First known inhabitants

The Dalla people have been identified as the first known inhabitants of the area from Redcliffe (now a northern suburb of Brisbane) to the Noosa River, and west to Nambour and Cooroy, along with the Kabi-Kabi people (north from Tewantin). These people enjoyed the abundant wildlife in the area, from seafood to bush turkeys, wallabies, emus and kangaroo. Nancy’s account of these native inhabitants at the hands of white settlers makes for grim reading.

First visitors

Expeditions left from Brisbane in 1842 with a view to exploiting the abundant timber in the area. The timber rush started in 1865 and the Gympie gold rush in 1867.

When the farmer-settlers arrived the face of the land changed forever. With the loss of their natural habitat the local wildlife, flora and fauna, was decimated.

First settlement

Clearing the land was a slow and painful process: leech and mosquito infested swamps; jungle and rainforest swarming with snakes, stinging caterpillars, stinging trees and sharp canes; and sand flies abounded.

As water provided the easiest means of transport, the first-comers settled along the rivers and lakes.

By 1870 there was a township with Tewantin as the port.

There has been some dispute about the origin of the name ‘Noosa’ but it has come to mean a beautiful place of blue sky, sandy beaches and glorious sunshine.