Oxley Creek Ford and the Ipswich Track

Stage Number: MBSH.05.07.04

Group: Western

Local Study Area: Durack- Doolandella-Willawong-Pallara-Larapinta

Epoch: Early 19th Century

Street Address: Junction of Bowhill and Beatty roads, Willawong.

Latitude & Longitude: -27.58563889,153.01083333

Time Link: 1926

Map Link: TBA

Image Time Point: TBA

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The Ipswich Track took this route to Brisbane from about 1826, possibly using Aboriginal pathways. Today the Oxley Creek ford site can be seen where Bowhill and Beatty Roads meet at the creek. It is marked on an 1864 map as a ‘crossing place.’ The ford was a naturally shallow, flat area in the stream and provided a good footing for man or beast to cross the channel. It was also above the tidal limit. The Oxley Creek ford was significant to the bullock drivers because it was one day’s travel out of Brisbane, providing a known campsite and gathering place nearby. Father James Hanley (Moreton Bay’s first Catholic priest, circa 1843) frequently crossed here on his way between Brisbane and Ipswich. Nearby Hanleys Creek was named after ‘the galloping priest.’

The first bridge over Oxley Creek was built in 1852. It was 2-3 km closer to the river (a more direct line and bridges make tides of no concern). This is the Ipswich Road we know today. The original road is marked as the ‘old road to Brisbane’ on an 1864 map.


Vicki Mynott, Pallara school & community 2009, Inala Heights: Richlands, Inala & Suburbs History Group, 2009.

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