The Ultimate Timeline of Sunshine Coast Firsts – Part 1 – Queensland Firsts

Sunshine Coast is one of the most popular and populous cities of Queensland. The area is reckoned for its stunning coastline of scenic beaches, beautiful weather and friendly people. The city is also known for its great food, multiple tourist spots and the hinterland. However, history of Sunshine Coast is lesser known. Thus, here is the ultimate timeline of Sunshine Coast’s firsts that made the region what it is today. Have a look to go down memory lane of this popular travel destination of Queensland.

First Inhabitants

According to historians, Sunshine Coast’s first inhabitants were the Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi Kabi) language group. The four primary clans of this group were the Nalbo, Dulingbara,Gubi Gubi and Undanbi people. Their ancestors settled in the region more than 30,000 years back and they were explorers who came to the region as it was among the most thriving Aborigines with abundant food sources.

First Sighting (1770)

After the aboriginal people, the first sighting of the region that is now Sunshine Coast was made by European explores particularly botanist Joseph Banks on 17 May. He took note of the prominent hills and named them the Glass Houses.

Climbing Glass Mountains (1799)

Its wasn’t until 1799 that the first Europeans climbed the Glass House Mountains. The climbers were Lieutenant Matthew Flinders and a group of sailors.

Increased Penal Settlers (1824)

After settlers came in hoards at Redcliff and Brisbane, convict runaways were the first Europeans to widely explore and inhabit the Sunshine Coast area.

First Expeditions (1838)

Superintendent Andrew Petrie of the Works for the Penal Settlement in Brisbane led the first expeditions to the Sunshine Coast region for finding timber resources and he found the Bunya Pine.

Exploring Buderim (1854)

To find good timber for sawmill, Richard Jones was the first European to explore Buderim.

First Store (1864)

Low and Grigor opened the first store in the Maroochy District after they set up a timber depot near the Mooloolah River.

Sugar Planted (1865)

William Clark at Bli Bli planted and grew the first sugar plants.

First Hotel & Guesthouse (1855 & 1888)

Hospitality in Sunshine Coast took off after Nathaniel Alder’s house was renovated to be a hotel in Caloundra. Additionally, the first guesthouse Sea Glint was opened in the region that is now the Moffat Beach.

Important Year (1890)

1890 was an important year in Sunshine Coast’s history because the first election of councillors was held, first meeting of Maroochy Divisional Board happened and the first church was built in this year.

First School & Police Station (1917 & 1939)

The first rural school in Sunshine Coast and Queensland was opened in Nambour. What’s more, the first police station on King Street was opened.


Sunshine Coast has a rich history and it is more than a lovely tourist destination. The firsts mentioned above are crucial to understand the history of Sunshine Coast. Some of the region’s first are also the first things that happened in Queensland. Thus, you must know about them whether you are visiting the region or living in it.

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