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Lt Matthew Flinders


Lieutenant (later Captain) Matthew Flinders was the first explorer to enter Glass House Bay (now Moreton Bay).

Having left Sydney on 8 July 1799 in H.M. Sloop "Norfolk" he reached Cape Moreton on 14 July and landed on Bribie Island on 16 July.  Flinders' crew included his brother Samuel and Bongaree, a Broken Bay (NSW) Indigenous man. Landing on Bribie Island they had a minor skirmish with the Ngunda people.

EXCERPT from Matthew Flinders’ book “A Voyage to Terra Australis Vol 1

On the 16th, whilst beating up amongst the shoals, an opening was perceived round the point; and being much in want of a place to lay the sloop on shore, on account of the leak, I tried to enter it; but not finding it accessible from the south, was obliged to make the examination with the boat, whilst the sloop lay at anchor five miles off. There was a party of natives on the point, and our communication was at first friendly; but after receiving presents they made an attack, and one of them was wounded by our fire. Proceeding up the opening, I found it to be more than a mile in width; and from the quantities of pumice stone on the borders, it was named Pumice-stone River. It led towards the remarkable peaks called the Glass Houses, which were now suspected to be volcanic, and excited my curiosity.

Flinders went on to explore Moreton Bay but, failing to find a river, returned to Bribie to beach the Norfolk near White Patch for repairs.

During this period he had named Point Skirmish, Pumice Stone River, and Red Cliff Point (now South Point, Pumicestone Channel, and Woody Point). Finding that there was a passage (South Passage) from Glass House Bay to the ocean, he named the land to the north of it, Moreton Island. Other islands he discovered were Mud, St. Helena, Green, King, Peel, and Coochie Mudlo.

While repairs were underway Flinders explored west to the Glasshouse mountains scaling Mt. Beerburrum to get a view of the area and stood at the foot of Mt. Tibrogargan.   He stayed 15 days in the region.

A Voyage to Terra Australis Vol 1: July 28, we proceeded down the river; but owing to strong winds and squalls from the south-east, did not clear it before the 31st. Some communications with the natives had been obtained whilst the sloop was lying on shore; and this detention afforded opportunities of repeating them. I am happy to say they were all friendly, which is attributable to their opinion of us having undergone a salutary change from the effect of our fire arms at Point Skirmish.

Compiled by Lynne Hooper from sources in the public domain.

Further Reading

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