As far as European history goes, the Portuguese, Dutch and French possibly mapped the coastline around the middle of the 16th century. In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook, sailing along the Eastern Australian coast in HMS Endeavour named Point Lookout, Cape Moreton and Moreton Bay. The next “touch-point” is thought to be in 1803 when a group of Minjerribah men showed Mathew Flinders’ crew where to find fresh water in the Cylinder Beach/Adder Rock area. https://stradbrokeisland.com/about-stradbroke/island-history/
In those days, Stradbroke Island was still one whole island (today is of course, North and South Stradbroke Islands). It is thought that perhaps the cargo (which had contained dynamite) from the stricken vessel Cambus Wallace, which had run aground 15 miles north of Southport and had been detonated on site for safety reasons, had destabilised the fragile sand mass as when, two years later, a strong gale blew through the area South Stradbroke Island and North Stradbroke Island were created.
On July 16 1850, Dunwich was proclaimed to be Moreton Bay’s Quarantine Station. Only a few weeks later a ship called the “Emigrant” pulled into port with Typhus on board. All of her passengers were put into quarantine at Dunwich. Fifty six of them died and many are buried in the Dunwich cemetery. The quarantine station closed in 1864 and Peel Island was declared as Moreton Bay’s official quarantine station, and Dunwich was nominated to accommodate the Benevolent Asylum which was completed in 1867.
Prior to 1894 North and South Stradbroke were one and the same island. The two islands were separated after a barque; the “Cambus Wallace” was shipwrecked in a narrow passage off the island that was carrying explosives that had to be detonated in the passage. It is believed that the recovery of cargo from the Cambus Wallace, the detonations, and a severe storm caused the separation of the island creating North and South Stradbroke as we know it today.
03.09.1894 Ran aground in the heavy seas near the narrow stretch of Stradbroke Island called Tuleen. Within half an hour the main mast of steel cracked and broke, the lengthy upper part falling towards the bows. Some of the crew managed to swim to shore, but five men drowned. The hatches of the wrecked ship broke open as the tide rose and cargo washed overboard. The vessel was carrying whiskey, beer and cases of explosives as well as all kinds of imported fine goods. The barque disappeared entirely beneath the water in 48 hours. One weak and injured sailor breathed his last on the Miner as she was passing Cleveland on her home journey. He was buried in the Toowong Cemetery. By the spring of 1896, the tide had divided Stradbroke Island in two. The graves and memorial to mariners from the Cambus Wallace washed away into the waters of the new Jumpinpin Bar. Read more at wrecksite: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?55788
Allen Tony 28/04/2009 The barque Cambus Wallace was wrecked on Stradbroke Island, off Brisbane, on September 4th, 1894. She sank with the loss of five lives.
ref. used:Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam
Jan Lettens 14/05/2008 WRECK DATA Name: Cambus Wallace (+1895) Date wrecked: 03091895 From port: Glasgow To port: Brisbane Comments: Wrecked: Stradbroke Is. (Jumpinpin Bar) LOCATION DATA Where wrecked: Stradbroke Island, Jumpinpin Bar State: Queensland Latmax: -28 Latmin: -27 Read more at wrecksite: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?55788
WRECK OF THE CAMBUS WALLACE
On 3rdSeptember 1894, the Cambus Wallace ran aground just 200m off the Jumpinpin Bar, South Stradbroke Island. The 1600t steel sailing barge embarked from Glasgow with cargo including, salt, whisky, dynamite, iron, paper and other goods.
The depth of the wreck has changed over the decades dramatically and was mostly completely covered by sand. Due to the shallowness, the Cambus Wallace is not a common scuba diving site but has been dived up to the 1970’s.
Picture credit and courtesy to State Library of Queensland. For more details about the history of the Cambus Wallace, visit http://www.bayislandnews.com.au/2018/01/02/cambus-wallace-ship-broke-island-1894/