Our town’s name, Caloundra, likely comes from the Indigenous Kabi word “Callanda”, which means ‘beautiful place’ – or the word “Cullowundoor”, which means ‘beech tree’. Either way, we agree.

The land is rich in Aboriginal history and influence, something we take very seriously. We follow in the footsteps of our ancestors by working in harmony with nature and never against it.

This area is filled with lush greenery, beech trees, surfable waves, and sunshine, making it a notorious holiday destination. Most of all though, it provides us with some of our luscious ingredients we forage and capture sustainably just for you.

 

The Settlement History of Caloundra

Embark on a captivating journey through Caloundra’s history, where tales of exploration, castaways, and resilient pioneers unfolded like chapters in a riveting novel.

In the early 1800s, intrepid adventurers like James Cook and Matthew Flinders paved the way for John Bingle. In March 1822, Bingle navigated the Pumicestone River to unveil its secrets—a hidden passage leading to the sea at what we now know as Caloundra.

Fast forward to 1863, where a gripping saga unfolded amidst cyclonic squalls. Thirteen men, separated from the ship Queen of the Colonies, found themselves marooned at the picturesque Moffat Beach. This group were the unwitting pioneers of Caloundra’s white settlement.

Inspired by this maritime drama, Alexander Archer rowed up the Pumicestone Passage in 1864, christening the area “Calowndra.” His vision for a seaside haven echoed through time, predicting a future of splendid houses and fertile gardens.

The Land Act

Enter the Land Act of 1868, setting the stage for Thomas John Ballinger. Ballinger established a landholding that laid the foundation for Caloundra’s development. Though Robert Bulcock built the first house in 1878, it was Ballinger who became the first permanent European resident. His residence was perched on Ballinger’s Hill overlooking Lake Currimundi.

Witness the arrival of Samuel Leach in 1881, settling at the picturesque junction of Pumicestone Passage and Bell’s Creek. Meanwhile, explorer William Landsborough staked his claim in the future Golden Beach. The landscape evolved, and Robert Bulcock’s strategic donation in 1882 led to the construction of the iconic Caloundra Lighthouse in 1896.

In the early 1900s, Caloundra’s allure attracted public land sales, the establishment of its first school, and the inception of Sea Glint, the guesthouse by John and Margaret Wilson in 1888. Cyclones, like the one that beached the SS Dicky in 1893, left their mark. However, in 1910, Caloundra’s first store opened its doors.

As the Landsborough Shire Council formed in 1912, Caloundra underwent a transformation. Ushering in the era of seaside allotments. Real estate ventures like the Dickey Beach Estate and infrastructural developments like the Tooway Creek bridge in 1937 marked the town’s evolution.

The War

Amidst the war years of 1939-1945, Caloundra became a restricted zone. Homes were commandeered by the Armed Forces and the American Army headquarters were established in the iconic Caloundra School on Queen Street.

Post-World War II, Caloundra experienced an unprecedented surge in growth. The town, once a military outpost, transformed into a beloved destination for holidaymakers. And this is the way it remains.

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