Yandina Heritage Trail

Take a walk through our history. Follow the trail of beer, tornados, and hard times in “Native Dog Flat”!

Walk our Heritage Trail and catch a glimpse of our past and how our pioneers lived.

Heritage Trail Map

Pick up a Heritage Trail map at the Yandina Historic House and follow the numbered plaques to enjoy all the beauties of our town, both past and present.

Heritage Trail Photo Gallery

View the Yandina Heritage Trail photo gallery here.

Heritage Trail Sites

1. Historic House
Pioneer John G. Sommer originally built this house around 1900 on a site in Bridges, 2 km north of Yandina Town. Benjamin M. Williams, a director of the Maroochy Co-Op, and his descendants lived here from 1923 – 1996.

Sommer family in front of a dwelling in Yandina ca. 1885

Photo: Portrait of the Sommer family c. 1885. From left to right; R.J.G. Sommer, Mrs J.G. Sommer, their daughter Ms Sommer with her daughter. Far right – Richard Sommer the brother of J.G. Sommer. The building is the Yandina Telegraph Office/Station which opened in 1874 and closed when the rail link was opened in 1891. The building was then used by police eventually becoming a private residence but much altered. In 2015 a small cottage on top of the original stumps and floorboards was all that remained. It was never Sommer’s residence or hotel as these building were elsewhere in Yandina. The inscription on the photograph is incorrect as this building is not Sommers Hotel. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

2. Yandina Railway Station
It was the 1890s and the railway was injecting new life into Yandina Town. Hulking steam engines pulled in to this station amid the boisterous chatter of passengers and work crews. Water for steam was pumped directly from the Maroochy River. Blackbutt and Stringy Bark were railed to the sawmills, and maize went to Brisbane for sale at 2/- a bushel.

Railway-Station-at-Yandina-ca.1909

Photo: Steam train at the Yandina Railway Station c. 1909. Railway workers are standing on the platform. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

3. Yandina & District War Memorial
Generations of Australians can still see, embedded in stone, the names of those who sacrificed all for their ideals and the nation’s defence and integrity. 118 men from the district enlisted for WWI. 228 men and 25 women enlisted for WWII. This monument commemorates those who didn’t come home. It was originally unveiled on June 7, 1924 in a ceremony attended by over 400 people.

Unveiling of Soldiers' Memorial, Yandina, 7 June 1924

Photo: Unveiling of Soldiers’ Memorial, Yandina, 7 June 1924. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

4. The Yandina Australian Hotel
Yandina had been without a pub for five years when John Gustave Sommer built the hotel in 1888-1889 on his land at the intersection of Fleming and Farrell Streets (adjacent to the Old Gympie Road) at Yandina. Following the completion of the North Coast Railway line to Yandina in 1891, the hotel was relocated to its present site opposite the Railway Station in Stevens Street. It was extended in the 1930s and later renamed the Yandina Hotel. Whilst the hotel was being moved, you could still get a beer, and upstairs Mrs Sommer gave birth to a son.

Australian Hotel, Stevens Street, Yandina, 1932

Photo: Australian Hotel, Stevens Street, Yandina, 1932. Source: Picture Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Libraries.

5. ES&A Bank
Before the ES&A Bank erected this building in 1920, Christian Walter’s family grocery and produce store was on this site. In 1896, he was selling ½lb of biscuits for 4½d. The ES&A moved into the original building in 1909 and shared space with the Post Office from 1914 until that building was demolished.

6. McNab’s General Store
The people of Yandina have been buying  [until 2015] their general supplies in this building since 1909, when John McNab moved his Excelsior House business here from Farrell Street. It changed hands a couple of times until the Maroochy Co-Op bought it in 1921. Less than a decade later, Australians were caught in the Depression and many farmers found themselves leaning heavily on the Co-Op.

Co-op. Society in 1919; and Nambour District Co-op. Society in 1963.

Photo: This store, on the corner of Stevens Street and Railway Street Yandina, was built for J. McNab by Walter Lanham of Nambour in 1909. Subsequent owners were Glover & Grassick in 1911; Burnett Brothers in 1914; Maroochy Co-op. Society in 1919; and Nambour District Co-op. Society in 1963. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

7. Butcher Shop
George Best was the district’s butcher. Coulson mail and boat service delivered fresh meat and ice to farmers along the river.  Most of the Best’s lived at Fairhill and their slaughter house and farms were also at Fairhill.  Sons George Jnr, Arthur and Tim kept the business operating until 1958.

George Best, Senior, who created this display, is nearest the rear wheel of the wagon.

