Monday, March 13, 2006

Redcliffe Blues

Sitting by the bay and the site of Queensland's first European landfall.

The 1824 colony of Redcliffe started here just north of the jetty. Woolly Days takes time out to examine the monument to their endeavour.

A certain captain Henry Miller led his men at this garrison. Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn, perhaps?

This Miller's tale has the following accompaniments; a sergeant, a corporal and some dozen privates complete with his wife, children and the inevitable party of convicts.

This was to be Queensland first prison colony. Here was the first northern version of the Stain. It didn't last very long.

It was eventually abandoned and re-constituted as Moreton Bay further to the south and more advantageous on the mouth of a big tidal and navigable river.

Perhaps fresh water was the problem here or the economic one of a lack of good ship access. It is a pleasant enough spot peering out past the giant figs across the bay to Moreton island with its bright sanddunes reflecting in the sun.

Now it’s all tourist kitsch some 180 years on. A jetty with boats for dolphin and whale viewing. There is a park and a lagoon for swimming (none of that nasty sea-business here, thank you.) There is a parade of cafes, bars and bric-a-brac shops along its tidy promenade.

It's not a place where you'd expect to find Henry Miller.

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