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Postcode: 4170  |  Distance to CBD: 8 km

Welcome to Morningside
Morningside residents are close to both the city and the beautiful riverside suburbs of Bulimba and Hawthorne. Those who live on the hill also enjoy fabulous city views in this friendly community. Wynnum Road runs through Morningside and there's a street-level shopping area with a lovely village feel in this predominantly residential area.

Morningside is well served by public transport and schools and there are a number of parks and recreation grounds both in and around the suburb. At the corner of Bennetts and Wynnum Roads is the historic Bulimba Cemetery (also known as the Balmoral Cemetery) dating from 1875. Morningside started off as a rural area with small dairy and tobacco farms before becoming a popular residential area in the post-war boom.


Morningside is 5km from the Brisbane CBD. 42% of households are made up of couples without children, 31% are couples with children and 21% are single parent households. 57% of the dwellings in this area are stand-alone houses and units account for a further 25%. There are many older-style weatherboard and chamferboard homes in this area as well as modern units and townhouses. This is a well-established suburb with a great community atmosphere.

There are no major shopping centres in Morningside, but there are local shops on Junction Road and on Thynne Street. For more variety, Cannon Hill K-Mart Plaza isn’t far away and has everything you need.

Locals Comments
Belinda says: Morningside is very close to the city with great access to public transport yet it is still exclusive enough to have that suburban feel. The friendliness of the neighbours and the great green rolling lawns of our backyard. Great shopping and friendly vibe.

8 km east of Brisbane’s CBD.

Proximity to Brisbane CBD, Morningside rail station

Approximately eight kilometres east of the Brisbane CBD, Morningside residents enjoy its close proximity to the city while taking advantage of the community atmosphere the suburb affords. The population of Morningside has remained relatively stable during the 1990s, primarily due to the established nature of the suburb with a lack of vacant land suitable for new land development.  The fact that the area is close to the more prestigious suburbs of Bulimba and Hawthorne has attracted a large number of younger couples who have moved into Morningside to capitalise on its relative affordability. The majority of housing in Morningside was constructed during the 1950s and 1960s, including numerous weatherboard three or four-bedroom houses supported by wooden stumps.

However, in recent years the suburb has experienced an increase in the number of semi-detached houses and duplexes, units and townhouses. Like many older suburbs in Brisbane, Morningside has seen a great deal of renovation activity as workers' cottages and Queenslanders are modernised or renovated. Morningside boasts many facilities and services including a major shopping centre, railway station, private schools and numerous parks and recreational reserves. Considering its close proximity to the city, plus the wide variety of facilities and services in the vicinity, Morningside is a suburb with a lot to offer.

Aboriginal history
In 1861 the Native Police and Brisbane Mounted Police were involved in 'dispersing' Aborigines who had been 'intimidating' people in the Bulimba and Cairncross areas. Corroborees were held at the present Cairncross Dock area until 1872. Ollie Crouch's father used to be chased by Aborigines at Cairncross when he went there to trap finches. The Aborigines said it was a burial ground for their women.

Urban development

Morningside was reputedly named for the fact that its hills caught the first of the morning sun. This may have been because it was east of the main settlement at north Brisbane. It is one of the older suburbs of Brisbane and was established under the Electoral District Act in 1872.

In 1876, the Rossiter family began Keralgerie Tannery at waterholes near Mornington Crescent, and built the first house in the Morningside area. Other early settlers in the area were involved in dairying and small farming, including growing the first tobacco in the state. Sugar was grown closer to the river in the 1860s.

The first major development in Morningside was the Bulimba Station Estate, near the site of Morningside Station, in 1888, just before the Cleveland railway line went through. The blocks all sold at very high prices (30–40 pounds), in anticipation of a boom following the railway. The population did increase rapidly for a while.

David Longland, another pioneer, owned land bounded by Wynnum, Lytton, Thynne, and Junction roads, which was divided into one-acre (0.4-hectare) blocks where several dairies were established. Unfortunately, this development collapsed and many people lost their land and money. There were several other developments over the next two years, but this disaster, the end of the building boom, and the 1890s depression led to a virtual stagnation in Morningside.

Further development occurred again in the mid-1910s. The area between Thynne and Wynnum roads was subdivided and sold as the Lawson Estate in 1913, along with several other estates.

Population increased rapidly in the post-war boom of the 1920s. Many houses in the area have the typical between-war bungalow style of a continuous roof pitch. In the Great Depression of the 1930s there was a settlement for itinerant workers on the corner of Creek and Richmond roads, with huts made from flattened kerosene tins. During the Second World War an American army camp was situated at the corner of Lang and Richmond roads. After the war, Seven Hills was extensively developed, partly by the Housing Commission.