Photo: George Best, Senior, who created this display at Nambour Showgrounds in 1910, is nearest the rear wheel of the wagon. (Description supplied with photograph). (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

8. Old Post Office
It wasn’t until 1923 that Yandina’s post office received official status. James J. Dore became the first postmaster. When George Best Snr had this building erected, it served as Post Office from the 1930s until 1995.

Yandina post office 1870s

Photo: The Yandina Post Office at South Maroochy Crossing which opened in 1868 and was the first post office between Brisbane and Gympie. From 1914 to 1923 the Yandina Post Office occupied a small building, since demolished, in Stevens Street.

9. Malyon & Nichols General Store
In 1909, the Malyon and Nichols general store stocked everything from boots to iron nails. Shopkeepers wore long white aprons and customers came in for a gossip as much as for groceries and supplies.

L. A. Browne's general store, Railway Street, Yandina, c. 1938

Photo: Not Malyon & Nichols General Store, this one is L. A. Browne’s general store, in Railway Street, Yandina, c. 1938. This store was a newsagent and stationer as well as selling confectionary, boots and shoes, groceries, hardware and produce. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

10. Bakery
Tom Rutherford first opened a bakery on this site in the 1900s. Up each day long before dawn to heat the ovens, Tom didn’t have far to go to work as he and his family lived at the rear of the shop.

Photo: View of Stevens Street, including Rutherford's bakery, Yandina, ca. 1924. Sign on the side of the awning reads: Rutherford, Baker.

Photo: View of Stevens Street, including Rutherford’s bakery, Yandina, c. 1924. Sign on the side of the awning reads: Rutherford, Baker. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

11. O’Shea’s
Michael O’Shea’s general store was on this site in the 1890s. The railway station was opened. Boats ferried supplies up river. The town was growing fast. Benjamin Lawton sold fresh meat from a site behind the store. He later sold his hook and block to George Best for 2/6d. The current building went up in the 1930s.

Photo: Coulson's River Boats at the jetty on the Maroochy River. The boats were used to transport mail, passengers, household goods and produce from the early 1900's to people in the Maroochy River area.

Photo: Coulson’s River Boats at the jetty on the Maroochy River c. 1920. The river boats were operated by Lionel and Hazel Coulsen who sold to Ralph Duffield and Merv Gilby in 1950. The boats were used to transport mail, passengers, household goods and produce from the early 1900s to people in the Maroochy River area. During the 1950 floods one of the boats and a shed was washed away by flood waters. (Description supplied with photograph). (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

12. Drapers
One of Yandina’s earliest stores, Daniel McNab’s drapery, was on this site in 1889. The current building used to be the Highway Café from 1950 until 1996.

E. D. Low general merchant store on Stevens Street Yandina ca. 1927.

Photo: Not Daniel NcNab’s Drapery. This photo is of E. D. Low general merchant store on Stevens Street Yandina c. 1927. Perhaps M. Richardson, the dressmaker next door, used fabrics from Daniel McNab’s drapery. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

13. South Maroochy Crossing
This was the only place for bullock wagons and coaches travelling the Gympie Road to cross the Maroochy River safely. The river had a firm rocky bottom and was used for heavily loaded traffic even after the first bridge was built in 1878. The bridge could only handle light traffic.

Photo: South Maroochy River near Yandina c. 1892

Photo: South Maroochy River near Yandina c. 1892. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

14. Christina Low Park
The park is named after the wife of Yandina’s first selector James Low – the first European woman to arrive on the Sunshine Coast. This was the site of the Yandina Post Office (from which the town took its name), James Low’s general store, the Maroochie Hotel, and the Cobb & Co stables.  A police escort was established in 1868 for gold from Gympie.

James and Christina Low

Photo: James and Christina Low.

15. Koongalba
Timber used for this house was rafted downriver to William Pettigrew’s sawmill in Maroochydore where logs were lifted by hand-crane from the river, and milled. Bullock teams had dragged the logs to a rafting point on the river, where they were bound together with chains and the raftsman rode them to the crane site. The house was built for John and Louisa Low and it was named ‘Koongalba’.

Koongalba in 1904. Built in 1894, it was the home of John & Louisa Low and their nine children who were born in the house.

Photo: Koongalba 1904. Built in 1894, it was the home of John & Louisa Low and their nine children who were born in the house.

16. Yandina Cemetery
The earliest recorded burial is for James Low who died in 1883. The town’s pioneers are here – Best, Stevens, Sommer, Galt, Dyne, Browne, Chambers. The headstones and monuments record our pioneer heritage.

