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Moorooka

 

Postcode: 4105  |  Distance to CBD: 9 km


Welcome to Moorooka
When people mention Moorooka the words "magic mile" often spring to mind as "the magic mile of motors" is a common name for the stretch of Ipswich Road with car yard after car yard where southsiders usually head when looking for a new or used vehicle. But there's much more to Moorooka than car dealerships. It has its own shopping centre known as Moorvale along Beaudesert Road. There are schools, kindergartens and lots of parks - even along both sides of busy Ipswich Road. Public transport is by train or bus and Moorooka is handy to the river and Toohey Forest. Major shopping centres are only a short drive away.

 

Statistics
Moorooka is roughly 7km from Brisbane’s CBD. Over 41% of households in the area are couples with children, 39% are couples without children and 14% are lone person households. Just over 73% of the dwellings in this area are stand-alone houses and 20% are units. There are plenty of traditional workers cottages in this area - many still waiting to be renovated – but there are also townhouses and modern unit blocks.

 

Shopping
You can shop locally on Beaudesert Road or head over to Central Fair on Creek Road at Mount Gravatt. Garden City is close by and has a wide variety of specialty stores.

Locals Comments
Cristian says: Moorooka is a great mix of cultures, of the young and the elderly, of singles and of families. It is not so polished that it has lost its character and yet it is becoming a great place to live. It is close to the city, to parks, to the river and to Garden City. It's a great place to live.

 

Location
9km south of Brisbane CBD

Features
Moorooka rail station, Moorooka Shopping Centre

Profile
Moorooka is located about 9km south of the Brisbane CBD and contains a diverse array of housing styles ranging from two-bedroom workers' cottages through to the larger family homes, many of which are located on the elevated parts of the suburb.
Many of the homes within Moorooka have magnificent city views, while others are situated in quiet, leafy streets beside Toohey Forest Park. Moorooka has seen a steady increase in median house prices in past years due to its location near the City and diverse range of housing. Consequently, many of the suburb's streets have received makeovers, as new homebuyers choose to renovate existing properties.

Moorooka is a conveniently located suburb, which is well serviced by public transport infrastructure. The suburb has its own railway station and has regular city express bus services. The principal shopping district in the area is on Beaudesert Road, which has over 100 businesses to choose from. Many of these cater to the Moorooka's large Sudanese community, but outlets range from cafes and restaurants to hair salons and homewares stores. The Brisbane City Council has increased the level of funding it has allocated to upgrade amenities in Moorooka.

 

Aboriginal history
The Jagara Tribe occupied the area south of the Brisbane River, before the arrival of white men in 1823. The Aborigines in this area were probably originally of the Yerongpan clan, who lived along Oxley Creek, or the Coorparoo clan from further east. The Moorooka-Rocklea area provided plentiful food and water, which made it a favourite hunting ground. Rocky Water Holes Creek consisted of a series of lagoons, which were rich in edible plants as well as fish and waterfowl. Moolabin Creek actually may have meant ‘plenty of fish? In Rice’s Paddock, now the end of Newman Road, there was a Bora ring. A fig tree was planted at the spot, but old residents of Moorooka remember being taken to see the ring.

Aborigines remained in the area for some time after white people came, exchanging spears or labour for food, until the land clearing and closer settlement forced them out. In the 1930s and 1940s Aborigines lived in makeshift houses on Toohey Mountain.

Urban development
Urban development in Moorooka began as part of the area known as Boggo, which spread from Chardon’s Corner to Rocklea. European settlement in Boggo was dependent on the requirement for transport between Brisbane and Ipswich, which was the gateway to the graziers of the west. Woods and then Nolan’s coaches ran to Ipswich until Cobb & Co took over the route in 1865. In 1859 the first land sales in Moorooka were held. James Toohey, Patrick Mayne and George Pegg bought much of the available land. Moorooka began to develop as part of the small farming village of Rocky Water Holes. The first land buyers were attracted by the timber. Cotton and then sugar were grown and after the decline of these Moorooka grew as a dairying community.

