Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch ships are known to have travelled up and down the coast of Australia over many centuries.
In 1770, James Cook sailed past Stradbroke Island and named Point Lookout. He did not enter Moreton Bay.
In 1799, Matthew Flinders sailed into Moreton Bay in the Norfolk. He sailed from the north of Moreton Island to Coochiemudlo Island. He landed on Coochiemudlo Island in July that year.
In 1823, timber-getters and former convicts Pamphlett, Finnegan and Parsons were blown off course in their boat near Sydney and ended up on Moreton Island. They spent eight months living with Aboriginal people around Moreton Bay, including on North Stradbroke Island.
Also in 1822-1823, various officials were sent to Moreton Bay to see if it would be a suitable place for a convict settlement. One of these officials was John Oxley, who by sheer coincidence ran into Pamphlett and Finnegan. On their information, he explored the Brisbane River and recommended to the authorities that Moreton Bay would be an ideal convict settlement. The Moreton Bay Penal Settlement was set up in 1824 at Redcliffe, moving some months later to what is now Brisbane.
During the Moreton Bay convict period (1824-1842) convicts lived and worked on Stradbroke Island and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.
When the convict settlement was disbanded and Moreton Bay was opened to settlement from 1842, free settlers began to move to areas such as the Redland Shire. During the 1850s, all the land from Ormiston through Mt Cotton to the Logan River was leased to grazier Joseph Clark, who ran cattle on the land. He relinquished the lease in 1858 and farmers rather than graziers began moving to the Redlands.
For the next 100 years, most people who lived in the Redlands were farmers, timber-getters or fishermen on the Islands.
After the farmers
After World War II, areas such as the Redlands became very attractive for housing developments. In 1968, the Leslie Harrison Dam was built to supply water to the increasing population and since then, most of the Redlands’ farms have grown houses instead of crops.
About the Redland Shire
In 1880, the Tingalpa Divisional Board (later Shire Council) was formed to administer a large area that included what is now the Redland Shire. In 1885, the Cleveland Divisional Board (later Shire Council) was formed to administer the northern part including Cleveland, Thornlands, Ormiston, Wellington Point, Birkdale and Thorneside. The Tingalpa Divisional Board continued to look after a large area that included Victoria Point, Redland Bay, Mt Cotton and Capalaba.
The Redland Shire was formed in 1949 from the amalgamation of the Cleveland Shire and part of the Tingalpa Shire.