A small town situated in the Gold Coast's hinterland in the valley of the Logan River.

Location: 65 km south of Brisbane and 46 m above sea-level.

Points of interest

Darlington Range: Canungra Range; Birnum Range; Jinbroken Range; Mount Barney National Park (valleys, caves, crevices, open eucalyptus forest, grassy slopes, creeks, cascades, pools, rare fauna. Declared part of a World Heritage Reserve in 1994); Logan River; Tamborine Mountains; Woollahra Farmworld (8 km north); town of Rathdowney; Pioneer Cottage (built by Patrick Milbanks on his selection in 1875); St Mary's Roman Catholic Church; Racecourse grandstand (1890s).

Brief history

The area was explored in the late 1820s by both Allan Cunningham and Capt. Patrick Logan after whom the nearby river is named. Large landholdings for the grazing of sheep were taken up in the 1840s but some twenty years later were resumed and subdivided into smaller farming lots. Due to its close proximity to Brisbane, the new settlers turned to mixed farming, particularly beef and dairy cattle. The town was surveyed and proclaimed in 1876.

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The railway connecting it to Brisbane was opened in 1888. The 43-kilometre-long line branches off the Beenleigh Line immediately south of Bethania station 35 km south of Brisbane, then progresses generally south-west to Jimboomba and then generally south to its terminus at Beaudesert. The line continued to serve the Beaudesert area until 20 May 1996 when the last QR train left Beaudesert. There is little evidence left of the Beaudesert Branch. Many crossings have been removed and paved over. The corridor is overgrown and many sections are occupied by livestock.

Origin of name: derived from the pastoral run name used in 1842 by Edwin Hawkens (Hawkins), pastoral overseer for Henry Suttor of Bathurst, NSW. The name is derived from the Beau Desert pastoral run in NSW held by Henry Bayley, a descendant of the Paget family. His family estate in Staffordshire, England was named Beau Desert Park. It was an ex-Cistercian monastery (12th Century) given to the Paget family by Henry VIII.

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