The earliest recorded burial at Yandina Cemetery is for James Low who died in 1883

Photo: James Low’s headstone at Yandina Cemetery.

17. Yandina Anglican Church
In the 1880s Arthur Gawthorne purchased a section for £3/9/6 and donated it for a site for a church. George Browne of Yandina Cattle Station donated cash, and the people of the district pitched in to build the church of pitsawn beech. It was a non-denominational church and was later purchased by the Church of England in 1919. It is the oldest surviving timber church on the Sunshine Coast.

Yandina Anglican Church

Photo: Yandina Anglican Church.

18. Yandina School Of Arts
The Home Secretary opened the Yandina School of Arts in 1916. Silent movies and travelling shows were popular community attractions.

Yandina School of Arts was built by day labour, under the supervision of Franz Nyman. It was opened on 9 October 1916 by the Home Secretary

Photo: Yandina School of Arts, c. 1925. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

19. Motor Garage
In the 1920s motorised traffic on the roads was increasing. In 1922, twenty-three motor cars made the trip from Nambour to Coolum via Yandina in seventy minutes. A new era had begun, and in 1924 William Granger established Yandina’s first Motor Garage on this site.

W. Granger's service station, Yandina, 1941

Photo: W. Granger’s service station, Yandina, 1941. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

20. Uniting Church
It cost £100, in 1924, to build the Yandina Methodist Church on this site, and from 1917 it was the Ladies Church Help Society that raised funds for its maintenance. Then in 1955, there was a freak tornado, so powerful, it blew the church right off its stumps.

21. Blacksmith
Roaring hot forge fires, the strike force of a hammer on metal, the whinny of horses and the sounds of carriage wheels on dirt roads – that’s what you’d experience on a hot day in Percy Pinkerton’s “Smithy” in 1913. He was a master carriage builder and won prizes for his work at the Nambour Show.

22. Racecourse Reserve
After this area was gazetted as the Yandina Racecourse Reserve in 1896, people used the annual race meeting for family outings. They came from all over the district for the picnic races, wearing their best clothes and crowding behind rough log barriers to watch the action. In 1903 it was George Best Jr who won the pony race riding “Friskie”.

Yandina Race Club held the 15th annual race meeting on Boxing Day, 1903. The races were held on the Racecourse Reserve gazetted in the Queensland Government Gazette 1896-1-930, on the 18 April, 1896

Photo: Yandina Race Club held the 15th annual race meeting on Boxing Day, 1903. The races were held on the Racecourse Reserve gazetted in the Queensland Government Gazette 1896-1-930, on the 18 April, 1896.(Description supplied with photograph). (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

23. RSL Hall
In December of 1939 the Drill Hall for “C” Company, 9/49 Battalion, was officially opened. During the war years, the local branch of the Comforts Fund wrote to servicemen and women, sent socks and jumpers, and hampers form McWhirter’s department store in Brisbane priced from 7/6d to £1 each. In 1957 the building was purchased by the RSL sub-branch. It was relocated here in 1989.

24. Masonic Temple
The original masonic temple was built in 1908. It was moved to the rear of the grounds in 1958 and an extension was built in front. The old building is remarkably well preserved – a tribute to the skill of its builders and the quality of timbers selected for its construction.

Freemasons in their regalia including collar and apron pose in front of the Masonic Hall in Yandina c. 1908

Photo: Freemasons in their regalia including collar and apron pose in front of the Masonic Hall in Yandina c. 1908. (Image from John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

25. Hamilton’s House
As early as 1914, this was the Hamilton’s family home. It was originally located in Stevens Street, and relocated in the 1930s to make way for the post office, and again in 1998.

26. Yandina State School
It was 1889, the Yandina Provisional School was half built when disaster struck. They’d mistakenly erected it on the road! After some hasty relocating, the school finally opened in November 1889 with Deborah Lalor as the first Head Teacher. Her annual salary was £65. Then, to handle increasing student numbers, the Yandina State School was opened in 1902. It also had problems. On cloudy days, it was so dark inside that students couldn’t see to read and write.

The Yandina Heritage Trail is a Yandina Chamber of Commerce Project. The assistance of the Yandina & District Historical Society in preparing the trail information is gratefully acknowledged. Additional information for this webpage was sourced from the YDHS’s ‘Yandina 125 Years 1871-1996’ publication; ‘Yandina & District – A Pictorial History’  by Audienne Blyth; ‘Celebrating 150 Years – James & Christina Low’s Story’ by Audienne Blyth; and the State Library of Queensland.