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Woody Point Jetty history

Updated: Mar 4, 2023

Construction of the first jetty began in 1881 and by 1882 the Jetty Construction Committee reported that the Jetty was finally completed. It was 580ft long and 4 ft wide.

An original painting of the first Woody Point Jetty by Robert Saunder Rayment in 1889:

This painting is also on display in the Cominos Arcade - 133 Redcliffe Parade.

Brisbane Courier 11th January 1881:

A New Watering Place.

The landowners at Humpybong must be congratulated on having started a movement to provide that pleasant marine resort with the one thing needful to its utility, namely jetty accommodation. To the weary city man, Humpybong would be, next to Sandgate, the most accessible watering place, were there proper means of landing on the shores of Moreton Bay, but the want of jetty accommodation is an almost insurmountable obstacle to its success. Communication by water has been necessarily fitful, and the land journey presents even greater difficulties than the more distant resort, Southport. But a jetty once built, Humpybong would be within three hours of the General Post Office by water, with regular communication, and when the Sandgate railway is completed the time will be reduced to about one hour & one half by train, the remainder by steamboat. Under these circumstances it is not surprising that the more enterprising landowners have started a movement for building a jetty under the provisions of the Local Works Loan Act. The Colonial Treasurer has met them in a liberal spirit, not only promising the money if the Caboolture Board make application in terms of the Act, but also having instructed the Engineer for Harbours and Rivers to prepare plans and specifications. These, with Messrs. Nisbet and Stanley's reports, are now before us. From these it appears that the site of the proposed jetty is immediately inside Woody Point about five miles from Sandgate, this being the best locality for an open jetty in the neighbourhood, as it will, in Mr. Nisbet's opinion, always be accessible to steamers when they can ply in the Bay. The proposed structure will be 580ft long, with a pier head 20ft. by 10ft. In order to minimise the cost, it will be built mostly on single piles with cross-bearing, every seventh pier only having double piles. The piles will be of swamp mahogany, with iron shoes, and the decking of hardwood. The planking of the main jetty will be 4ft. in width, and the jetty will be fitted with a railing 3ft. high. The estimated cost is £630, which, under the Local Works Loan Act, can be borrowed by the Divisional Board from the Government at 5 per cent interest, the principal and interest to be repaid in ten years. This outlay it is proposed to meet by a special rate upon the property which will be benefited by the jetty, so that, should the board undertake the work, it will not be a charge upon the division generally. Seeing the benefit that the district of Humpybong is likely to derive from the proposed jetty, it is to be hoped the Caboolture Board will see their way to accede to the petition of the landowners interested, and take the necessary steps for erecting the proposed jetty without delay

Photo of the Woody Point (Humpybong) Jetty c.1889, from the Pictorial History Of Redcliffe Book 1824-1949:

Queenslander April 1882:

The Humpybong Jetty.

THE virtual completion of the new jetty at Woody Point Humpybong, was made the occasion of a very pleasant excursion to that admirable watering-place on Saturday. The steamer Francis Cadell, having on board several families interested in Humpybong, with a considerable number of invited visitors, cast off from Messrs. Gibbs, Bright, and Co.'s wharf about 10.30a.m. There were a few light showers as the excursionists passed down the river, but no rain fell afterwards to mar the enjoyment of a most agreeable day. The Cadell, which was the first steamer to lie alongside the structure, landed her passengers on the jetty soon after 1.30 p.m., and they went ashore in parties, each laden with hampers of provisions and other picnic necessaries. The laterains had given the country a verdanthue, and a strong breeze with cloudy skymade the weather unusually cool and pleasant, and soon dissipated the qualms produced in delicately-constituted persons by the motion of the steamer. The beauty of the scenery, and the family groups of excursionist dotted about the sward busily engaged in satisfying the cravings of nature, formed an animated and a pleasant scene. The line roll of the surf on the beach also reminded the visitor that this was a veritable ocean watering-place, and the unanimous opinion was that its charms were quite equal to those of Southport, while Humpybong possessed some advantages peculiarly its own in compensation for the want of a navigable creek. The visitors could only remain two hours, and therefore were unable to note the progress of building and settlement, of which the residents speak with much pride, and which they justifiably expect will receive great impetus from the increased traffic resulting from the construction of the jetty. The excursionists returned to the steamer about 4 o'clock, and after a pleasant run against the tide the steamer delivered them at Messrs. Gibbs, Bright, and Co.'s wharf before 8 o'clock. The architect, Mr. F. D. G. Stanley, was present on Saturday, and has been good enough to furnish us with the materials for annexed description of the jetty. The length of the jetty is 580ft., and its breadth 4ft. It is furnished with a T end 40ft. by 10ft., for the convenience of steamers, in front of which there is a depth of 3ft. 6in. at low-water spring tides, and usually not less than 4ft. in ordinary tides, with from 7ft. to 8ft. 6in. at high water. The planking 3in. is laid longitudinally, making the structure much less difficult than the Cleveland jetty to walk upon, and it is intended to be provided with rails for a tram. The piles are of undressed swamp mahogany, placed 12ft. apart, with cross-heads, and with double piles, braced at every 96ft. The planking is supported by cross-bearers strutted off the piles, and the structure has a very neat and light as well as strong appearance. Tenders were, it seems, invited for 200 ft. additional length, and that probably will be soon supplied, as it would give 6ft. at low-water springs at the sea end of the jetty which depth would enable the river steamer to approach in almost any state of the tide. The Caboolture Divisional Board, however, determined to try the effect of the jetty as at present constructed before incurring the additional expense. There was a strong south-east wind blowing on Saturday, but the dozens of excursionists who walked over it simultaneously detected no sign of vibration in the jetty.With care it should prove a great public convenience for many years to come.

