Bribie Island Hotel
Courtesy of the SLQ. Neg 72673
Courtesy MBRC P1466 Denise Goodwin photo collection.
Photo courtesy Caboolture Historical Village.
Courtesy of the SLQ. Neg 72673
Bribie's first hotel opened in January 1940. In 1938 a liquor licence was issued with the Commission’s opinion that the establishment of an up-to-date hotel, offering special facilities for tourists, would result in considerable development in the tourist traffic.
The growth of the settlement at Woorim from the 1920s was linked both to the popularity of Ocean Beach, the opening of a road to the sea in 1924 and the progressive development of the Bribie Island Surf Club which conducted it first beach patrol in 1923. By the 1920s a steady routine had developed as the steamers Koopa and later Doomba carried visitors across the bay and then motor transport completed the journey along the sealed road to the surf beach. Surf carnivals attracted additional visitors. What is surprising is that it took so long for a hotel to be developed at the popular holiday site.
In 1938 the Licensing Commission granted a licensed victualler's licence to Bribie Island for the area of land along the main beach extending inland for a mile. With the license came the Commission’s opinion that the establishment of an up-to-date hotel, offering special facilities for tourists, would result in considerable development in the tourist traffic. Applications were soon sought for a licensee with the provision that a new hotel would provide hot and cold water services, a septic system, showers for bathers, and a sunbathing enclosure.
John Goodwin, a Brisbane hotelier, in a partnership with his siblings Patrick and Isabel, was the only tender for the license. The cost of the new hotel and improvements was to be £5150 and the building would be established in such a way that additions could be made if a larger hotel were required later. The building was constructed of fibrous cement and timber with an open verandah to catch the sea breezes. All bedrooms were to be furnished in the latest style including basins and running water. Since electricity did not reach Bribie Island until 1953, a generator provided the power for the refrigeration, lighting and the water pumps.
No sooner had the new Bribie Island Hotel opened in 1939 than the war years intervened. A military presence moved on the island and the hotel was commandeered for the use of the Australian Women’s Army. By way of compensation Goodwin was permitted to establish a temporary hotel in a home at Bongaree for the duration.
After the war and to the present the hotel remained fixture at Woorim. Over the years there were significant expansions to the property but the basic structure created in 1938 is still clearly discernible. After John Goodwin’s death in 1962 the hotel came on to the market in 1966 and was sold at auction that year for $138,000. The new owners were Elio (Bluey) Piva and his wife Jean. There was a name change to the Blue Pacific Hotel and further expansion took place, including the addition of motel units and a drive in bottle shop.
Written by James Mason with information sourced from the BIHS database.