History of Tambourine & Surrounds – Part 13


1971 to 1997


In 1971, Arthur Page constructed a new observatory atop Mt Tamborine (as known at the time), following the death of his wife Berenice. The observatory was built by relocating the Arthur Page Observatory from North Chermside where Arthur and Berenice were involved in the Mount Stromlo Observatory, observing Flare Stars (unpredictable dramatic increases in star brightness). However, due to the light pollution of the growing city of Brisbane, the Pages felt the need to find a new, clearer site. They were looking for such a place when Berenice passed on.
Construction for the new observatory began in 1971, and installation of the telescope and equipment continued through to 1979, the same year the new observatory recorded its first Flare Star.
However, due to the rising light pollution from Surfers Paradise, Arthur once more felt the need to move. The University of Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland then began to fund the observatory, with a plan to one day use it for student programs.
In 1981, residents of Tamborine Village, Logan Village and surrounding areas, began to report the discoveries of unexploded ordinances (UXOs). In September of that year, the Logan and Albert Times reported three mortar bombs had been found, and residents continued to find UXOs until 1984. (The ordinances originated from the Camp Cable Army Camp established in the area at the peak of the Second World War. The camp was home to many heroes of the Second World War, and multiple monuments were built at the intersection between Camp Cable Road and Tamborine-Waterford Road.)
They Bearded Dragon landowners began a project to restore an old windmill on the site initially erected in the 1920s, aiming to complete the project alongside a ‘History Of Windmills’ throughout Australia. (The windmill was initially made by the Intercolonial Boring Company who first came to Australia in search of a new market for their oil. They initially discovered that Australians were not reliant on the oil industry, but were in desperate need for water instead, which prompted the company to start pumping water and generating electricity. They ceased production in 1968 when they were bought by the Dunlop Organisation.) The Bearded Dragon Hotel was also commenced in 1997 when the landowners decided Tamborine was a perfect spot for a watering hole!