Some light industry, such as a tannery, sawmill and several clay pits were developed. The Moorooka Railway Station Estate was offered for sale in 1890, but the 1893 flood scared residents from such low-lying suburbs, and at the commencement of the twentieth century, Moorooka was still primarily rural. After this the suburb rapidly became residential. In the 1920s, part of Clifton Hill was used as a Soldier Settlement for returned servicemen, and when the tram reached Moorooka in 1937, it provided a further spur to development. During the Second World War, the United States Army had a visible presence in Moorooka, and after the war the area south of Hamilton Road was used for housing for ex-servicemen and Housing Commissions homes. Today, the majority of traditional character buildings in the Moorooka area are interwar buildings (1918-1939) including many corner shops. Some 19th century buildings, such as workers' cottages, have also survived.

Notable residents
John and Mary Soden arrived in Brisbane on the ‘Chatsworth’ in 1862. They worked on the Grimes arrowroot farm at Fairfield for six years before leasing 160 acres in Coopers Plains. They built a five-roomed house and cultivated a portion of the land. They had a horse drawn wagon that John would drive from Logan Reserve to Nerang selling haberdashery and household wares.

In 1879, he got the tender for the mail delivery from Brisbane to Rocky Water Holes and they bought Hardcastles Hotel on Ipswich Road at Moorooka. They moved into the hotel and converted it to a general store. The mail delivery became a general carrying company and then John and his four sons developed an omnibus business across the southern suburbs. In 1885 they had 25 omnibuses working 300 horses.

The arrival of the railway line at that time reduced the business for the omnibuses, but Sodens continued on Ipswich Road as a general carrier and a farrier and coach building works. The hotel was used as their home until it was destroyed by fire in 1915. They then built a house on the site, but it has since been relocated. Soden’s works are still shown on a map in 1943.

The land in Coopers Plains was subdivided in 1885 and called the Orange Grove Estate. It is now the site of the QE2 Hospital, Queensland Scientific Laboratories, John Tonge Centre and some 600 houses. John Soden died in 1921.

George Pegg migrated from Staffordshire in 1851 and arrived in Queensland in 1860. In 1864/1865 he bought adjoining lots in Moorooka and established his Mayfield property. The whole family (they had seven children) was involved in farming there and they built a house near the junction of Koala and Homestead Streets. They grew sorghum, maize and vegetables and developed a dairy and milk round. As the children grew and continued farming, more houses were built on the land. George then expanded into the Rocklea area and bought several properties there, until the drought of 1901, broke him financially. He died soon after. The dairy closed in 1927, but the younger son continued the milk round. A section of Toohey Mountain is known as Pegg’s Mountain, and the area was known as Mayfield, after the Peggs’ farm.

Landmarks
The Former Yeronga Fire Station was designed by Brisbane firm Atkinson and Conrad, built by William Allen Miller, and opened in 1934. It is a two-storey weatherboard and fibro building with a tiled roof. Tall bi-fold doors open into the engine room, around which the other downstairs rooms are arranged. The superintendent’s residence was on the first floor. The station was decommissioned in 1974 and it was then used as a Queensland State Emergency Services office.

Moorooka State School began with a campaign by the local Progress Association. In 1912, Moorooka parents started a petition to get the Rocklea School moved, as the majority of students came from Moorooka. This was unsuccessful and in the 1920s the parents continued to campaign for a school in the area. In 1929, the school opened with 139 children and six teachers. Stanley Rider Kenyon was the first headmaster. It was a timber building divided by folding doors into five classrooms. By the end of the year there were 230 children and enrolments continued to grow. In 1942 the United States Army occupied the school.

Beaudesert Road is one of the oldest roads in the district. It was built to allow transport between Brisbane and the 50000-acre property of Beau Desert, which was bought by Henry Suttor in 1842.

Toohey Mountain was also called Pegg Mountain after George Pegg who farmed on the Moorooka side of the mountain. George Toohey, younger brother of James, originally owned the quarry area, which he bought in 1874. After his death in 1904, the land was subdivided and sold. Courtney Spry established his ‘Flowerdale’ apiary there and later the Mackay family owned the land, renamed the property ‘Balnafoy’ and grazed sheep. The area was subdivided into residential blocks in the early 1960s and the locality became known as Nathan Heights.

While most of the bush of Moorooka has since been cleared for residential or other development, the green spaces provided by Toohey Mountain and Toohey Mountain Reserve remain, making an important contribution to the character of Moorooka. The purchase of parcels of Toohey Forest by the Brisbane City Council in the late 1930s as part of a proposed green belt around the city protected this well known landmark.


Reference: BRISbites, 2000

 

 

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