Redcliffe is a metro suburb of Brisbane, but a two kilometer stretch of water has supplanted this ‘city’ a world away from Brisbane. It is fascinating how a bridge or tunnel can have this effect on a society. Redcliffe has a non-stop holiday glow in the air that perpetually remains suspended over the town.
Since the 1880s, Redcliffe has been a popular "seaside resort" location due to its proximity to Brisbane.
Redcliffe holds the distinction of being the first European settlement in Queensland, first visited by Matthew Flinders on 17 July 1799. Explorer John Oxley recommended "Red Cliff Point" – named after the red-coloured cliffs visible from Moreton Bay – to the Governor Thomas Brisbane for the new colony, reporting that ships could land at any tide. The first settlers settled in Redcliffe on 13 September 1824, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Miller with 14 soldiers, some with wives and children, and 29 convicts. However, this settlement was abandoned after one year and the colony was moved south to a site on the Brisbane River at North Quay, 28 km (17 mi) south that offered a more reliable water supply.
Redcliffe became a pastoral district in the 1860s and in the 1880s boomed as a seaside resort town with the paddle steamer Koopa making regular trips to its jetty from 1911.
The Hornibrook Bridge first completed in 1935 allowed easy access to and from Brisbane by motor car leading the way to rapid suburban development. To date that development has been managed, but signs are apparent the developer’s chequebook is gaining sway, with toaster buildings and heritage management in conflict.