Postcode: 4179 | Distance to Brisbane CBD: 20km
Welcome to Lota
Lota is a small, quiet bayside suburb next to Wynnum and Manly. In the 1860s most of the land now known as Lota was owned by William Duckett White who settled there when vineyards, sugar cane and other crops were grown. The land was subdivided in the early 20th century and most of the area developed for housing. Fig Tree Point at Lota was a popular camping spot until 1970s and is now parkland. It had also been used by American servicemen during World War Two. A landmark of Lota is the heritage listed Lota House at 162 Oceana Terrace built in 1864. Lota shares nearby bayside attractions of Wynnum and Manly including the Manly Boat Harbour, Wynnum Wading Pool, Wynnum Pier, the mangrove walk, fish and chip shops, restaurants, pubs and shopping centres.
Lota is about 15km from Brisbane’s CBD. Over 41% of households in this area are comprised of couples with children and a further 38% are couples without children. Stand alone house account for 92% of all dwellings in this area, with townhouses accounting for a further 5%. Lota is a bayside suburb and has found popularity because of the reasonable housing prices. Many of the older workers cottages and Queenslanders have been renovated. There are extensive parks and green spaces in this area.
Lota has no major shopping centre but there’s a shopping precinct on the corner of Whites and Hindes Streets. Manly Harbour Village is worth a visit and there’s Wynnum Plaza Shopping Centre on Wynnum Road at Wynnum West.
Marguerite says: Providing the ultimate mini escape from everyday: quiet, scenic, affordable and nearby. For a walk, relax with book, picnic with friends in the open fresh air beside the quiet waters of Moreton Bay. I always feel refreshed in body and spirit after being there.
20km east of Brisbane CBD
Bayside lifestyle, Lota rail station
Located on the bayside and nestled between Manly, Ransome and Manly West, Lota is approximately 30 minutes from the Brisbane CBD by car and only five to 10 minutes from the centre of Wynnum. Lota is a family-oriented suburb with plenty of parklands and picnic spots for residents wanting to make the most of the outdoor lifestyle. The area has leaped ahead in the past few years as buyers spill over from expensive neighbouring suburbs. The Melaleuca Environmental Park, golf courses and driving ranges and parklands running along the esplanade in Wynnum and Manly, supplement Lota's local recreational parks.
Lota is a mix of commercial and residential zoning; housing in the area is made up mostly of single unit dwellings. Lota has become popular with young families looking to live close to Moreton Bay, but somewhere more affordable than Wynnum or Manly. For buyers looking for something with a bit more space, some small farms still dot the Lota landscape. A spread out suburb, Lota's public transport is difficult and most residents use a car to get around. Commuters to the City have access to the Lota rail station running regular trains to the CBD. Access to both the Sunshine and Gold Coasts is easy due to the proximity of the Gateway Motorway to the suburb. Educational and retail needs are serviced by Manly, Wynnum and Manly West. The closest hospital is the Wynnum Hospital on Whites Road.
The Manly/Lota area may have been occupied by Mipirimm people. They lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle with several campsites within their area and adjacent islands. The coast and river provided abundant seafood, pandanus, bangwall (fern root) and other plants, which were eaten. Small mammals and birds were hunted, particularly the flying foxes on St Helena Island, where inter-tribal feasts and corroborees appear to have taken place.
As settlement grew the aborigines were confined to the coastal fringes. While agriculture was not possible, the good fishing and hunting meant they could survive. The area of the Manly Hotel, however was open ground where many aborigines still camped. By the 1870s closer settlement around Brisbane was making this outskirt living impossible. The main destroyers of the Moreton Bay Aborigines were new diseases brought about through contact with the white population. Diseases such as smallpox and tuberculous decimated the indigenous population.
Most of the land at Lota was originally owned by William Duckett White, who settled at Lota House in 1862. From Britannia Street to Lota Creek was private property and fenced off, although when the area was subdivided, the land along the foreshore was reserved for the esplanade. Here crops and sugar were grown, as well as grazing land and an orchard.
Farms and vineyards dominated the area. In 1888, the estimated population of the Lytton to Lota district was just 200 with 50 households. William Duckett-White’s grandson, William, broke the land into smaller farming blocks and sold most of it. Mr Connolly, the stationmaster at Manly, bought a large area of land for around 80 cents per hectare and subdivided it two years later, thus beginning the closer settlement of Lota.
