Along the banks of the Caboolture River, the North Harbour Heritage Park is an exciting addition to the North Harbour masterplan to retain and preserve the archaeological remains of the “Moray Fields” settlement.
Operating as a cotton farm in the 1860s, settler George Raff eventually developed the land into a sugar cane plantation named ‘Moray Fields’ to complement his Moray Bank house in New Farm. Of course, the Moray reference is in recognition to his origins in Morayshire, north-east Scotland.
A substantial undertaking for a remote area, the plantation grew sugar cane for the production of sugar, rum and molasses. As popularity and demand for these products picked up, Raff brought technology into Moray Fields to transport cut cane to Brisbane, 40km south of the plantation. He introduced a loop of tramway and steam power was employed to drive the machinery on the property. As access by land was still difficult, a ‘commodious wharf’ was built on the river for landing and embarking goods or produce in the small vessels required for maintaining communication with the capital.
During his time in what is now the North Harbour Heritage Park area, Raff served as a member of the second Queensland Parliament and a prominent local businessman, operating in and out of Raff’s Wharf on the Brisbane River.
The North Harbour Heritage Park is designed as a community attraction, combining its rich history with a vast expanse of parkland. Pathways and tracks for use by locals and visitors allow everyone to enjoy our slice of Queensland history and the Caboolture River.
Following an application process initiated by the developers of North Harbour, the area has been listed and protected on the Queensland Heritage Register since 2011 as a place of Queensland State significance.
Open sunrise to sunset, the North Harbour Heritage Park takes you on a 1.5km journey through the history of the Moray Fields plantation. With several informative markers along the way, this heritage park will remain as a slice of history preserved forever. You can learn about the old homestead, bunya nuts and the reason for so many bunya trees in the North Harbour area, the cane train, the old dairy, and more.
Please note that between January and March each year, the Bunya trees are known for dropping large and heavy cones that reach 40cm in diameter and up to 18kg, with spikes on the outside similar to pineapples.