This is the only remaing parcel of virgin rainforest in the Pine Rivers district. It’s never been cleared, and apart from a few noxious weeds like Lantana and Umbrella Trees, it’s pretty much the same as it was before Europeans arrived 200 years ago.
Ironically it’s in the middle of a gravel quarry. The ground around it has been excavated to such an extent that it’s almost an island.
Before Europan settlement, all the land around our neighborhood along the river looked like this. I half expected early 19th century elder, Dalaipi, to peer out at me from behind the trees.
Environmental reports suggest that the salinity of the soil is increasing due to the surrounding excavation, so its lifetime is limited.
I just wanted to capture a glimpse of pre-colonial Australia before it disappears.
Bell’s Scrub is one of the very few remaining patches of lowland rainforest in the Pine Rivers Shire and one of few in the wider area of south-east Queensland. However, the site is small and not in good condition. Bell’s Scrub represents the southern limit of distribution of brown pearwood (AMOPHOSPERMUM ANTILOGUM), and the crown of gold tree (BARKLYA SYRINGIFOLIA). The fig trees on the site are utilized by brown (MACROPYGIA AMBOINENSIS) and topknot (LOPHOLAIMUS ANTARCTICUS) pigeons.
Sweeney Reserve is a beautiful park in Petrie where we’ve often gone to have a BBQ or picnic, or just to laze around and relax. It’s full of large trees, swings and plenty of space. I often ride through there on my bike most mornings.
I was amazed when I found this old photo from 1896 at the State Library of Queensland web site. It was contributed to the State Library by Leith Barter on behalf of the Moreton Bay Regional Council along with about 150 other historical images.
In the centre of the old photo, you can see the North Pine Hotel, sitting on ground that is now part of the carpark at Woolworths Petrie. To the left and behind the hotel is the building which originally housed Tom Petrie’s hostelry and accommodation house. You can read more about the old photo here.
Today, the business centre of Petrie is close to the roundabout at the intersection of Anzac Avenue and Dayboro Road. But in the 1890’s the town centre was further south, approximately where the Woolworths carpark is now. In the early days, the main road north from Brisbane came through what is now Sweeney Reserve and up what is now Old Dayboro Road.
Out of curiosity, I had a quick look around the vacant lot near the Woolies carpark where the Hotel would have stood. There’s nothing there today. No marker, no ruins. Nothing. The pub was actually moved North East to where the current Petrie pub is today. But after that it was completely lost in a fire. There’s a replica of it today at “Old Petrie Town” on Dayboro Road.