Gold rushes, convicts and tourists: A short history of Noosa

Not long now until you are traversing the beautiful Noosa hinterland and witnessing first-hand all the delights this region has to offer.

But before this part of the world became such an idyllic holiday spot it played host to a range of people, industries and events.

The first to inhabit the land were of course the Aboriginal people of the Gubbi Gubbi country more than 30,000 years ago. In fact, the name Noosa is derived from an Indigenous word meaning ‘shade’ or ‘shadows’.

The first white visitors to the area arrived in the form of escaped convicts from the nearby Moreton Bay penal colony. Often these prisoners would find refuge within local Aboriginal groups before being re-captured.

Image courtesy Visit Noosa

Eventually South-East Queensland saw the arrival of free settlers in the mid-19th century bringing with them the bustling timber industry. In 1867, gold was discovered at Gympie, triggering a gold rush that opened up transport links between the area and Brisbane as people flooded from all over Australia to find their fortune.

Over time the area began to receive more holiday goers and its economy began to change into a bustling tourist hub.

These days Noosa is a lively coastal area with boutique shops, award-winning restaurants and endless outdoor activities.