“The Rocks” creek crossing at Capalaba

Redlands’ early transport history can be explored at The Rocks Crossing in Capalaba. At John Fredericks Park, just a short walk from Capalaba Regional Park via the path that goes under the busy bridge taking Old Cleveland Road across Tingalpa Creek, you can see where Redlands’ pioneers would ford across Tingalpa creek at low tide until a bridge was built in 1874. The ‘old” bridge served as the main link to the Greater Brisbane area until it was replaced by the ‘new’ bridge in 1935.

Remnants of the cobbled path approaching the eastern bank of Tingalpa Creek.

The remnants of a a cobbled path that led to the old creek crossing are preserved in John Fredericks Park, Capalaba.

The old crossing in 1910

The old bridge photographed around 1910, for the Valentine series of postcards Photo: <a href="http://bishop.slq.qld.gov.au/view/action/singleViewer.do?dvs=1466924420964~405&amp;locale=en_US&

The original bridge crossing Tingalpa Creek is shown in this 1910 photo from the Valentine series of postcards.

Exploring the historical site

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Looking upstream from the cobblestone remnants it’s possible to glimpse the ‘new’ Tingalpa Creek bridge crossing.


old stonework forming part of The Rocks crossing of Tingalpa Creek

A path down to the Creek reveals some old stonework, presumably part of the bridgework.


Tingalpa Creek at the Rocks Crossing

And with care it’s possible to see Tingalpa Creek flowing over the rocks that made this a suitable crossing place.


055 The Rocks Crossing picnic table Rotary Capalaba sign 26 June 2016 comp

A picnic table with shelter and signs installed by the Rotary Club of Capalaba commemorate the old crossing.

Information about the area’s history

Three signs installed by the Rotary Club of Capalaba provide useful information about “The Rocks” crossing

Another sign

another sign

third Rotary sign

The Rocks Crossing’s history is explained in a sign installed by Redland Shire Council next to the cobbled remnants. The information is reprinted here to make it easier to read.

Information sign installed by Redland Shire Council

Information sign installed by Redland Shire Council next to the remnants of the original cobbled path to The Rocks Crossing.

This site commemorates the historical role of Capalaba in the development of Redland Shire. The cobblestones are remnants of the original road crossing of Tingalpa Creek , linking Cleveland to Brisbane. Locals referred to the crossing as “The Rocks”.

Although early travellers crossed the creek in other places, this road crossing is recorded by survey plans dated 1850 as the first road crossing of Tingalpa Creek between Capalaba and Greater Brisbane. Ever since, Capalaba has been the maingateway to the northern parts of the Redland Shire.

“The Rocks” crossing was treacherous and could only be negotiated at low tide. Early accounts of travel between the Redlands and Brisbane describe many incidents where people and vehicles were stranded on the banks of Tingalpa Creek. It was particularly hazardous for the weekly mail and passenger coach service that operated from 1867.

The first bridge across Tingalpa Creek was built in 1874. Almost immediately, the old Capalaba Hotel was replaced with a newer building that operated as a post office and hotel. A changing station for the horses used by the coach and mail services was set up in a paddock opposite the hotel.

In 1935 the bridge was replaced. Remnants of the 1874 bridge foundations can still be seen, as with the cobblestones of the original crossing.

Heritage recognition

The Rocks Crossing of Tingalpa Creek is included in Redland City Council’s Heritage Places Register which is Schedule 4 of the City’s Planning Scheme Version 7.1.

Redlands2030 – 26 June 2016

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One thought on ““The Rocks” creek crossing at Capalaba

  1. Good to see The Rocks at Tingalpa Creek Crossing is in the Redlands Planning Scheme ‘Heritage Listed’. Listing koala habitat retention in the Planning Scheme should be included too….as considerable amount of funding by Government is available for this purpose. With 80% koalas wiped out, conservation and preservation measures need to be put in place ASAP. Now is the time to let developers know that no matter how deep their pockets, koala land is not for sale. Unfamiliar with Tingalpa Ck surroundings am asking…does this tie in with Commonwealth land and Willard Homestead on Old Cleveland Rd E on the Capalaba/Birkdale border?
    Pink is a pretty colour but not when it comes to Redlands….as the colour around a tree means it is earmarked for destruction. Have seen it all too often on ‘never to be replaced’ mature trees including tall koala food trees, since developers rule the roost in Redlands it seems or we wouldn’t see such devastation. It angers me to see our Federal Member for Bowman’s large sized photo sign in front yard of an Ormiston home where trees are crashing down. Another is seen in front yard of a house partially built on Old Cleveland Rd E Birkdale. As in the case of local election, only mayor Williams’ sizeable glamour photo signs were visible along the same road and main thoroughfare in Capalaba. Grateful no signs are seen mounted on what are considered traffic hazards…i.e. 4-wheeled contraptions seen in Birkdale and Capalaba main roads during last local election. Good to know we will be free of elections for some years to come.

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