Woolloongabba Water Reserve

Woolloongabba Water Reserve

Stage Number: MBSH.03.01.72

Group: Southern

Local Study Area: West End-South Brisbane-North Woolloongabba

Epoch: Early 19th Century

Street Address: 58 Water Street, South Brisbane

Latitude & Longitude: -27.48411111,153.03069444

Time Link: 1851

Map Link: TBA

Image Time Point: TBA

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The deep lagoons and swamps of the One-Mile Swamp area were once an important feature of the Aboriginal resource landscape, being a source of pure, clear water. By the early 1850s, however, European encroachment and unchecked livestock had rendered the waterholes almost unusable as they were quickly filled by soil and sand washed from the surrounding slopes in heavy rain and reduced to what was described in the Moreton Bay Courier as ‘muddy ponds’ and ‘hot, thick, yellow’ puddles. A ‘Water Reserve for a supply of water to South Brisbane and a camping Reserve for Drays’ was then established there, covering the area now bounded by Vulture and Stanley Streets, and Wellington and Merton Roads. The reserve for drays serviced the nearby roads that ran south from the city, and teamsters would keep bullocks in the vicinity of the waterholes. A section of the water was reserved for recreation in 1877, and years of rubbish dumping (reportedly 40,000 tons of fill) was required to raise the surface level. The reserve was drained by a tunnel along Leopard Street in 1889. Water Street now lies on part of the former reserve. Note: The marked location is approximate only.


John McClurg, ‘Historical Sketches of Brisbane’, Brisbane: RHSQ, 1975, p.82; Moreton Bay Courier, 20 September 1851.

Image Citations

The water reserve at One-Mile Swamp, Brisbane, 1859. A.C. Gregory, ‘Plan of the town & environs of Brisbane, county of Stanley, N.S.W.’, 1858. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Record number. 727380.

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