The first Europeans to occupy the Yandina district were the Skyring brothers who, in 1853, were granted leases for three cattle runs extending northward from the Maroochy and South Maroochy Rivers.
Timber getters were the next arrivals in the late 1860s. Cedar was the first timber taken, but the timbers that sustained the industry until the early part of the 20th century were beech and pine. Logs were rafted down the river to Maroochydore, dragged by bullocks to Mooloolaba and shipped to Brisbane. From 1891-1898, Pettigrew operated a sawmill at Maroochydore. After 1898, timber was sent by rail to various sawmills. Timber remained an important industry until the late 1920s.
Most of the early settlers were timber getters. James Low operated the timber rafting ground from opposite Dunethin Rock when gold was discovered at Gympie in 1867. He led a party which cleared a dray road from his depot to the goldfields. This road resulted in the first Post Office between Brisbane and Gympie being established at Low’s depot in 1868, with Low as Postmaster. In 1868, legislation was passed allowing land selection in settled districts, and Low secured the first selection in Yandina. This was also the first selection in Maroochy Shire.
The Brisbane-Gympie Road was completed in 1868, and Cobb & Co. coaches were soon travelling its length. By then, Low had built a store and stables and accommodation for travellers on his selection, and transferred the post office to this depot. In 1869, he was granted a publican’s licence and the depot became the Maroochie Hotel – the first commercial centre in the Maroochy Shire.
The town of Yandina was surveyed by Charles Warner in 1870, making it the first gazetted town in the Maroochy district and one of the oldest towns on the Sunshine Coast. The first sale of town lots was held that year. The Maroochy Provisional School was opened in 1879 and the Yandina Provisional School in 1889.
The coming of the railway in 1891 marked the beginning of Yandina as a business centre, which by 1894 included several stores, butchers, boarding house, blacksmith, hotel, post and telegraph offices, railway station, and police station.
Yandina: From Staging Post to Township
This digital story explores the community stories, history and significant events of Yandina https://youtu.be/sIjf6JpwdQA. The film was launched as part of the Yandina Street Fair celebrations in August 2018.
Images: Thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council Heritage Library.
Source material: Yandina 125 Years 1871 – 1996 published as a Yandina & District Historical Research Project, available from Yandina Historic House.