Pine Rivers/Sandgate Area 1850 – 1860

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The Pine Rivers/ Sandgate area is of interest as an arena of conflict during the 1850s.  On account of the rainforest and wetlands skirting the South Pine – which was used as a pathway by Aboriginals – Pine Rivers was somewhat of a bastion or safe haven for Aboriginals. Settlers purchased land at the Pine Rivers and Sandgate but were repeatedly ousted – most notably from Sandgate, and Cash’s property – which was boldly situated in the middle of this region – was often attacked. The first settlement of Bald Hills sat on a ridge overlooking these ‘dangerous’ flats– the huts reportedly being placed within close proximity for safety, and being regularly visited by police to monitor their progress.

Figure 1: Dundalli, The Warrior Leader And Executioner Who Mostly Lived And Operated Around The Pine And Caboolture District

Chas Melton described the area as home to “thousands” of hostile Aboriginals. The most ‘troublesome’ groups, such as friends and companions of the warrior-leaders Dundalli and Yilbung – generally passed through this area between Brisbane and Bribie Island, reportedly taking whatever they wished from people’s homes and gardens, even in daylight.

For this reason, the Native Police headquarters for all of southern Queensland was established at Sandgate in 1861. From here, Ltnt Fred Wheeler and his troops patrolled into the Caboolture district and beyond. Sometimes they were called to deal with situations in Bald Hills.

Figure 2: Sandgate Aboriginal Camp – Probably Einbunpin Lagoon


  • A Pioneer’s Recollections. Brisbane in 1857 – No.1, The Brisbane Courier 13 October 1923 p 19
  • A.C., Brisbane Agricultural Reserve, The Courier, 24 June 1861 p 2
  • Bald Hills. The Courier-Mail 12 May 1934 p 10
  • Bald Hills. The Courier-Mail 12 May 1934 p 10
  • Blacks at Cash’s Crossing, The Telegraph, 29 April 1936 p 8
  • Charles Duncan A Pioneer’s Recollections. No. 2, The Brisbane Courier, 27 Oct 1923 p 19
  • Chris Dawson (comp.), 2009, Random Sketches by a Traveller through the District of East Moreton (January-March 1859) Colonial Columns No.1 Fairfield: Inside History, p.6
  • Domestic Intelligence, The Moreton Bay Courier 17 September 1853 p 2
  • Domestic Intelligence, The Moreton Bay Courier 21 November 1857 p 2
  • Domestic Intelligence. The Moreton Bay Courier 31 October 1857 p 2
  • Domestic Intelligence. The Moreton Bay Courier, 24 October 1857 p 2
  • Domestic Intelligence. The Moreton Bay Courier, 27 January 1858 p 2
  • Lack, Clem, 1950, ‘Sandgate’s Pioneers Carried Loaded Guns,’ The Courier-Mail 22 July 1950 p 2
  • Legislative Assembly, The Courier, 25 July 1861 p 2
  • Moreton Bay, Empire (Sydney) 27 January 1852 p 2
  • Moreton Bay, Empire (Sydney), 6 October 1856 p 2
  • Old Pioneers and Predatory Blacks, The Brisbane Courier, 18 June 1921 p 1
  • Pine Rivers Local History Collection, 1975, Tape by John Armstrong for National Estate of Pine Rivers (Miss Joyner No 13: Aborigines, 20.6 p 2)
  • Richards, Jonathan, 2007, ‘Frederick Wheeler and the Sandgate Native Police Camp,’ Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Vol.20, 2007, p.110
  • Stevens, E. V. 1956, Early Brighton and Sandgate (Read at a meeting of the Queensland Royal Historical Society on August 23, 1956.)
  • Teugue, D T, 1972 The History of Albany Creek, Bridgeman Downs and Eaton’s Hill, Albion/ Colonial Press p.16
  • The Late Mrs McPherson. The Brisbane Courier 20 May 1922 p 19
  • To the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald 30 November 1857 p 8