FRANCIS CADELL 140 gross tons. Lbd: 120' x 19'9" x 6'5". Iron hulled, single masted Paddle steamer built in sections at London, shipped to Port Adelaide and assembled 1866. Had several unknown owners until acquired by AUSN in 1888. Worked as a tender at Burketown, where her depth allowed her to cross the bar that otherwise kept most vessels away. Serviced the Gulf of Carpentaria until wrecked near Burketown Queensland 1898

In 1889 the Jetty was extended to a length of 700 feet (213 metres).

Recently discovered original plans drawn in 1919 for the second Woody Point Jetty, show wonderful detail and colouring by the original draughtsman.

They show the original 1882 Jetty that had a 90 degree bend alongside the newly proposed Jetty that was 832 feet long.

A photo showing both Jetties together in 1922 after construction:

A Retrac series postcard showing the shed at the end of the first Jetty built in 1885 and extended in 1889.

The 1919 sketch of the proposed second Jetty showing the 100 feet of the original Jetty "to be pulled up and removed":

Groper caught at Woody Point Jetty c.1920.

From the Moreton Bay Library Collection RLPC-000\000699 and published in the Pictorial History Of Redcliffe Book 1824-1949:

1919 Proposed new Jetty drawings:

Photo taken from sea end of the jetty c.1919, showing a man and boy walking towards shops. Trolley tracks can be seen and the Palace Hotel is in background, along with the Cambridge House and Mrs Sheehan's store.

From the Moreton Bay Library Collection RLPC-000\000127

A framed copy of the original sketch is available for viewing and purchase at our Cominos Arcade shop:

The second Woody Point Jetty was opened in 1922 and would last for over 85 years.

Daily Standard 6th March 1922:




