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Information About Caloundra, QLD
Caloundra /kəˈlaʊndrʌ/ is a coastal town and the southernmost town in the Sunshine Coast Region in South East Queensland, Australia.
Caloundra is 90 kilometres (55.9 mi) north of the Brisbane central business district. Caloundra is accessible from Landsborough railway station, 21 km away, and the Caloundra bus station.
Caloundra lies within the Aboriginal Gabi-Gabi (Gubbi Gubbi, Kabi Kabi, Cabbee, Carbi) language region.
The name Caloundra is from the Kabi language Cullowundoor with Kal Owen meaning beech tree (Gmelina Leichhardtii) and Dha meaning place.
Caloundra Head was previously known as Petrie Point and Point Wickham (or Wickham Point). Point Wickham takes its name from John Clements Wickham, who did a hydrographic survey of the northern section of Moreton Bay in 1846 and was later the Government Resident of Moreton Bay from 1853 to 1859. Point Wickham was in use by 1860, where it was noted on official maps. In an 1892 map it is named “Caloundra Head (Wickham Point)” and at some time later the use of Caloundra Head became dominant and the use of the name Point Wickham seems to have discontinued.
In 1875, Robert Bulcock, an English immigrant who founded a Brisbane newspaper and later represented the Brisbane electorate of Enoggera in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland from 1885 until 1888, bought 277 acres (1.12 km2) of land in the region. A town was surveyed in the 1870s, and land sales commenced in 1883. The first allotments of land in Caloundra were advertised for public auction on 28 August 1883. The map states ‘the land is of a sandstone nature, undulating and ridgy, heavily timbered with Gum, Bloodwood, Tea-tree and Oak’. A 1907 map shows several sections from George Street to Ernest St advertised for auction on 7 January 1907 by the Government Land Office.
With its proximity to beaches, the area became popular with tourists and a number of hotels and guest houses were set up to accommodate them.
In 1917, Bulcock’s son, Robert Bulcock Jr, who was a councillor in the Shire of Landsborough, subdivided part of the land into 404 lots. This area became known as Bulcock Beach. 404 allotments of ‘Bulcock Estate’ were advertised for auction on 16 August 1917 by Isle, Love and Co, auctioneers, with an edge of the Estate mapped as adjacent to Tripcony’s store and the Tramway terminus.
In 1919, 29 subdivided allotments of ‘Caloundra Heads Estate’ were advertised to be auctioned on 20 December 1919 by Cameron Bros. in Brisbane. A map advertising the auction shows the majority of blocks were on Albert Street between King Street and King’s Beach. Another undated map shows more blocks of this estate were advertised for auction on King Street towards Ernest Street.
By 1933, Caloundra had a population of 271.
On Saturday 29 December 1934, Caloundra Methodist Church was opened and dedicated by the President of the Methodist State Conference, C. C. Truman. It was the first church in Caloundra.
The Caloundra branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association was established in July 1937.
St Andrew’s Anglican Church was dedicated on Sunday 22 January 1939 by Archbishop William Wand. The construction of the church had been strongly encouraged by Wand who holidayed at Caloundra with his friend Queensland Governor Leslie Wilson. The Governor also attended the church’s dedication. On 10 December 1966 the foundation stone of the new church was laid Archbishop Philip Strong, who opened and dedicated the new church on 8 December 1967. The new church was consecrated in 1974.
The first female councillor was Miriam Westaway, who represented Division 5 from 29 April 1961 to 30 March 1973. She was one of the first teachers at Caloundra State School. She was active in community groups such as the RSL Women’s Auxiliary and a founder of the Caloundra Branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association and the local branch of the Red Cross.
During World War II, the area became key to Australian defence due to defensive positions along the beaches. Radar stations and machine gun pits were mounted, and Australian and US armed forces came to the area. From the early 1950s onwards, Caloundra experienced a boom in development and population, and by 1968, it had come to dominate the Shire of Landsborough so completely that the council chambers were relocated to Caloundra.
The Caloundra Library opened in 1986 with a major refurbishment in 2017.