European Discovery

Pine Rivers Library Service P1919/2
Hoop Pines emerging above riparian vegetation, North Pine River.

Although James Cook and Matthew Flinders sailed past Moreton Bay during the late eighteenth century giving names to some features which are still in use today, land exploration did not commence until the early 1820s when a search was underway for a suitable site for a convict settlement.

It was at this time, on 1 December 1823, that a party under the leadership of John Oxley first navigated the North Pine River, landed at Oxleys Inlet and climbed a hill in the area now commemorated by the John Oxley Reserve in Murrumba Downs.

During a second visit a year later, Oxley collected samples of the Hoop Pines which were growing prolifically in the area. It is believed that these pine logs were the first items exported from the northern area of New South Wales that was later to become Queensland.

Although there is no record of Oxley naming the Pine River anything other than the Deception River, the former name was in popular usage by the early 1840s.