February 8, 2004

Part of Brisbane's southern commuter belt, Beenleigh is famous for its Rum Distillery.
Located 35 km from the centre of Brisbane, Beenleigh, once a separate town, has, through the steady expansion of the capital, been engulfed so that it is now little more than a commuter-belt suburb. It is hard to imagine now that there was ever a time when Beenleigh was a small settlement far removed from the pressures of the nearby city.

In 1864 Robert Johnston became the first European settler in the area. He grew sugarcane and arrowroot. The following year two men, John Davey and Frank Gooding, arrived in the area and established a farm which they called Beenleigh, after their birthplace in Devon, England.

Due partly to its proximity to Moreton Bay the district quickly developed into an important sugar-growing area. The first sugar mill was built by Davey and Gooding in 1867 and by 1885 there were thirty mills in the vicinity.

A floating rum distillery, the SS Walrus, once moved from one mill to the next converting the by-products of sugar manufacture into rum.

Things to see:

The Beenleigh Rum Distillery
One of the few rum distilleries left in the country The Beenleigh Rum Distillery houses the oldest-surviving still in Australia, built in 1864. Visitors can see an interesting series of displays and there are guided tours of the works.

The Rocky Point Sugar Mill
14 km east of the town the Rocky Point Sugar Mill was built in 1879 and it is still in operation. It is open for inspection during the season (July-December) and claims to be the only privately-owned sugar mill in Australia. Most are run as cooperatives. Now completely modernised the Rocky Point Sugar Mill has been owned by the Heck family for over 100 years.


Beenleigh Village Motel
49 City Rd
Beenleigh QLD 4207
Telephone: (07) 3807 3122
Rating: ***

Beenleigh Yatala Motor Inn
Cnr Stanmore Rd & Old Pacific Hwy
Beenleigh QLD 4207
Telephone: (07) 3807 2555
Facsimile: (07) 3287 5313
Rating: ***

Caravan Parks

Beenleigh Pines Caravan Village
Main St
Beenleigh QLD 4207
Telephone: (07) 3287 2656
Rating: **

River Hills Caravan Park
Pacific Hwy
Beenleigh QLD 4207
Telephone: (07) 3287 3043
Rating: ***


Blunders Steakhouse
Pacific Hwy
Beenleigh QLD 4207
Telephone: (07) 3287 4666

Renee's On The Mall
Coles Mall
Beenleigh QLD 4207
Telephone: (07) 3287 4760

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