Ballinger Court

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Site of South Sea Islander Dwellings - Image: Elaine de Wet


From the 1880's to to the 1940's South Sea Islanders lived at this location - their first dwellings were traditional islander huts and then small slab houses. Rocks were moved to create terraces and areas for growing food and crops. J.K. Burnett, the manager of the nearby Sugar Mill, was the owner of this land. Today, the site is located between No. 8 and No. 10 Ballinger Court, which includes a spring - which was their source of water for washing etc. These South Sea Islanders contributed significantly to the local sugar industry. This area was also a coffee plantation.

16. Pioneer Cottage - 5 Ballinger Crescent

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Pioneer Cottage - Image: Elaine de Wet


This home is one of the oldest surviving houses in Buderim. Built around 1882, by J.K. Burnett, an original resident of Buderim, this cottage was built using cedar and beech. If the name 'Burnett' rings a bell, that's because this family name was given to the main street through Buderim Village. The home's shingle roof, stumps and verandah boards have all been replaced and the original detached kitchen was demolished. At the rear of the Cottage was a baker's oven, a large buggy shed, store house and a blacksmith's shop.

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Old Sugar Evaporation Pan - Image: Elaine de Wet


Pioneer Cottage is listed by the National Trust and National Estate Register, is cared for by the Buderim Historical Society and is now a museum, open daily to the public, Mondays to Saturdays.

17. Second Ginger Factory - 67 Burnett Street

In 1943, Buderim's second Ginger Factory was built on this spot. Apparently, the factory produced ninety percent of the world's preserved ginger used in chocolate manufacturing. In 1979, this business, which had been renamed "Merrybud Ginger", was relocated to Yandina and is now known as "The Ginger Factory".

18. Vandy's Garage - 118 Burnett Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Vandy's Garage - Image: Elaine de Wet


Around 1918 Buderim's first Garage was built on this site by George Burnett. Charlie Perkins bought it in 1941 and built the adjacent garage in the late 1950's, which he then sold to Ken Pringle, who sold it to John (Vandy) Vandenberghe in 1989. Today it is still known as Vandy's Garage and houses the much-loved "Birds and the Beans" coffee outlet.

19. Lions Park - 111-123 Burnett Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Ocean Views from Lions Park - Image: Elaine de Wet


The Buderim Lions Club was started in 1967 - the members of the Lions Club started the development of this park, removing rocks and using fill to improve the park area. The Lions Park has sensational views of the coastline and today has a lovely childs' play area and sheltered picnic areas which is a very popular spot for families to enjoy being outdoors.

20. J & M Underwood Exhaust Manufacturers - 129 Burnett Street

Walk Buderim, historical walk through the village of Buderim, discover the colourful history, informative, fun, free
Mercury Exhaust Systems - Image: Elaine de Wet


John and Molly Underwood specifically built this factory in the 1950's to produce exhaust systems. By the 1960's they had approximately one hundred and twenty employees. It has operated as Mercury Mufflers since the 1980's and is an obvious landmark when one approaches Buderim Village from the top of the hill.

We have only lived in Buderim for just over a year and it's been a thrilling cultural experience to discover all the hidden treasures that this little Village on the mountain has to offer!

My thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council who developed the "Buderim Walk" in 2012, with the assistance of the Buderim Historical Society, and especially for all the information I could glean from their plaques to assist with my article.

I hope you enjoyed the "Walk" with me today and perhaps you'll take a trip down memory lane and explore it again with your family.
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Why? To take a walk down memory lane!
When: Any day is a good day, but Sundays Pioneer Cottage is closed!
Where: Buderim Village
Cost: The walk is free; a small entry fee for Pioneer Cottage - $5 Adults; $1 Children
Your Comment
Elaine...did I read this right? This is you 100th article! If so - well done. Awesome awesome job!
by SocialHummingBird (score: 3|1161) 785 days ago
Congrats on your gold Elaine!! This would have taken you a long time to write and research - it is such a fantastic article! I have been to Buderim a few times (there used to be a nice pub there from memory, if it's still there!) and didn't realise the rich history! Congrats!
by Sue W (score: 2|993) 784 days ago
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