Historical Mapping of Moreton Bay

Many maps of and including Moreton Bay represent the many meanings and values attributed to the Bay.

The Last Glacial Palaeo –topography of Moreton Bay 17 000 years ago indicate low sea levelsand eroded fresh water stream valleys from the ancient Brisbane River.

1 000,000 years ago fluctuating glacial sea levels, deposits of silica and heavy mineral sand, formed two vast barrier islands Mulgumpin (Moreton) and Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) homelands to their Aboriginal inhabitants for at least 40 000 years.

Norman Tindale’s 1940 map of Australia’s Aboriginal attempts to attempt to represent all the language, tribal or nation groups of the Aboriginal people of Australia goes some way to recognise the cultural history of the lands and seas of Australia. 

In 1799 Matthew Flinders sailed into the Bay. His chart of Moreton Bay : “A voyage to Terra Australia’. London: G. & W. Nichol, 1814 is here included as is Joshua Peter Bell’s navigation map from his 1950 publication The Yachtsman’s Guide, Moreton Bay and How to Fathom It.

The past 6500 years of theof the Halocene “stillstand” period have seen relatively stable sea levels in the Bay, a subsequent proliferation of life and in the last 50 years a proliferation of mapping.

Local, state and federal governments map electoral, environmental, marine park zonings, storm and flood waters. International conventions such as Ramsar have mapped the Bay and the journey of migrating birds have been mapped by environmental groups.