Saturday was a red letter day in the history of Humpybong. For the first time a Governor of Queensland paid an official visit to the pretty seaside resort, while tho opening of the new Recliffe and Woody Point jetties, and a memorial School of Arts was included in the day's events. The Governor, who was attended by Captain Boyle, A.D.C., journeyed to Redcllffe in tho Koopa, amongst those present being the Mlnistor for Education (Mr. Huxham), who was accompanied by Mrs. Huxham and Miss Sheahan (private secretary), Mr. Charles Taylor, M.LA. (leader of the National Parliamentary party), and Mrs. Taylor, Mr. G. H. Mackay, M.H.R., Mr. W. H. Barnes, M.L.A., and Mrs. Barnes, Mr. J. S. Kerr, M.L.A., Mr. R. J. Warren, M.L.A., and Mrs.Warren; Mr. Sizer, M.L.A., Mr. A. S. Kennedy (Under-Secretary, Department of Public Instruction), and Alderman Godsall (Mayor of Toowoomba). On arrival at Woody Point the Governor was met by members of the Town Council, while a body of school children sang appropriate songs at the jetty gates. The Mayor briefly welcomed the Govornor, and presented him with a pair of silver scissors with which to cut the ribbon. Before declaring the jetty formally open, the Governor made a brief speech, referring to the difficulties which lay in the path of those who wore engaged In dealing with a "inanimate forces of nature" One of these forces, he said, was the special enemy of marine engineers and wharf, and jetty constructors the world over, It was a sort of elongated oyster called teredo, and constitutes one of the most mischievous things in creation. Why it should be so mischievous he really did not know. The only clue he had was the zoological fact that there were 500 females to every male. No heart, not even one of wood, could resist such an onslaught. (Laughter.) In regard to tho Redcllffe jetty, the engineer had wisely decided to turn the flank of the foe instead of making a frontal attack and had utilised that rather incomprehensible material called reinforced concrete—a substance which even the voracious teredo could not digest. Sir Matthew then severed the ribbon and declared the jetty opened. INTERESTING' HISTORY. In responding to the toast of the Governor's health at the official luncheon, which was served in the Harrington Cafe, Sir Matthew, after referring to the kindly manner in which he had been received, gave some interesting details of the early history of Woody Point and the surrounding districts. He said that though Redcliffe Point had been seen and actually named on July 17, 1799, by Flinders, on account of the redness of its. cliffs, It was nearly a quarter of a century later , that any white man went ashore there. But it mast pleasant for the place to have received its name from an explorer so great. For Flinders was a great explorer, even though, as Captain Cook missed Port Jackson, so did Flinders miss the Brisbane River. In fact, he committed himself to the definite statement that no river of importance interested the east coast between the 24th and the 39th degrees south latitude. Oxley, who came to Moreton Bay in 1823, did discover the river. Oxley thought it unnecessary to examine that river which had been explored by Flinders. He, however, surveyed Red Cliff Point, where, landing on November 30, he found deep water within a short distance of the shore and the country about the point open forest. He formed a high opinion of the place as having an easy communication with the sea without that difficulty experienced in effecting a landing which other situations in the bay presented. In conclusion the Governor said he hoped this increased accessibility would lead to greater prosperity, and that Redcliffe which had now close to 100 years of quiet story,may have many more centuries of happy existence in front of it. (Applause). Other toasts honored were "Parliament," "The Redcliffe Town Council," "The Visitors" and "The Chairman." VISIT TO WOODY POINT. Subsequently the Governor and party motored to Woody Point, and there declared open the new jetty and the new School of Arts, which had been built by public subscription as a memorial to the fallen soldiers of Humpybong. He was welcomed by members of the committee, and in declaring the building open, said: "The form of memorial at Woody Point has erected to commemorate those of its citisens who went to the war, seems to me a good one. While it is not intended that It should be exclusively used by returned men, and therefore to a constantly decreasing extent, I have no doubt that these men will be given privileges as may tend to their general enjoyment of the hall." Continuing, the Governor said that he could not emphasise too strongly or too often that the greater the number who belonged to such an institution the better It would be carried on, not only because of the large funds available, but because of the greater number of persons interested in making it a success. (Hear, hear.) Referring to tho library which will be housed in the hall, he said he attributed the greatest importance to the reading by the many of good literature. He looked upon the probable effect of such reading as an enhancement of the proper enjoyment of life, and especially of that large part of life that was devoted to leisure. He thought it would not be Inaccurate to make a threefold classification of pleasures. The lowest class comprised, of course, the bodily pleasures of eating, drinking, and such like; then came the pleasures of excitement, such as gambling, at races or otherwise, the reading of certain classes of books, and the looking at certain classes of pictures, and the more innocent physical pleasures had an element of excitement. The third catogory was that in which the mental and spiritual faculties wore stimulated, and included the enjoyment of nature, of art, music, and literature. The reading of good books led directly to the others. He hoped the hall would help people In that direction. Mr. J. H. Cox, in giving details of the finances of the building scheme, stated that the outlay would be in the neighbourhood of £1300, and that a balance of about £500 still remained before the debt could be discharged. Mr. A. C. Hodon said that as trustee of a balance of £32 arising out of the regattas which were held annually at Redcliffe up till 1912, he would be ready to donate this sum to the hall fund if his co-trustee, Mr. T. E. Ham,would give his consent. This money,with the Government subsidy, would amount to nearly £50. (Applause). An Invitation for immediate subscriptions found a ready response from those present. After tea had been served by a committee of ladies, the Governor and the visitors left for Brisbane. A successful plain and fancy dress ball was held in the evening.

Fishing off the end of the Woody Point Jetty 1929.

Photo by Harold Meares - From the Moreton Bay Library Collection RLPC-000\000812

A major reconstruction took place in 1962, when precast, prestressed concrete deck units were installed.

Fishing on the Woody Point Jetty 1982.

Photo by Rae Stanaway - from the Moreton Bay Library Collection RLPC-000\000013

The jetty was reconstructed from May 2008 and opened in January 2009. It is 240m long and 6m wide with a concrete substructure and recycled timber decking.

A page from our Pictorial History of Redcliffe Book 1824-1949 - available to purchase at the following link:

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