Phone: (07) 3396 5324   |   Address: 42 Agnes Street, Wynnum, QLD 4178


Wynnum and Manly’s History

A seaside suburb with a rich history

Wynnum Manly – Southern Bayside

Wynnum Manly is part of Brisbane, Queenland Australia.  It is a seaside suburb with a rich history.


Both the shorelines of the bay and the edge of the creek have been considerably altered since white settlement.  Low-lying land was reclaimed by dredging the creek creating a much deeper, narrower channel. Much of the parkland adjoining the bay was also reclaimed, particularly during the 1930s.



Wynnum’s vegetation is primarily coastal scrub with swamps and mangroves. John Oxley’s map of the Brisbane River in 1824 describes Lytton and Wynnum North as a ‘thick brushy point’. The initial survey map of Wynnum shows the coast as being composed of ‘mud and mangroves, covered at high tide’.


Original vegetation included Eucalypt, Paperbark, where it is wetter and mangroves fringing the coast. Wallabies, wader birds, snakes and bearded dragons remain.


33 species of birds, 4 species of reptiles and only 2 species of native animals (flying foxes and ring-tailed possums) were recorded in Wynnum in the 1981 Wildlife Survey.


Wynnum and Manly’s history

Wynnum and Manly are two very old suburbs on the shores of Moreton Bay, just south of the Brisbane River.  Both suburbs have a strong history and a strong community.  The surrounding suburbs are also seen as part of WynnumManly.


Brisbane veteran newsreader, John Knox talks about the history of Wynnum on 4KQ;


It is believed that 3 cedar cutters, who were blown off course on a voyage from Sydney in 1823, were the first white people to visit the Wynnum Manly area.


The area was very popular with a number of aboriginal tribes that regularly visited or lived in the area for hundreds of years before the Europeans visited the area.


The Wynnum area was occupied by the Winnam people.  Elanora Park was an aboriginal campsite and known as “Blacks Camp” until 1976.


In 1902, the Wynnum Shire Council was created and in 1913 it became the Town of Wynnum, before being amalgamated into Greater Brisbane in 1925.


The Waterloo Bay Hotel was built by George Gibb and opened in 1889.


The Wynnum Wading pool was a depression era project and opened in 1933.  The parkland was reclaimed from the sea, a revetment wall was built and backfilled, with an area left empty to create the tidal pool.


Wynnum Central State School was opened in 1894 with an enrolment of eighty.  By 1901, another room was required and a third was built six years later. Further annexes were built in 1917 and 1919, which for three years catered for a secondary school.


The Origin of “Wynnum”

It’s not exactly sure as to where the name “Wynnum” had its roots.  Brian Randall, from the State Library of Queensland, conducted research and he didn’t reveal that one is  a greater possibility that the other.


There have been a few suggestions; one that it was adapted from the Aboriginal word for the breadfruit tree, ‘Winnum’.  Another is that it came from the Aboriginal word for soldier crab, ‘Winyum’, while the area could also be named after one of the earlier settlers, ‘Wenham’.


The bayside surburbs of Wynnum and Manly were originally known as Oyster Point and Wyvernleigh, after the first house in the area.  The railway line to Cleveland was completed in 1889.  This led to a surge in growth in the district.  By the early 1900s it had become a popular seaside resort.    Today residents and visitors highly value  the district’s cool sea breezes, bay views and friendly “country town” atmosphere.


Tour of the Local History

Many original buildings have been restored in the area and are well worth a visit.




Important dates in Wynnum’s history:

1859 – First survey of land in the area by James Warner

1860 – 15 May – First land sale

1862 – John Richardson established a vineyard in the area, close to the present location of the Wynnum Railway Station

1879 – Wynnum was part of the Bulimba Divisional Board

1880s – population of Wynnum was approximately 250

1882 – Wynnum North State School

1886 – Wynnum Central State School

1889 – Railway line to Wynnum opens

1894 – Masonic Hall in Mountjoy Terrace opens

1896 – Presbyterian Church

1899 – St. Peter’s Church of England

1900 – Moreton Bay High School. This was a boarding and day school for girls, now called Moreton Bay College. The college was opened by the daughters of the Green family

1902 – Wynnum Shire Council

1904 – Guardian Angels Catholic Church

1910 – Wynnum Baptist Church

1913 – Wynnum Town Council

1915 – Wynnum Manly School of Arts

1922 – Wynnum Golf Club

1941 – Wynnum High School


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