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North Harbour Marina opens a new chapter in the Caboolture River’s rich history

August 19, 2021

A North Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) declaration will unlock a scenic stretch of the Caboolture River, enabling future generations of Moreton Bay residents and visitors to experience this stunning location for themselves.

This 12km long missing piece of the Caboolture River will become an unrivalled destination for recreational, sporting, cultural and tourism-based activities at North Harbour Marina, delivering a connection to the open waters of Moreton Bay.

For around 160 years this riverine area of Caboolture River frontage has been disconnected from the community as private ownership made it inaccessible.

This timeline will help you understand more about the past and present as we look forward to our exciting future.

History of the Caboolture River and Raff Creek

How much do you know about our rich and diverse local history?

The Kabi Kabi people are the traditional custodians of the land around Caboolture, of which the Caboolture River is an important natural feature. The name ‘Caboolture’ is derived from Kabul-tur which means “place of the carpet snake” in the language of the Quandamooka people from nearby Stradbroke Island.

The first free Europeans, the Archer brothers, arrived in September 1841 when the region was still part of New South Wales. The Caboolture River was vital to the growing timber industry as local red cedar logs were rafted downstream to Deception Bay.

In 1866, the Moray Field Plantation was established on the southern bank of the Caboolture River by Brisbane politician and businessman George Raff.

Extensive sugarcane cultivation continued at the plantation until 1887 with people from the South Sea Islands working as indentured labourers to harvest and process the sugar, molasses and rum.

During the twentieth century the riverside land was used for cattle farming and as a pine plantation.

The North Harbour story

The concept for North Harbour was born in 2004, when a rigorous process of planning and assessment for North Harbour began. In 2006 the proposal was declared a project of State Significance by the State Government.

North Harbour received approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in 2012 and following subsequent State and Local Government approvals commenced residential development in 2015. The first residents moved into the North Harbour community in 2016 and North Harbour is now home to approximately 2,500 residents.

The North Harbour masterplanned community includes 319 hectares of recreational and regional open space and is expected to be home to around 12,000 residents along Caboolture River.  Further approvals are required to achieve the full vision for the community, including declaration of the Marine Precinct as a Priority Development Area.

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