Notable residents
In 1876 Edmund Rossiter, from the Enoggera Hotel, and his son-in-law took up fifteen acres [6.1 hectares] of land along Mornington Crescent as a tannery. Mr Boasley left soon after, but under Mr Rossiter and his four sons, the tannery expanded beyond its original plan to tan only marsupial skins. They named it Keralgerie Tannery, which was the native name for a string of waterholes in the area. Edmund and Isobel Rossiter built a slab hut on land near Bridgewater Road and later built the first house in the area, a two-storey house on the corner of Bridgewater and Rossiter streets. Edward Rossiter was Chairman of the Balmoral Divisional Board in 1898–99. In 1900 a fire wiped out Morningside's only industry.

Captain William Cairncross was born in London and grew up in South Africa and St Helena. He spent many years at sea, some of them on a whaler, before he arrived in Sydney in 1839. He married Elizabeth Edmonstone, whose brother George was Brisbane's first butcher. In 1847 Captain Cairncross started a Bread, Fancy Bread, Biscuit Bakers and Confectioners business in Brisbane. The shop was on the corner of Albert and Queen streets, and the family lived on the premises. Elizabeth's London training as a seamstress was useful in outfitting their seven daughters.

In the 1850s the Cairncross family retired from trading and settled at Morningside. In 1881 they built a house they called 'Colmslie', after a Cairncross estate in Scotland, near the junction of Thynne and Lytton roads. The house had an observatory and Captain Cairncross relayed weather and shipping information to the authorities. Later it was used as a quarantine station and as the Colmslie Hospital. The Cairncross family were active attendees at Bulimba Church of England, arriving in a carriage complete with footman. Colmslie House was later demolished. The Cairncross Graving Dock, built during the Second World War, was named after this family.

The Stark family, famous in Brisbane because of the Alan and Stark department store, had a house in Richmond Road. Myer absorbed the Alan and Stark Company in 1959.


Camping at Colmslie Beach and swimming in the Brisbane River were popular pastimes. The swimming pool at Colmslie Beach was fenced to keep the sharks out. Sand stretched from the abattoirs to the proposed submarine base, which, once partially excavated, became known as 'Tahiti'. Sailing, fishing and horse and bike races were common and ice creams could be bought from Bill King who lived nearby.

The area's more practical uses were varied. During the outbreak of bubonic plague, a Brisbane plague hospital was established at Colmslie in 1900. Later the Cannon Hill scout troop established their campsite there. The Commonwealth Acetate chemical works was built there in 1917–18. Later this building was used for an ammunition factory and various other military purposes, until it was taken over as a migrant hostel to deal with the influx of post-war migrants from Europe. It was then vacant for many years until it was adapted in 1972 for use by Hans Continental Smallgoods. During World War II the area was used for an anti-aircraft battery and as a Catalina Flying Boat base, and rumours that it was a submarine base abounded.

The end of World War I resulted in a housing boom. New housing required new roads, so the quarry on Richmond Road was used for bluestone. A crushing plant was set up and excess stone was sold to other shires. During the off-season at the meat works, many married men found work at the quarry. Eventually the springs made working the quarry impossible and it became a popular local swimming hole known as Lake Emerson. During World War II it was used to train volunteer firemen and in 1949 the Australian Diving Championships were held there. Unfortunately, several people drowned in the lake. After one double drowning, the Council fenced it off and prohibited swimming in the lake. Later, after it was identified as a source of typhoid, it was drained and filled.

The area for Balmoral Park was surveyed in 1864. In 1891 the original fifty-five acres (22.3 hectares) set aside for the cemetery was reduced to around fifteen acres (6.1 hectares), with the remainder to be used for a recreation reserve. The cemetery is on the eastern slopes of the park. The first person buried in the cemetery was George William Pointon, who had drowned in Norman Creek in 1874. Two mayors, a number of parliamentarians, and many local figures are buried in the cemetery.

The recreation reserve has had a variety of uses. An Honour Avenue of weeping fig trees was planted to commemorate the First World War. The Balmoral Bowls Club was founded in 1919 and Balmoral Shire Council leased the club land in Balmoral Park for a bowls green. During World War II the hilltop was used for anti-aircraft batteries. In the 1950s the Morningside and Norman Park scouts and the Balmoral Guides built their dens in the park. The Norman Park Preschool was built in 1963, Meals on Wheels premises in 1975, and the Colmslie Branch of the Returned Services League (RSL) in 1980. There is still a small area of parkland with a cricket pitch for social activities.

Wynnum Road at Morningside developed rapidly after the First World War. A well-attended meeting was held to plan a public hall for the area, which was to become the School of Arts building. Morningside builders, Charles Crowther and Sons, built the cavity-brick hall for 2,000 pounds. The building included a stage and a large hall, which were popular for social functions, with a small room at the back that was used as a library and a meeting room. It was officially opened in 1926 and is still in use.

In 1881, the Queensport Freezing and Food Export Company produced the first frozen meat. Officially, most of the meat working was in the suburbs of Morningside or Murarrie.

Reference: BRISbites, 2000



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