Early Surveying of the Region

The first civilian surveyors, Robert Dixon, James Warner and Granville Stapylton, arrived at the Moreton Bay settlement on 8 May 1839. The convict period was winding down and, as part of a strategy to prepare the district for free settlement, they were sent to conduct a trigonometrical survey of the region. Although there had been considerable exploration of the region, no proper survey had been made and the existing maps were based on compass bearings, many of which were uncorrected for magnetic variation.

Under the leadership of Dixon, a base line was set up which was linked by observations to all the natural features of Moreton Bay. This triangulation marked the start of the accurate mapping of Queensland.

Stapylton was killed by Aborigines later that year and Dixon was dismissed in 1841 after a disagreement with the Commandant, Lieutenant Owen Gorman. Following his return to Sydney, Dixon privately published a map of Moreton Bay which showed the Pine River as the Eden River, a name which had been suggested by Andrew Petrie in memory of a Scottish river in his native Fifeshire, but this name was never officially sanctioned.

Warner conducted numerous surveys, some of which were in areas now part of the Pine Rivers Shire, and remained in Queensland until his death in 1891. His name has been perpetuated in the Shire by the Parish of Warner, the locality of Warner and Warner Road.

A proclamation closing the penal settlement at Moreton Bay was issued on 10 February 1842. The restricted area of 50 miles (80 kilometres) surrounding the settlement was officially opened up to free settlement.

Shortly after this proclamation was issued, the Archer Brothers, with the assistance of Evan Mackenzie from Kilcoy, opened up a new direct route through the Pine Rivers area to their sheep station at Durundur (near Woodford) by keeping to the east of the D'Aguilar Range. Their route still appears on some maps today as the Old North Road. In 1985, it was designated the Old Northern Road.