By the 1920s most of Lota had been developed, with Lota Estate to the east of the railway line and Lota Park Estate to the West. Lota Heights Estate was in the area bounded by Villiers St and Whites road, with a reserve for sanitation purposes to the east of it, adjoining Lota Creek. The area North of Hindes Street where the hospital now stands was still undeveloped.
Lota has remained primarily a residential area since then, although it was a popular holiday spot in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and, until 1973, people could still camp at the lower end of the esplanade. The opening of Wynnum Hospital in 1971 was the only significant construction in the Lota area.
William Duckett White migrated to Australia in 1841 and bought land at Richmond, Victoria, which was flooded the next year. He later acquired a large cattle run called Beau Desert. In 1857 they moved to Eagle Farm and in 1860 he became one of the first land holders on the bay, when he acquired the land from southern Manly to Lota Creek. In 1861 he took a seat in the Legislative Council of Queensland Parliament. While Lota House was being built he lived at Wyvernleigh, the home of Thomas Jones. Lota House was completed in 1863. He grew a variety of crops there, including sugar and vineyards, and his ventures included a disastrous experiment with injecting meat to pickle it. It made it too salty to eat, but fortunately the ship on which it was being transported sank. He died at Lota in 1893.
Robert George Wyndham Herbert came to Brisbane with the first governor of Queensland, George Bowen. Herbert had been educated at Eton and Oxford and become a barrister before joining the public service. He came to Brisbane as the Colonial Secretary and automatically became Queensland’s first premier as Bowen established responsible government. He held this position until 1866 and was also vice-president of the Executive Council, member for Leichardt and the West Moreton, foundation member of the Brisbane Club and Chairman of the Brisbane Hospital. He invested widely in Queensland and with his friend John Bramston he built Herston, the first house in Herston. He owned 300 acres of land between Whites Road and Tingalpa West. He resigned his positions in 1866 and returned to England, where he returned to his public service career, receiving a knighthood in 1882. In 1905 he died at his family home at the age of 73, having never married.
Lota Creek flows into Moreton Bay/Tingalpa Creek at Lota and has developed on the alluvial plain there. Lota Creek is a small creek with a wide and diverse catchment area. Most of the area is primarily coastal or wetland, including extensive salt flat mangroves at the mouth of the creek. Some areas are still original bushland, but most are grazing land or residential. The creek is particularly important because it forms a corridor between Bulimba and Tingalpa Creeks. Many wader and water birds frequent the area, as do other mammals and reptiles that were originally endemic near Brisbane but now are rare (10 species of frog, 173 birds, 14 mammals and 20 reptiles). The original vegetation can be seen in the sections of uncleared land and Bayside Regional Park. Here there is remnant eucalypt forest that proliferated in the region, paperbark forest where it is wetter and mangroves fringing the coast and creek. Wallabies, wader birds, snakes and bearded dragons remain.
Moreton Bay is a shallow expanse of water, which is protected from the sea by a chain of islands. Six rivers and several creeks run into the bay and the silt they wash down provides a fertile breeding ground for the mangroves that line most of the inner coast of the bay and are host to other flora and fauna. It has existed in its current state for only 6500 years. Over the past two million years the coastal edge has moved from between 50 km inland to the outer edge of the islands. Aborigines named the area Quandamooka and it was a fertile region for them to live a semi-nomadic lifestyle in, eating the seafood, marine mammals and rich plants in the area.
Captain Cook named a large opening North of Point Lookout Morton’s Bay, but he did not sail behind the islands, which he thought were part of the mainland, to see he extent of the bay. In 1799, Matthew Flinders explored the bay, vainly searching for the Brisbane River. During his search he sailed between Mud Island and the low lying mangroves covered coastline of Wynnum-Manly. In 1823, three castaways were shipwrecked on Moreton Island. They were assisted by the local inhabitants to reach Stradbroke Island and then the mainland. When rescued later, they told John Oxley about the river and the bay – thus leading to exploration settlement in the Moreton Bay region.
Helena Mylne Home was originally part of the Lota House estate. William Duckett White’s grandson, another William Duckett White, cut the estate into portions, leaving the house with ten acres that were acquired by another grandson – Graham Mylne. In 1923, the Mylne’s presented the cottage and two allotments to the Country Women’s Association (CWA). It was opened by Sir Matthew Nathan as a seaside holiday home for those undergoing medical treatment or in need of a break from the country.
Reference: K. Harbison, BRISbites, 2000